The Tuesday: Joe Biden Should Take More Vacations

Welcome to the Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about language, culture, and, when the stars align, dachshunds. And politics, when unavoidable. The Tuesday is available only to NRPlus members: If you ...

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BY KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON June 21, 2022
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WITH KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON June 21, 2022
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Joe Biden Should Take More Vacations

Welcome to the Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about language, culture, and, when the stars align, dachshunds. And politics, when unavoidable. The Tuesday is available only to NRPlus members: If you would like to join our happy little platoon — and I hope you will — then you can sign up here.

The Dumbest Criticism of Biden

Joe Biden makes it too easy for the comedians: Obviously hoping to dispel concerns about his age and his fitness for the presidency, President Biden took a bicycle ride and cruised over to a crowd of gawkers, and then promptly tipped over and fell on his patootie. Biden has long been defensive about fitness — you'll remember him challenging that random guy in Iowa to a push-up contest. That's not how you fix your image, and, at Biden's age, fixing his image is probably a foolish thing to try, anyway.

Biden's most bitter critics have a litany: He doesn't do evening events, he goes home to Delaware every weekend to rest up, etc. Scandalous, I'm sure.

But those are the things I like about Biden. Almost the only things I like about him.

Biden's is a special case, because he is so very old and so very manifestly frail, but criticizing presidents for their leisure time has become part of the ritual of the imperator cult, and younger, more robust men have been criticized for their down time and their recreation. Before there was Biden, there was Donald Trump and his golf and "executive time," before Trump it was Barack Obama and his vacation days, and before that it was George W. Bush and his vacation days. Trump on the links, Obama at Martha's Vineyard, Bush at the ranch, and Biden in Delaware. I've been to Delaware, and I think I'd rather spend the weekend in Martha's Vineyard or clearing brush in the hot Texas sun with W. Your preferences may vary.

This isn't a particularly 21st-century thing: Ronald Reagan was criticized for his down time and his apparently light schedule. Republicans who lambasted Michelle Obama's travel ...   READ MORE

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