Last month I acted and I lifted an executive branch restriction on offshore oil exploration. And then I called on Congress to join me and…end the legislative ban. Unfortunately, the Democratic leadership in Congress decided to go on a five-week vacation, a recess, rather than act on behalf of the American consumer.
— Attended 95 sports-related events.
— Made 74 trips to his Crawford ranch, for a total of 466 days.
— Made 142 trips to Camp David, for a total of 450 days.
— Attended 327 fundraising events for Republican candidates and causes.
Over the course of his presidency, national catastrophes have taken shape while Bush has been on vacation. When he was in Crawford before 9/11, Bush ignored an infamous memo about an impending bin Laden attack. Similarly, Bush brushed off warnings of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 while at the ranch.
While congressional conservatives held political stunts on the House floor, Bush was kicking back at the Olympics. And as Russia invaded Georgia, Bush attended baseball, basketball, swimming, and softball games in Beijing, where he also made time for an hour of mountain-biking and playing beach volleyball with the U.S. team.
“I think the highlight was getting my picture taken with the teams,” he reflected. The AP observed: “Bush was in the mood to talk sports, not policy”: