Friends, New Yorkers, countrymen, lend me your ears (and your vacation homes, if you have one).
Today is day seven of our uniquely tanned president’s 17-day “working vacation” at his New Jersey golf club, one of the seemingly endless getaways Donald Trump has taken in his half a year in office. Many criticize his jaunts to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and other luxurious destinations that bear his name and benefit from free publicity.
Some call Trump, who rattled the world’s nerves with words about North Korea, a hypocrite for having constantly bashed President Barack Obama for spending too much time away from the White House, then taking more than triple the vacation days Obama did in his first six months in office.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump solemnly promised during the 2016 campaign. “I would not be a president who took vacations . . . I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”
Yet somehow it seems Trump has worked in more time for golf than Tiger Woods ever did. And more power to him. Doesn’t the president need time off to recharge his batteries? Don’t you? Haven’t you ever taken a 17-day vacation from work? You haven’t? Well, maybe you have a vital job that requires your presence. OK, forget that.
But I am here to praise Trump, who will be in NYC next week, not to bury him. In March, then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump’s trip to his Virginia golf club by observing it wasn’t all play, and that “on a couple of occasions, he’s actually conducted meetings, he’s actually had phone calls . . .” You tell ’em, Spicey! Spicey?
While I admit to finding fault with much of Trump’s behavior to date, now that he’s away, I miss the rascal. To paraphrase Marc Antony (the Roman statesman, not the singer): “My heart is in Bedminster with The Donald. And I must pause till it come back to me.”
But not to worry. Trump will be back in Washington on Aug. 21, working on his agenda to slash health benefits all around and cut taxes on the rich, and kiss up to our enemies while he insults our friends. On second thought, perhaps 17 days isn’t enough.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.