Presidential Vacations

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Ronald Reagan tall in the saddle and Herbert Hoover catching fish are some of the lighthearted images from the presidential vacation scrapbook. There are also more sobering memories, including the death of FDR at Warm Springs and Eisenhower’s heart attack in Denver.

Since the Great Depression, when a president goes a vacation, politics follow and it’s no day at the beach. Bill Clinton was persuaded by pollsters to trek to the Grand Tetons to distance himself from the liberal Eastern establishment.

George W. Bush’s month long sojourn, home on the range, is the longest presidential vacation in 32 years. He took a lot of heat for it, until he changed the subject with his stem cell decision.


Stephen Hess, Presidential Historian;
Alex Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government;
Dana Milbank, White House Correspondent for the Washington Post.