News reports tell of President Bush returning to Washington Monday evening, ending his three-week "vacation." What a vacation.
There is little question but that the presidency of the United States is one of the most stressful and demanding jobs in the country perhaps THE most stressful. And there is little question but that Bush and his family thoroughly enjoy their time at their home in Kennebunkport, Maine, and that he is able to relax and clear his mind when staying at his Maine seaport residence.
Even though he was criticized for being in Maine at a time when tens of thousands of American troops were being deployed to the Middle East due to the Iraq-Kuwait-Saudia Arabia crisis, most Americans were supportive of the president's decision to take his "vacation" as planned and not to allow the actions of Iraq's Saddam Hussein to keep him from carrying on his normal routine.
Nevertheless, Bush's 1990 summer vacation probably didn't afford the president that much relaxation and time to "recharge" his batteries.
Even though he has many aides to take care of numerous matters, the president undoubtedly was in constant contact and aware of what was going on in the Middle East. He is reported to have been on the phone day after day working with foreign leaders to gain their continued support for the united multinational action against Iraq. He arranged a meeting with Soviet leader Gorbachev, and he was working with U.S. officials in this country's effort to have an almost unprecedented United Nations' action against Iraq. He traveled to Washington on several occasions and made appearances at events such as the American Legion national convention. He also took part in GOP fund-raising activities and hosted a visit by Jordan's King Hussein. He held many press conferences outside his home and performed many other official duties that demanded his time and presence.
Through it all, Bush seems to have been able to maintain a calm, reasoned approach to the Middle East situation, and hopefully history will show Uncle Sam's reaction to the Saddam Hussein action worked out to the best interests of this country and contributed to a stable, peaceful Middle East.
Chances are, however, Bush and his family are hopeful of a more normal, less stressful summer vacation next year.