The Australian Herald Sun: Prime Minster Julia Gillard brought new significance to the Oval Office when she embarked on a game of Aussie Rules kick-to-kick with US President Barack Obama.
Ms Gillard, the Western Bulldogs’ number one ticket holder, gave Mr Obama an introduction to the much-loved Aussie game after a meeting in Washington overnight.
In a show of mateship between the two nations, Mr Obama joked the Aussie leader almost smashed a “bust of (Abraham) Lincoln” as she booted around the red Sherrin.
Ms Gillard had presented the ball, summoned from the Australian embassy, in a box before Mr Obama asked for a demo.
The prime minister fired off a hand pass before it was the president’s turn. He followed up with a kick and pretended to throw the ball gridiron-style.
The PM’s team:
President Obama practices passing a football with Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia in the Oval Office. Under Australian Football League rules, a player must hold the ball in front of them and punch it with a clenched fist in order to conduct a legal pass to another player. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
You know all those Teapublicans and their media buddies who are complaining about the amount of time the President takes off?
In fairness to them, they were just as critical of President Bush. And they concede that he took waaaaaaaay more time off than President Obama. Ho ho, kidding …. they tend to, um, overlook these pesky facts and figures:
President Obama (over two years)
Vacation trips: 10 (spanning 58 days)
Trips to Camp David: 15 (spanning 35 days)
Total over two years: 93 days
** Percentage days ‘off': 12.7 **
George W Bush (over eight years)
Trips to Camp David: 149 (spanning 487 days)
Trips to his Texas ranch: 77 (spanning 490 days)
Trips to his parents’ home in Maine: 11 (spanning 43 days)
Total over eight years: 1020 days
** Percentage days ‘off': 34.9 **
Source: CBS/Mark Knoller – President Obama ‘By The Numbers’ here; Bush ‘By The Numbers’ here
But, but, but: what about all the golf President Obama plays?!
Well, if he, say, played Monday to Friday or canceled his State of the Union speech or postponed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks so he could play an extra round, I’d understand the Teapublican OUTRAGE (capital letters are important when you’re talking OUTRAGE).
But…. he plays at weekends and during his vacations. He’s active, fit, healthy – you know, good things. Bush spent most of his time off (over a third of his Presidency) watching sport on TV, sometimes getting so excited he choked on pretzels. I dunno, do Teapublicans believe pretzel-choking on the couch to be a more noble Presidential pursuit?
But, but, but: when Bush was at Camp David he was still working! Presidents are never off duty!
Okay, let’s do a deal – we’ll deduct the Camp David days … for both Presidents.
Deduct the Texas ranch trips too!
But, but, but: what about the cost of President Obama’s trip to Hawaii?!
That once-a-year-trip? Teapublicans? Do you really want to go there? No, no, I don’t mean Hawaii, I mean the cost thing.