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.
July 22, 2010: “It’s always fun to observe how the President interacts with little kids, in this case the very shy daughter of Sen. Jack Reed who had brought his family by for an Oval Office visit.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 17, 2010: “Waiting backstage to be introduced, the President wrapped his arms around the First Lady before an outdoor rally in Columbus, Ohio.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Feb. 6, 2010: “Another snowstorm blanketed Washington for the second time in a few days. Because it was a Saturday, I hung around the White House thinking that the President might venture out in the snow with his daughters. Here they are playing in the Rose Garden in the midst of the storm.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
March 22, 2010: “The day after the health care bill passed, the President greeted Sen. Tom Harkin at the door of the Oval Office before a meeting with the Senate Democratic Leadership.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
July 17, 2010: “On a weekend trip to Acadia National Park in Maine, the President showed his daughters, Malia and Sasha, how to skip stones during a hike in the park.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
May 5, 2010: “After doing a series of posed photos, the President started joking around with the First Lady in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House before a Cinco de Mayo event.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 10, 2010: “The President had just met with former President Clinton late on a Friday afternoon. When they emerged from the Oval Office, the President said, “We’re going to the press briefing room.” I had walked ahead of them and, upon reaching the briefing room, found that the door was locked: the press office staff were all attending a White House Christmas party in the residence. So we went to find Robert Gibbs. “We’re looking for some reporters,” the President said, when we found Robert Gibbs in his office. Returning to the briefing room, the two Presidents waited until someone found a key, before doing an impromptu news conference.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 31, 2010: “It was Halloween at the White House for military families and the First Lady began dancing with some of the their children.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sept. 11, 2010: “We were at the Pentagon to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. After the formal ceremony, the President stopped to shake hands with family members of victims attending the event. Here he is holding hands with a little girl.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 30, 2010: “The President has lunch with Sen. Bob Casey at the Famous 4th Street Deli in Philadelphia. I love the woman in the background on the phone, probably alerting her family about her lucky seat.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)