All this week I have been filling in for Martin Bashir on MSNBC. At the end of each show there is a segment called “Clear The Air.” And today I was presented with the opportunity to say what I was about to write for PostPartisan. President Obama should go on vacation without hesitation. But he must come back ready to roll.
The chatter in political circles is that with the economy in turmoil, Obama shouldn’t go on vacation next week. That he should hang around Washington and toss out ideas and plans to put Americans back to work and get our hobbled economy back on track. But with Congress in recess and not expressing any interest in returning to the Capitol, what purpose would that serve? None. The whole idea rings hollow.
Here’s what I want the president to do: Go on vacation. Relax — if you still know how. Recharge, if you can.
I know it must be wearying to wake up in the morning with all the crises on your plate knowing Republicans are hellbent on stopping anything you might try to do. I know it must be discouraging to have members of your own party questioning your willingness to stand up for Democratic Party principles and your effectiveness as a leader.
Shut all of that out while you and the first lady and your daughters are on Martha’s Vineyard.
But when you come back to Washington in September, come back ready to fight. Come back ready to lead.
You say you have plans for job creation? Let’s hear them in September. You have plans to get the economy off the mat? Let’s hear them, too. The GOP might declare them D.O.A. but know the American people are with you on the general approach.
A new poll out today from CNN shows that a majority of Americans want the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. They want a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to help the nation dig out of its very deep debt hole. This is the balanced approach you advocated for in the debt-ceiling negotiations. But the battle isn’t over.
The American people want to know exactly where you stand. So tell them. Do so with specifics in the same way you did in Michigan this afternoon. And stare down the Republicans and the naysayers in your own party standing in your way.