- Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Last Friday, President Biden had one event on his schedule: a noon “welcoming” of the presidents of the European Council and European Commission.

At 4 p.m. that day, Mr. Biden headed to a lavish campaign reception in Washington. Then he and first lady Jill Biden bolted to their oceanfront mansion in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, at 7:30 p.m. Over the weekend, the pair did a photo-op walking along the surf.

On Monday, Mr. Biden headed back to the White House — at 11:45 a.m. (try doing that at your job). At 2:15 p.m., the president held an event to highlight how “Bidenomics” is “growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up in every region of the country.”

Asked by a reporter about American hostages in Gaza, the president said, “We should get the — we should have a cease-fire — not a cease-fire, we should have those hostages released, and then we can talk.” Uh, OK.

That was it for the day. Here’s the rest of the president’s schedule for the week.

Tuesday: Award the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Wednesday: Host the Australian prime minister and his wife (along with a few hundred guests) at an expensive White House state dinner (enjoy — you paid for it).

Thursday: No events.

Friday: Another lavish campaign reception, then off to his other mansion, this one in Wilmington, Delaware.

That’s it. That’s the president’s week. If history is any guide, he won’t return to the White House until midday Monday.

Now, for an 80-year-old man, you might say that’s a lot. But he’s president of the United States. Twenty or more Americans are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, 17 days after the terrorist group slaughtered hundreds in Israel, and Mr. Biden is strolling the beach.

Mr. Biden’s lack of interest in those hostages drew scorn across the culture over the weekend, eventually even pulling in 50 Cent.

“Hey Joe get the f—- up, we in trouble man!” the rapper wrote on Instagram over the weekend with a screenshot from an article headlined “Biden hits the beach with Middle East, Congress in Chaos,” which featured a picture of Mr. Biden lounging in a recliner.

“We got some real s—- going on out here Joe. What’s the plan, to get a tan and chill come on now,” 50 Cent wrote.

White House deputy spokesperson Andrew Bates pushed back against criticism on social media, saying, “As has been the case for the better part of a century, presidents can execute the full range of their duties from anywhere in the world – whether it’s a war zone in Israel or 100 miles from the White House in Delaware.”

But here’s the problem: The optics are terrible. Mr. Biden shuffling along the beach like he doesn’t have a care in the world is not the image Mr. Biden should be showing Americans — especially the families of those held hostage. Nor should he be projecting that to the world — especially not the imams of Iran, who consider Mr. Biden the weakest of presidents. 

Mr. Biden has coasted from the beginning. During the 2020 campaign, when the U.S. was in the throes of COVID-19, Mr. Biden hardly hit the road, instead hiding in his basement. Since then, he’s kept the lightest of schedules week after week — and nearly every week, he’s off for a mini-vacation.

“Slacker-in-chief Biden keeps up record 40% ‘vacation’ pace despite disasters,” the New York Post reported last month.

“Biden has spent all or part of 382 of his presidency’s 957 days — or 40% — on personal overnight trips away from the White House, putting him on pace to become America’s most idle commander-in-chief,” the Post wrote.

Some are unhappy with that paltry schedule. “We have millions of illegal immigrants pouring across our borders. Violent crime is surging. Inflation is crushing hard-working Americans. Our enemies around the world are emboldened,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican, told the Post. “Meanwhile, Joe Biden is filmed on the beach with his handlers preventing him from speaking to the media to answer basic questions Americans deserve answers to.”

And that was before we had Americans taken hostage and the whole Middle East on the brink of starting World War III.

Sure, you could make the argument that everyone deserves a little time off. But no, wrong. The president deserves no time off. No one made him take the job — in fact, he spent two years and $1 billion campaigning to get it.

So get to work! If you can’t do the job, make way. Someone else is ready, willing and able to be president.

And come November 2024, someone else will be elected to do the job. Guaranteed.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on X @josephcurl.

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