Beach Force One

Only Presidents know how much a President needs a vacation

Illustration by Gerard Dubois for TIME

The next time Barack Obama--or any President--goes on vacation, the inevitable critics might want to think twice and consider thanking him instead.

Leave aside the illogic of saying you think the President is doing such a lousy job that he should stick around and do more of it. Or the irony, if you're Newt Gingrich, of demanding that Obama cancel his vacation as you head off to campaign in Hawaii. Complaints from candidates about how the President should be at his desk, not at the beach, betray an ignorance of the job they are competing for. The better charge, if they...

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