She speaks from experience — Bush vacationed during Hurricane Katrina and made frequent visits to Camp David or his Texas ranch to fulfill his desire to get outdoors.
“There were times the president wanted to go on a bike ride,” Perino said, “but I’d have to say, ‘Mr. President, there was a bombing in Iraq,’ or ‘The markets are tanking.’”
Obama has taken three weekends away in a golf-friendly place this year after kicking off 2014 on the links in Hawaii.
The Obama family also is planning a longer-than-usual summer vacation to Martha’s Vineyard for two weeks in August, where last summer the president golfed nearly every day on the island.
Obama has golfed every weekend since Washington’s weather got clear enough to allow it in April, save a week when he was in Asia.
Those close to Obama say his frequent golf outings are less about a love of the game than a desire to take a long walk outside. Obama also has been seen walking the darkened White House grounds, late into the evening, sometime with one of his dogs.
Last week Obama left his security detail, staff and press corps scrambling with the simple act of spontaneously walking about 350 yards from the West Wing to Starbucks. He told reporters who rushed to catch up with him to give him some space.
The next day, unannounced, he took Education Secretary Arne Duncan out for a burger. He also recently stopped by a Little League game and walked to an event at the Interior Department near the White House, shaking hands with surprised tourists along the way.
“I might walk up to the Lincoln Memorial, sit on there,” Obama said when asked on the “Live with Kelly and Michael” talk show what he would choose if he could do anything unrecognized. “Maybe I’d wander around and find myself at a little outdoor cafe or something and sit and order something and just watch people go by. The thing you miss most about being president is anonymity.”