Arts + Culture

The Presidents as Travelers

by Ted Widmer

It would be an exaggeration to say that a great president is by definition a well-traveled one—Abraham Lincoln never left the United States—yet for most, leaving Washington now and then was both edifying and expedient. Rutherford B. Hayes, the first president to see the Pacific, vanished so often that he was dubbed "Rutherford the Rover." William Howard Taft may have been our heaviest president, but he lumbered around the nation at a rapid clip, logging an average of 30,000 miles a year on trains. But if a president spends too much time away from the office, he runs the risk of being dubbed a "Vacation President," as a certain brush-clearing resident of Crawford, Texas, has found after spending 469 days at his ranch to date. Well before the advent of Air Force One, which can whisk presidents across the nation and back in a single day, nearly all of our presidents could have been called frequent fliers. In the pages that follow, we'll single out a few, and preview some of the travel habits of the two contenders hoping to move into the White House next January.

Published August 2008.

Ted Widmer often traveled with President Clinton as a White House speechwriter from 1997–2000. His latest book is Ark of the Liberties: America and the World.

NEXT: Going to extremes

previous | next
1 of 14 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | ... 14
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

My Concierge.com

Advertisement

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

 
iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›

Advertisement

Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions