"While President Obama has been at his favorite vacation spot in Hawaii for days now, it not always was this way.
In fact, for the 8 years of George W. Bush’s presidency, he never left the D.C. area until the day after Christmas. One year a reporter, the Washington Times’ Joseph Curl, was curious why the President simply stayed at nearby Camp David instead of spending Christmas at his beloved Crawford ranch and asked a White House staffer.
“So all of us can be with our families on Christmas.”
This shook Curl who wasn’t used to this treatment. Additionally, President Bush sent a separate plane to pick up the press corps the day after Christmas so that they could bring their families if they so chose.
This perk no longer exists, meaning if any member of the press or staff wanted to go with family, it would cost over $1000 instead of around $100.
If the press remembers President Bush for nothing else, they will for the tremendous generosity he showed them.
From the Washington Times:
Every year, in the week between Christmas and New Year‘s, I think about George W. Bush.
It was in that week each year for the eight years I covered him as a reporter that he gave me a spectacular gift — and he knew it."