Paul Greenberg
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There are times when all a president of the United States must want to do is to get away from it all. Far away. An ocean away. Not just for a weekend at Camp David or a fundraiser in San Francisco. But off to some place where it really doesn't matter what he's talking about so long as it isn't anything relevant, at least not to his troubles or the country's. Yes, some place where people aren't concerned with American domestic politics and its presidential scandals. And if there isn't such a place any more in this internetted and globalized 24/7 blogosphere, it needs to be a place where POTUS can at least pretend nobody knows or cares about the trouble he's in at home.

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Even a president of the United States, especially a president of the United States, needs a trip to some fantasy island of his choice when things at home get hard to take, and what he really wants to do is change the subject. Maybe someplace he associates with better times, when his administration was just a-borning and everything was bright and promising and bustin' out all over with prospects of Hope and Change -- someplace like Berlin, where they loved him at the start of his presidency. Heck, they loved him in Washington back then.

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Yes, a little visit to Berlin would be perfect just now, travel-poster perfect. It would offset that bust of a G8 summit somewhere unpronounceable in Northern Ireland that our president had to attend the other day. Which produced all those dreary communiqués that communicated so little. Yes, he needed to go to Berlin, absolutely, and Jawohl(Yes sir)! It must have been great fun being liked again.

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Who could blame our president for taking a little side trip to see the Brandenburg Gate again and take a break from sordid reality? Except maybe the kind of spoilsports who wish he would tackle his problems at home head-on -- instead of pretending they don't exist, and that he really had nothing to with them, being only president of the United States. And, as such, only an innocent bystander. And not responsible for every misadventure his administration, silly thing, has gotten itself into. After all, he only heads it.

A president's most pressing need at such a time is to talk about something else, anything else, other than his administration's scandals. Like the weather, maybe.

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This is scarcely the first time it has dawned on the country's chief executive that now would be the perfect time to get out of Dodge.

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Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.