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Kenneth Walsh, Observing Presidents in Retreat

by Liane Hansen
Aug 13, 2006 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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Being president of the United States is no easy job. And when it comes time to get away from it all, the president can't just load his family into a mini-van and drive out to a public beach or go camping in the woods, and not just because it would drive the Secret Service crazy.

Instead U.S. presidents have needed more secluded getaways, such as Warm Springs, Ga., San Clemente, Calif., Kennebunkport, Maine, the old weekend standby Camp David in Maryland — or President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

What those sanctuaries reveal about the presidents' private lives is the subject of Kenneth Walsh's book From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and Their Retreats.

Walsh is White House correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. On a recent tour of Mount Vernon, he talked about how George Washington spent his time there.

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