There are plenty of big, breaking stories in the news everyday, but none seem to capture the general electorate's attention more than those that fixate on the personal lives of their country's leaders. In the headlines over the last few days has been an interesting story about how Senator and presumptive Republican nominee for president John McCain doesn't work weekends.
According to Politico, "after workweeks full of fundraisers, town hall meetings and interviews, McCain has been, in campaign parlance, “down” on nearly every Saturday or Sunday for 20 weeks, largely sequestered away from the news media.
He’s usually spending time with family, friends and campaign advisers at residences in Arlington, Va., and Phoenix or vacation homes near Sedona, Ariz., and San Diego."
This brings up a lot of interesting questions. In today's society, workaholics are becoming more and more prevalent — even recent grads are often working 7 days a week, checking their Blackberrys obsessively, and pride themselves on rarely taking days off. In today's workforce, it's common to blur the line between professional and personal and work whatever hours it takes to be successful. The title of workaholic is often worn with pride, as if a badge of honor. So when the concept of working weekends is pretty common to so many Americans, it becomes curious that one of the people who could be the next leader of America does not work weekends. If many of the American people are working weekends, are they okay with having leadership that doesn't?
At the same time, much research has been done in recent years on the subject of work-life balance, and there is plenty of evidence to indicate that creating a balance between work and personal life and setting clear boundaries for oneself is good for mental and physical health (not to mention sanity); otherwise the stress of constantly working can take its toll. Some would say they feel more comfortable with a leader who understands this and is protecting his health and spending time with his family.
Finally, it also begs the question of age — McCain is 72, while his opponent, who has been campaigning nearly every weekend, is just 46. Many reporters have been asking the question: can a 72-year-old man who takes weekends off handle the rigor of being president? To his questioners, McCain points to his packed (weekday) calendar and says: "Watch me campaign," he said in April, when asked about the matter at a conference of media executives in Washington. "Come on the bus again, my friends, all of you."
What do you think? Should a potential president of the United States be working weekends, or trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance?