Bush Avoids the Spotlight on Vacation, Despite International Conflict

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports from Crawford, Texas:

Even an emerging crisis in the Middle East, one he pledged to resolve just 13 months ago, has not drawn President George W. Bush from his final vacation before leaving office. Despite his personal pledge at Annapolis last year to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians before 2009, this weekend Bush sent his spokesmen to comment in his stead.

The spokesman's statement, while blaming Hamas for the outbreak of violence, did not signal that the United States is prepared to step in to resolve the conflict, suggesting that this president is content to leave the matter for his successor.

Since departing Washington for Crawford on Friday, President Bush has made no attempt to be seen in public. In fact, he has yet to leave his ranch.

His spokesmen said that the president has stayed in the loop, receiving his usual briefings and consulting with his top advisors. He had at least one talk with a foreign leader, a conversation with Saudi King Abdullah, yesterday.

Not atypically, we have yet to learn anything more about what is keeping the commander in chief busy, though one can assume there is brush to be cleared, trails to be biked, and perhaps even fish to be caught.

The Western White House expects to begin briefing reporters starting tomorrow, which will hopefully shed some light on the U.S. response to the Israel-Gaza situation… and on the president's schedule.

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