What are the Obamas doing on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard?
The President of the United States (and family) deserves a little time off. Has there been a President whose every move was followed as closely as the 44th? And what about his family — from the covers of fashion magazines to the back page of gossip rags, Michelle Obama and family have been in the news at times more than the President himself. Every President gets a chance to take a breather (some, like George W. Bush, take that chance as often as possible) and this is no different for the Obamas who are currently vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.
Today there will be rounds of golf shared by the President and First Lady (along with a few friends). More golf is scheduled throughout the week, as is some serious reading time — the President allegedly brought “a pile of books” with him on his vacation. The Martha’s Vineyard trip isn’t all fun and games — President Obama took a little time to get some work done, renominating the chief of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke. However, the name of the game this week is relaxation.
Besides a ton of tennis, golf, and relaxing by the shore, Obama will entertain a briefing from the National Security Council. Even though President Obama will be hearing plenty from his advisors while staying at the island resort this week, there is no doubt that the vacation is about relaxing.
On Monday, as an example, the president worked ou in the morning, played golf with the first lady and friends, and enjoyed a quiet dinner at his vacation home. Today, President Obama is hitting the links yet again, this time at the Minks Meadow Golf Club. That hammock visible from the air, nestled between two trees on the 28 acre Blue Heron Farm where the Obamas are staying? The President will likely unwind while reading several books including David McCullough’s lengthy book on John Adams, and the popular book by Tom Friedman — “Hot, Flat and Crowded”. President Obama is doing all this while busy redesigning the American healthcare system. I don’t know about you, but I barely have time to read the comics on Sunday.
White House staffers joined the Obamas on this vacation, most of them no doubt hoping for a light work week. Unfortunately, they work for one of the hardest working men in politics, and have spent a ton of time communicating with the press about Obama’s vacation, more so than vacationing themselves.
Plenty of questions have been tossed their way as speculation about the Obama’s activities grew over the weekend. Will the President play golf with Tiger Woods? According to staffers, Tiger is indeed “fun to play with,” but the staffer rejected the rumor. Other rumors included word about a fundraising dinner and the possibility that Obama would be attending a fancy society wedding. Staffers say these rumors are just that — rumors.
According to some reports, a Presidential security team showed up at Senator Edward Kennedy’s home in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, near enough to Obama’s vacation destination to create rumors. Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton wns the zinger award this week, suggesting that — ” . . . if Secret Service agents were there they probably heard . . . they have great lobster rolls out there and they were probably just checking them out.”
Martha’s Vineyard was a popular vacation spot of President Bill Clinton, well known in that area for showing up unannounced around town to gladhand, kiss babies, and appear before the press. Famously, Clinton liked to stop for ice cream on Circuit Avenue in Martha’s Vineyard. To add fuel to the fire, Bill Clinton popped up for a round of golf in Martha’s Vineyard just before Obama showed up, rekindling residents of the Vineyard’s memories of a President more accessible than we’ve become accustomed to in recent years.
Staffers say that though there’s not a shortage of invitations for the Obamas, they won’t be attending many highly publicized events. The President seems to need this break. The White House even decided against holding a welcoming ceremony for the President’s arrival on Sunday, though his aides claimed that the cancellation was due to fear’s of incoming bad weather from Hurricane Bill. Staffers suggest that President Obama may make a few appearances later in the week, but thanks to his “loose” vacation schedule he hasn’t really planned to attend any major events.
Let’s just consider this trip a time for the President to relax and be with his family. After 7 months under the microscope, it may be time for the President to take a deep breath.