Thursday, August 19, 2010

President Obama begins 10-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard

WASHINGTON - President Obama on Thursday starts a 10-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard, where he can enjoy watching the sun sink below the horizon - instead of his poll numbers.

The summer playground off the Massachusetts coast is brimming with Secret Service agents and extra state police. A Coast Guard cutter will patrol the waters off the property.

"I do think that just like a lot of American people, the President is taking a little time with his family to recharge his batteries," spokesman Bill Burton said.

Not that the burdens of the presidency may not interrupt him. Obama has a knack for scheduling his break when big events intrude.

Last summer, Sen. Ted Kennedy passed away while the Obamas were on the Vineyard, and Obama went to Boston to speak at his funeral.

During their Christmas holidays in Hawaii, the underwear bomber tried to blow up a plane bound for Detroit, leaving people asking at the time who was in charge when the terrorist nearly struck.

The White House is taking steps to make sure Obama keeps plugged in, even while he's on one of the island's members-only golf courses.

"Whenever you talk about a presidential vacation, you ought to put the word 'vacation' in quotes because you can bet that there will still be work that he's doing every day," Burton said.

"He'll continue to get his daily intelligence brief from [deputy national security adviser] John Brennan, who will be there. He'll be getting constant updates on what's happening in the economy and other issues," Burton explained.

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