Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Obama's Vineyard vacay

The president is on vacation again; you know what that means.

Obama's Vineyard vacay

President Obama this week is back on Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast for his family vacation; it's the fourth time he's visited since taking office.

He's staying for a week, according to The Washington Post, in a $7.6 million, six-bedroom house with a pool and a basketball court owned by a Democratic donor and friend.

Bloomberg.com has details (with photos) of the place.

And so we'll surely get the usual round of criticism and questions.

You've heard it all before.

How can he flaunt his privilege (and run-up tax dollars on travel, security and communications requirements) when so many Americans remain jobless, underemployed or generally in need?

Why doesn't he do a more average-American vacation by taking his family to national parks?

Doesn't it look bad for the peoples' representative to be having fun in the sun at a posh location, unreachable by most of the 99 percent?

And why would a commander-in-chief take a vacation during a terror alert and while American troops are anywhere in harms way?

And you've heard the answers.

Everybody needs a break, especially those whose jobs are pressure-cookers.

This president, unlike many past presidents, doesn't own a sprawling ranch or a family beach home to get away to.

Anywhere a president goes causes disruption to others; so let the 1 percent on the Vineyard endure a little bit of annoyance.

And all presidents are always on duty and always connected wherever they are; American troops are always in harms way somewhere, and terror never sleeps, so what's the big deal?

I'll grant that "the optics" of vacationing presidents are never good given all the problems the nation faces all the time.

I even get the ease of revulsion available to those who could not begin to afford a visit to a place such as Martha's Vineyard.

But I also understand that this annual, sometimes emotional and usually partisan tug-of-war has virtually no actual impact on the daily lives of most Americans.

The president's on vacation. Whaddya gonna do?

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected