Friday, August 19, 2011

Obama: Tee Time or Time off

3 Wars.  An Economy that is tilting toward the abyss.  The stock market collapsing, unemployment rising, the dollar dropping, Europe in a mudhole.  Russia and China vying to see who is a bigger threat to the US.  Al Qaida not gone away. 

More deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the last two years of the Bush Administration.  Hundreds of millions spent in Libya bombing something for some reason no one has any idea about, not even the WH.

I suppose Bush is forcing B. H.  to go on vacation so often.

By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa with Megan Johnson
Inside Track
Friday, August 19, 2011

WEST TISBURY — While the stock market took another nosedive on repeat recession fears yesterday, President Obama landed on Martha’s Vineyard for 10 days of fun in the sun, hitting the summer playground of the rich and famous during worsening economic turmoil.

Air Force One touched down at Otis Air National Guard Base at about 6 p.m. last night, an hour behind schedule. The president boarded Marine One helicopter for the short hop to the Vineyard, then traveled by motorcade to Blue Heron Farm, his 28-acre hideaway on Tisbury Great Pond. First lady Michelle Obama and kids Sasha and Malia reportedly arrived on the island separately earlier in the day.

Like previous years, the president’s arrival was closed to the public. He landed in a back corner at Martha’s Vineyard Airport blocked from view by a wall of school buses.

The island’s latest First Tourist cuts a much lower profile than his Vineyard predecessor, Bill Clinton, who vacationed here six out of his eight years in office. When Bubba landed on The Rock he would be greeted by throngs of admirers, and handlers would stage a big tarmac lovefest, with invited guests lined up to greet him and the fam.

Obama, whose approval ratings are hovering at an all-time low, could probably use a little bucking up from the Vineyard faithful. But security concerns have put the kibosh on that.

Still, the president’s admirers were not deterred.

Several dozen families lined the motorcade route from the airport to Blue Heron Farm to cheer and wave to the prez, who traveled to the island with golf buddy Marvin Nicholson and first dog Bo last night. In front of Alley’s General Store in Chilmark more than 100 well-wishers waited more than an hour hoping for a glimpse of the commander in chief.

“It’s very exciting,” said Alessandro Decio of Milan, Italy, who was waving to the prez along with his wife and kids Maria, 10, Pietro, 13, and Eugenio, 15.

Alessandro, who was wearing an Obama “hope” T-shirt, said the fam, who are on a three-week U.S. vacation, are big fans.

“What can I say,” added his wife. “Our point of comparison is (scandal plagued Italian P.M. Silvio) Berlusconi!”

Fellow supporter Marwan Elmasri of Groton, Mass., said he wasn’t buying partisan criticism that the prez should have canceled his summer hols in deference to the economy.

“Why in the world shouldn’t he take a vacation?” said Marwan Elmasari. “We’re all on vacation!”

Last night a posse of Vineyard boldfacers, including Harvard profs Alan Dershowitz and Charles Ogletree; novelists Richard North Patterson and Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks; Rose Styron, the widow of author William Styron, and her daughter Alexandra, author of “Reading My Father”; singer Kate Taylor; and DNC Chairwoman and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz turned out for a $100-a-head fund-raiser dubbed “Voices For Obama” at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs.

The event was followed by a $500- to $1,000-a-head private dinner at the summer home of Ron and Judy Davenport, the founders of Pittsburgh-based Sheridan Broadcasting and longtime Obama supporters.

Obama was not expected at the event last night. Like previous years, the president likely will low-key it during his summer break. And while aides are not thrilled about the prospect of him being photographed on the links while the nation simmers over the economy, the First Duffer is not expected to forgo his favorite pastime in deference to political concerns.

Word is, he may tee off today at Mink Meadows, a public course and the island’s least chi-chi golf club. It is also, coincidentally, the course with the most difficult vantage point for photographers.


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.