Obama Gets Back to R & R

Libya, Hurricane Irene and an earthquake intervene.


I've been offering regular updates on President Obama's vacation this week at Martha's Vineyard because there has been so much interest in his 10-day holiday. Many said he shouldn't have taken the time off at such a posh spot during difficult economic times.

But judging by his schedule and his public activities, it sure looks like a working vacation to me. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the Middle East uprisings.]

Things started slowly, which is what Obama and his family wanted. He got to play golf, relax on the beach, go out to dinner, and play some more golf.

Then came the latest turmoil in Libya. The rebellion there moved Obama to stay in close touch with the situation with hours of briefings and a public statement Monday designed to encourage the rebels and motivate ruler Muammar Ghadhafi to quit. [Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.]

Yesterday, Obama tried to get back to his R&R but found himself keeping track of Hurricane Irene, which is expected to hit the United States in the next few days. Of course, he wants to avoid what happened to George W. Bush while he was on vacation at his Texas ranch in 2005. Bush didn't seem focused on Hurricane Katrina and it made him look uncaring and inept.

Finally, there was the earthquake that struck the East Coast yesterday afternoon. It was probably the last thing Obama expected, but he was briefed on it thoroughly, aides said. Everyone was relieved that it caused so little damage and so few injuries. [See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

Today, he will try to get back to relaxing on his "holiday."

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