President Obama is being careful about making vacation plans for this summer, well aware that he could turn off millions of Americans if he sets aside an extended period for playtime while many are losing their jobs, their homes, and their retirement savings in the recession.
In fact, some Democratic insiders say Obama shouldn't take a vacation at all to demonstrate sensitivity with those who are down on their luck.
Supporters of former President George W. Bush say these concerns are valid. They recall that Bush took an extended vacation at his Texas ranch in his first summer as president and endured considerable criticism for having a relaxed work ethic. "He took that long break over the summer and had people asking, 'Will he be a full-time president?' " recalls a former Bush adviser.
White House sources say Obama is considering spending part of August at Martha's Vineyard, the upscale Massachusetts resort where President Clinton vacationed. But a White House aide told U.S. News this morning, "His summer plans are not established at this point."