Obama Beat: Welcome Mr. President
A weekly gleaning of news reports about President Obama's vacation: Where he will stay, what he will do, and references to the Island (described as tony, chic and haven of the rich and powerful didn't you know?) and Islanders that may surprise some.
President Barack Obama and his family are expected to arrive sometime this afternoon at Martha's Vineyard Airport and then travel to their vacation house in Chilmark. Well-wishers who would like to greet the First Family can expect only a passing glimpse.
A media advisory issued Tuesday said the President will travel aboard Air Force One to Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, where his arrival will be open to the press.
What that means is that camera crews will set up and wait for hours to get the same photos of the First Family bounding out of the plane and into the Marine One helicopter for the short hop to Martha's Vineyard Airport.
"The airport arrival is closed to the public," the press spokesman said.
The White House has released scant details about the First Family's 10-day vacation schedule. Compared with last summer, press coverage has been muted.
The Vineyard Gazette's Megan Dooley, who wrote Tuesday's, "First Family's Vacation is Set," said flight restrictions have been set and the Secret Service is on-Island preparing for the first family's visit.
Ms. Dooley reported the lack of vacation details, but "it is understood that the Obamas will again vacation at Blue Heron Farm, the 28.5 acre Chilmark estate fronting the Tisbury Great Pond off South Road just across the town line."
The Gazette reported that Tom Wallace of Wallace and Company in Edgartown has a rental contract on the property, but — wink, wink — "he had no comment on who the tenant is."
"Obamas to land on Cape Cod," was the headline Tuesday in the Boston Herald. The straightforward report described the President's arrival and generated 22 comments, most critical.
An online commenter identified as Patssoxfan wrote, "The beautiful people like the Dansons and Carly will welcome them with open arms while us regulars increasingly become inconvenienced with security shutting down ice cream stores so they can buy a cone or closing stores so Michele can spend more of our money shopping for trinkets she'll keep but claim are for the White House. I have a friend who owns a cottage on the Island and she even offered the incoming tenants their money back!"
Columnist Laura Rozen of Politico, a political news website, reported that White House spokesman Bill Burton revealed who will be staffing the president on his vacation.
Among those heading up to Chilmark, according to Mr. Burton, are "Deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, White House senior advisers Valerie Jarrett and Peter Rouse."
In response to questions about the First Family's schedule, Mr. Burton said, "As far as what they're doing, I think it will be a lot like last year. There will be some hiking, some time at the beach, some time at the ice cream store — all the sort of things you do when you're at Martha's Vineyard. You enjoy the people and the good food."
That story generated 30 comments, many critical of the close relationship between Ms. Jarrett and Mr. Obama.
A commenter identified as Kelso leapt to the defense, noting that Valerie Jarrett has a house on Martha's Vineyard, and her friendship with the Obama's precedes their marriage. Kelso said it is nice that the Obamas have such close, longtime friends on the Island and share vacation time with them, "and never mingles with any of the elites on the Island."
On Wednesday, Herald gossip columnists Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa took a breezy view under the headline, "Ba-Rock swings through for second vacay."
Cutting through the political criticism and dispensing with any formality, the columnists said, "the prez hasn't exactly had a history of stress-free vacationing ... Last year the First Family's island idyll was cut short by the death of the president's friend and mentor, Sen. Ted Kennedy. In December, their Hawaiian vacation was interrupted by the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner."
The gossipy pair provided further insights: "The prez arrives on The Rock — the bluest enclave in the bluest of blue states — in a time when he could use some love from the locals. His approval ratings are in a free fall and the GOP is smelling blood in the midterm election waters."
Based on those insights the pair declared, "So it comes as no surprise that the First Family, who will take up residence in the very posh Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark for the second summer in a row, will try to low-key it for the next 10 days."
An online commenter posted identified as MacVA72 provided his view of why the Island is a favored vacation destination. "Reasons for Obama's love of the Vineyard: 1. Lots of illegal Brazilians. 2. MV Ferry is unionized. 3. Golf courses owned by libtards, so Barry can stomp on everyone's tee times at will. 4. No oil in water or beaches. 5. Expensive E-town shops contoured to Michelle Antoinette's price range. 6. MA socialist HC system gives Barry that warm feeling. 7. Lots of ice cream shops for their eating pleasure while ignoring Michelle's 'Eat Right, Fat America!' campaign."