Obama Beat - Brits say PM may want Blue Heron room
A weekly gleaning of news reports about President Obama's vacation; where he will stay, what he will do and references to the Island (called Hollywood East, didn't you know?) and Islanders that may surprise some.
•The news is out. Last Thursday The Martha's Vineyard Times reported that President Obama would stay at the Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, a luxury estate owned by William and Mollie Van Devender of Mississippi. Now that the White House has confirmed a Vineyard vacation the media has fixed on where the First Family will stay.
•On Thursday, the British newspaper The Guardian managed to work President Obama's vacation plans into a story about Prime Minister Gordon Brown under the headline, "Under-fire Brown is off to the Lake District."
"There can seldom have been a time when politicians yearned so much for their summer holidays," read the lead in The Guardian. "Westminster MPs, reeling from public outrage over their ludicrous expenses claims, must be thrilled that they can now pull up the drawbridges over their subsidised moats and watch their porn movies in peace. And after months of dealing with the financial and economic crisis, the political leaders of practically every nation must be feeling equally ready for a break."
The story went on to discuss the ways in which vacation destinations had affected the public standing of various politicians. "Even when times were good, Tony Blair was much derided for the glamorous foreign trips he made at other people's expense. In Tuscany he used to sponge off a very grand Italian nobleman, Prince Girolamo Guiccardini Strozzi, and in Barbados off an ageing British pop star, Sir Cliff Richard," said The Guardian.
Referring to Gordon Brown, The Guardian wrote, "It is hard to imagine Brown mingling cheerfully with socialites in an Italian villa or a French château, but he loves the United States and might well have preferred a break at Martha's Vineyard or Cape Cod if it had not been obvious that he would be excoriated for it."
Jumping from Mr. Brown to Mr. Obama, The Guardian noted, "It is to Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, an island popular with both presidents Kennedy and Clinton, that Barack Obama is going with his family next month."
The Guardian noted that Bill Clinton feared that the Vineyard's elitist image could affect his political standing so in 1996 he commissioned an opinion poll to find out where people would like him to go on holiday. "A majority decided he should go camping and hiking in the great outdoors, and he meekly obeyed - taking a miserable holiday in the mountains of Wyoming, alone with a wife who was barely talking to him, instead of attending agreeable cocktail parties in Martha's Vineyard with east coast intellectuals and millionaires."