President Obama family vacation rumors swirl

Steve Myrick

President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two daughters are expected to return to Martha’s Vineyard on vacation in August.

Mr. Obama and his family have vacationed on the Island every year since his 2008 election with the exception of 2012, when he was campaigning for re-election.

As The Daily Mail in Great Britain explained, “The Obamas have spent three summers on the historic island but opted out of a Vineyard vacation during the 2012 presidential campaign to avoid elitist overtones.”

On an Island where word gets around, it is no secret that the Secret Service has begun laying the groundwork for the return of the First Family. Houses are rented, inquiries have been made and there is talk — plenty of it — about where the president intends to stay now that he has lost his favored beach rental to a wealthy Englishman.

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, the First Family rented Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, a 28.5-acre compound on Tisbury Great Pond. The house was sold in December 2011 to architect Lord Norman Foster and his wife, Lady Elena Foster, of Thames Bank in Great Britain under the name of a holding corporation.

In a story about the sale published in December 2011, the Vineyard Gazette reported, it is understood — Gazette-speak for inside information — that the Fosters will not rent out the estate.

Recent reports in the mainland press — actually one report in the Boston Globe followed by regurgitated reports — are that the President and his family will rent a house on Farm Neck golf course in Oak Bluffs.

The Globe story published May 20 said, “There’s been no official word from the White House, but we’re hearing the Obamas have their eyes on a house in Farm Neck on Martha’s Vineyard… Farm Neck is secluded and, most importantly for the president, has a nice golf club. We’re told first lady Michelle Obama and the children may be on the Island for an extended period, with the president joining them on occasional weekends and for two weeks at the end of August.”

Those familiar with presidential Island preparations say, no way Farm Neck. More likely, it will be another isolated house along the Island’s south shore that affords the utmost privacy. Meanwhile, there is no official word from the White House.

If past presidential vacations provide any hint of future performance, the Obamas will continue to do what many vacationing families do on Martha’s Vineyard. Go to the beach while dad plays golf, bike, hike and enjoy dinner with friends.