Barack Obama left today for vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts for the rich and famous, where he will arrive to be pursued by paparazzi, fierce political critics and analysts from the press.
With 14 million unemployed in the United States, Wall Street in unadulterated volatility and the historic degradation of the national credit rating, the head of state chose a 10-day retreat at Blue Heron Farm, where a stay costs $5 million.
This represents hypocrisy on the part of a leader whose speeches are always directed at the lower middle class, promising not to rest this year until marketplace problems are resolved, according to a Baltimore Sun article.
Disgust over the Democratic leader’s decision is ubiquitously apparent. Republican strategist Mike Murphy said in the Daily Beast that, “It’s not a good time to start acting like the rich guys he wants to raise taxes on.”
In the same vein, liberal columnist, Colbert King — who, in 2008, fought for Obama, over Hillary Clinton and John McCain — wrote in The Washington Post, “This is no time for the president to dwell in splendid seclusion among the rich and famous.”
On Martha’s Vineyard, with its ocean beaches, golf courses and lavish restaurants, the average home is worth $6.5 million. It was a site often frequented by Bill Clinton when he was in the White House. It also attracts famous sports heroes, musicians and movie stars.
Last week, in a Republican debate aimed at the 2012 elections, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was one of the first to criticize the president, saying, “He should cancel his Cape Cod vacation, call the Congress back into session and get to work on this.”
Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, added, “If you, the president, leave for vacation while S&P’s lowers the country’s rating and the Dow Jones falls 1,500 points, it’s because you are politically tone-deaf.” *
Also, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, landing on Thursday in Hawaii on a presidential campaign trip, said that Obama, as the most responsible administrator of this country, "ought to cancel his vacation — period."
The U.S. president has not responded to the barrage of accusations, offering that, in early September, he will make a keynote speech in Washington, "with new ideas to combat the growing unemployment," currently at 9.1 percent.*
Editor's note: the quote, although accurately translated, could not be independently verified.