By JasmineHughes, Your Black World
If you ask White House press secretary, Jay Carney, he’ll tell you that just as most Americans do, Obama needs down time to regenerate and adds, “Besides, the presidency travels with you.” However, in light of the economic turmoil and astronomically high unemployment rate, many are questioning how appropriate it is for President Obama to be vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard next week; a place where the average home can run nearly $1 million dollars.
The trip comes after the unprecedented downgrading of U.S.credit by Standard & Poor’s and a nearly 1,500-point dive in the Dow Jones industrial average this month. But former White House officials and experts on the presidency point out that the job and responsibilities, plus the staff, go along for the ride. “The White House goes with the president,” says presidential analyst Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution. If needed, he notes, “they can turn around and come back on a dime.”
Presidents are accustomed to vacation interruptions. In 1994, Bill Clinton delayed his own Martha’s Vineyard trip to monitor Senate deliberations over his signature health-care overhaul. And just this year, Obama has cancelled a trip to Montana and Williamsburg,Va. to stick with budget negotiations.
“They really cannot escape the job,” says Kenneth Walsh, author of From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and . Their Retreats of Obama, he says, “It will obviously have to be a working vacation.”
What’s really in question here is the timing and location of this trip. Steven Schier, a presidential historian at Carleton College in Minnesota, says, it may be more appeasing to go somewhere else. “I don’t think Martha’s Vineyard is the ideal venue,” he says. “It’s not what you would call the vacation of the average American.”
Needless to say, the President is not the average American and definitely doesn’t have an average American’s set of responsibilities. And as aforementioned, this will double as a business and family trip. The golf-and-beach vacation is being preceded by a bus tour of the Midwest that will take the president to Minnesota,Iowa and Illinois for economic events.