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Political Notebook

Obamas stick with low-key approach to Vineyard vacation

August 22, 2010

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EDGARTOWN — President Obama and his family are delivering so far on the low-key summer vacation promised by White House aides.

The president, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha spent 4 1/2 hours yesterday at a private beach enjoying a picnic lunch, but they returned to their rented compound on Martha’s Vineyard, and aides said Obama planned no more outside trips for the day.

On Friday, the first full day in their 10-day vacation, the president took the girls shopping for books before he played a round of golf, but as he has each night since arriving on Thursday, he stayed home despite a bustle of late-summer activity on the island.

Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said earlier in the week that Obama was hoping for a news-free stay and a chance to “recharge his batteries.’’

The family was not seen by the White House press corps as they headed for the beach, but clusters of well-wishers waved to them as they passed a bustling farmer’s market and several crowded intersections en route. There was a similar scene as their now-dusty vehicles returned home.

The family picnicked at a beach in the Oyster Watcha area, just down the road from where President Clinton used to vacation. That property, owned by real estate developer Richard Friedman, was the site of a scheduled fund-raiser last night for Governor Deval Patrick, a friend of the president’s, and fellow Democrat and Chicagoan.

Patrick and Obama aides said the president would not attend the fund-raiser.

— Associated Press

Obama challenges GOP on campaign finance ruling
VINEYARD HAVEN — President Obama said Republicans should join him in opposing a Supreme Court ruling that vastly increased how much corporations and unions can spend on campaign ads.

Instead, the GOP wants to “keep the public in the dark’’ about who’s behind the expenditures, Obama charged in his weekly radio and Internet address, released yesterday as he vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard.

“You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections wouldn’t be a partisan issue,’’ said Obama. “But the Republican leaders in Congress said no. In fact, they used their power to block the issue from even coming up for a vote.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said that by focusing on the election bill, Democrats are “sending a clear message to the American people that their jobs aren’t as important as the jobs of embattled Democrat politicians.’’

— Associated Press

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