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Political Notebook

Obamas to summer on Martha’s Vineyard once more in August

June 29, 2011

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WASHINGTON — For the first family, their Vineyard haven is taking on the flavor of a summer White House. President Obama, for the third straight year, is planning to return to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation this summer, according to a White House official.

The Obamas are scheduled to spend seven to 10 days on the island in mid- to late August, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

Arrangements for White House staff members and Secret Service personnel who travel with the Obamas have been made.

The family is expected to stay at Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, the same 28-acre estate the family rented in 2009 and 2010. The farm overlooks Tisbury Great Pond and includes a basketball court, pool, and boat house.

Last year, White House officials told the Globe that the Obamas like Martha’s Vineyard in part because of its natural beauty, beaches, and food.

“And it’s someplace that the president went before he was president and likes to go back because it’s a comfortable place where he can rest and recharge the batteries a little bit,’’ said Bill Burton, Obama’s deputy press secretary at the time.

During past vacations on the Vineyard, the president spent much of his time on the farm but ventured out sporadically for golf and for family jaunts for ice cream and shopping.

— Donovan Slack

Pawlenty slams Obama, Clinton on foreign policy NEW YORK — Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty yesterday struck a hawkish tone on foreign policy, criticizing President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and even his own Republican Party for their views on the continuing uncertainty in the Middle East.

In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, the former Minnesota governor hit Obama as being too timid, Clinton for her stewardship of the situation in Egypt this year, and the GOP for its increasingly isolationist sentiment.

Pawlenty said the landscape in the Middle East should be seen as an opportunity to grow democracy and remove tyrants, rather than as something to fear because of the uncertainty about the future.

“The revolutions now roiling that region offer the promise of a more democratic, more open and a more prosperous Arab world,’’ Pawlenty said. “Now is not the time to retreat from freedom’s rise.’’

Pawlenty’s sharpest words were for Obama, whom he criticized for having a “murky policy’’ of engagement in the region. He said the United States should “not underestimate how pivotal this moment is’’ and should take decisive action rather than half-measures. The 2012 contender took his argument a step further, criticizing Clinton for suggesting that the regime of Hosni Mubarak, former Egyptian president, was stable in the leadup to his overthrow.

Overall, Pawlenty described a picture of US foreign policy that is too cozy with certain favored dictators for fear that instability in their countries would give rise to anti-American governments.

— Washington Post

Back in Iowa, president cheers on US innovation BETTENDORF, Iowa — President Obama yesterday brought a made-in-America pitch to this politically vital state, saying innovation and adaptation will help the manufacturing sector and the US economy rebound with more gusto.

The president admonished a divided Washington to stop bickering and rally together like a team.

In the home of the first presidential caucuses, Obama made a quick but unmistakable nod to his own reelection bid, recalling his win here in 2008.

He chose the setting of Alcoa Davenport Works, an aluminum factory whose products are exported worldwide and used for high-tech applications, including the wings for Air Force One.

— Associated Press