MARTHA’S VINEYARD -- President Obama arrived on Martha’s Vineyard this afternoon to begin a 10-day vacation with his family, after using a quick White House appearance to fire one last, departing shot at Republicans for delaying jobs legislation.
Obama will be resting after spending several days stumping for Democratic candidates around the country, seeking to drum up support for his economic initiatives, and seeking to shore up support for the healthcare overhaul.
Continued stagnation in the economy is giving Republicans high hopes for the mid-term elections.
In a brief statement before he left the White House, Obama said a small-business bill he is championing should not fall victim to partisan politics. He accused a "partisan minority" in the Senate is refusing to allow the bill to move forward -- calling their actions "obstruction that defies common sense."
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele hit back by calling the administration's attempts at financial recovery an "epic failure."
"It is way past time for the White House to be straight with the American people and admit that $862 billion stimulus did not do what was promised," Steele said in a statement. "It is clear that the Democrats’ strategy of reckless spending, ballooning deficits, and higher taxes are not the answer and that we need to pursue Republican pro-growth solutions to get our economy back on track.”
First Lady Michelle Obama and the couple’s children, Malia and Sasha, traveled separately, arriving unannounced on the island about three hours before the president.
This is the First Family's second trip to the Massachusetts resort island. The Obamas plan a low-key family vacation, with no public events scheduled. The president will try not to make any news during his stay, his staff says.
At 2:40 p.m. motorcade started rolling from the Vineyard airport to the president's rental home, Blue Heron Farm. Some well wishers appeared here and there along the roadside. A couple of them had small American flags. One woman in a floppy yellow hat flashed a double thumbs down.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.