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August 14th, 2011
09:42 AM ET

Letters to the President: #937 'Choosing a vacation spot'

Reporter's Note: The president and his family are heading for a vacation. I hope my letters are forwarded…

Dear Mr. President,

So I have noticed that you are taking some pretty serious flak over this upcoming vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Sorry to hear that. I know you, and every president for that matter, work quite hard. Except apparently for Berlusconi over in Italy. Ha! But then, he is a prime minister, not a president anyway, so I guess the point is moot.

How do you feel about all this carping? I take it for granted that it does not thrill you, but I mean, beyond that?

I have often argued that people should not be too caught up in griping about such things, because everyone needs a break now and then, and arguably you’ll be doing a lot of work even while you are there. It won’t be all windsurfing and golf, that’s for certain.

Still, I am surprised sometimes that so many presidents seem to go to these tony places that just scream, for many Americans, “elitist.” I mean, would it be so terrible to go to…oh say, Six Flags, or the Lake of the Ozarks, or Mt. Rushmore, or Disneyworld, or any of those places that millions of millions of Americans frequent?

I’m not wrecking on Martha’s Vineyard. I know it is lovely, and certainly Martha must be happy to see you. But that’s one of those “Presidential hot spots” that seem to get way too many chief executive visits. If you want to see the coast, what about Destin? Or the Outer Banks? Or Key West? Or New Orleans? Or San Francisco?

I can’t recall a president ever spending any vacation time in those places, and yet it seems like every 18 months I hear about getaways to Martha’s Vineyard.

I know it is too late to change things now. You’d certainly lose your deposit on the reservation if you even tried at this late date, but it is something to consider for the future. Like I said, I never begrudge anyone a vacation, especially in these tough times, but a word to the wise: When the whole country is struggling, it may not sit so well with regular folks to see you off being chummy with the very rich people that you keep telling us are not doing their fair share. Makes the whole situation seem a little suspicious…and remember: Cynicism never takes a holiday!

Call if you get a moment.

Regards,

Tom