Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
With the economy in turmoil, the national debt rising and millions of American families struggling to make ends meet, Barack Obama yesterday decided to practise his golf swing. Teeing off his holiday, Mr Obama was driven to Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown for a round of foursomes golf.
Before it had even started in earnest, the much-maligned vacation became a PR nightmare, after it emerged this morning that he and his wife took separate government jets to Martha's Vineyard just hours apart.
Michelle Obama was revealed to have arrived at the Massachusetts retreat, only 500 miles from Washington, four hours before her husband yesterday. She was accompanied by their daughters and landed at around 2pm - four hours earlier than the President. The extra transport to get the the First Lady to the island for only a few more hours of vacation time will have cost taxpayers thousands in additional expenses. The costs related to Mrs Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on the specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.
The President had already drawn scorn for using two helicopters and Air Force One to get to Martha's Vineyard.
Mr Obama will be vacationing at a rented multi-million dollar estate on an island known as a haven for the rich and famous at a time when millions of Americans are out of work and countless more are financially strapped.
The President arrived on this wealthy Massachusetts island retreat as the stock market plunged and a new poll showed just 11 per cent of Americans are happy with the way things are in the country.
He also drew fresh criticism from Sarah Palin for even going on the vacation while the country is in such a poor situation.
The President will be staying with his family at the Blue Heron Farm, a sprawling, $50,000-per-week estate with plenty of room for staff and Secret Service agents accompanying him on the trip. The family are to spend 10 days in a rented compound.
Sarah Palin yesterday labelled Mr Obama 'tone deaf' for continuing with his holiday while America faces economic problems.
Speaking during 'America Live' on Fox News, Mrs Palin, a potential Republican presidential candidate, said: 'He's very, very tone deaf. I wouldn't (go on vacation) if I were he, especially not to Martha's Vineyard. I do predict that he is not going to be gone the full ten days.
'He is going to get the advice from his advisers that he needs to get back to work to the White House and he needs to start working very closely on a bi-partisan measure with Congress and start plugging in these new solutions.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027541/Obama-golfs-Marthas-Vineyard-increasing-personal-debt-ceiling.html#ixzz1t9J9Efwx