Imagine sitting around the Oval Office discussing presidential travel plans and someone says: “Hey, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s have the president travel to the Midwest for several days talking to people about jobs, their struggles with unemployment and basically how fouled-up everything is and then POTUS can leave for his vacation on a 28-acre compound in tony Martha’s Vineyard.”
“Why Haversham, that’s a simply bully idea. Let’s do it.”
No one begrudges any president time away from the stresses and demands of the job. But the juxtaposition and timing of spending a few days in the heartland of America on a listening tour of the jobless, followed up by a fancy-pants vacation in one of the most exclusively affluent enclaves in the nation is, to put it bluntly, a really boneheaded idea.
Not to be insensitive here, but what is Obama likely to hear on his stops in Cannon Falls, Minn., or Decorah, Iowa, or Peosta, Iowa, or Atkinson, Ill., that he hasn’t heard before? People are scared. They fear the loss of their jobs. They lose sleep every night worrying about being foreclosed. They see the homeless on the street and see themselves. They look into the future and don’t see very much — for them.
And they see a president dropping in for a photo-op conveying an image of caring, before heading off for 10 days on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard, where the struggling folks of Cannon Falls and Decorah and Peosta and Atkinson couldn’t afford a cup of coffee.