Political Notebook

Vacation day 2: Obama lays low

August 21, 2011

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VINEYARD HAVEN - The subdued start to President Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation continued yesterday, as the first family stayed mostly out of sight.

Despite excellent weather, Obama did not go golfing, and instead remained holed up at Blue Heron Farm, the Chilmark estate where he’s spending nine days. The president did not emerge until after 5 p.m., when he paid a social call on his former Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree Jr., who has a residence in Oak Bluffs.

About 100 people attended the gathering, which lasted about an hour. Among them were Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett; former Massachusetts chief justice Margaret Marshall and her husband, Anthony Lewis; director Spike Lee; powerbroker Vernon Jordan; fishing guide Buddy Vanderhoop; singer Kate Taylor; Harvard professors Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alan Dershowitz, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter; and writer Rose Styron.

Obama’s daughters, meanwhile, went to the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair with friends. Trailed by Secret Service, the girls went on rides and sampled food.

The White House yesterday put to rest much speculation about what books the president purchased Friday at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. The president picked up “Rodin’s Debutante’’ by Ward Just and “The Bayou Trilogy’’ collection by Daniel Woodrell, along with several books for his daughters. On Friday, staff members at the store had refused to reveal the titles.

White House officials said Obama also brought a few books with him from Washington.


President’s focus on jobs VINEYARD HAVEN - President Obama says members of Congress should put country before politics, set aside their differences, and find ways to get people back to work.

The president is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, but he recorded his weekly radio and Internet address last week while in Alpha, Ill., during an economy-focused Midwestern bus tour.

Obama said there are some things Congress can get done right away, such as passing a road construction bill and extending a reduction in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security.

In the Republican address, Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke of reducing the deficit and cutting taxes in his state and said it should be a model for the federal government.

Associated Press

DNC fund-raising anemic WASHINGTON - The Democratic National Committee raised $6.7 million in July, hurt by the cancellation of fund-raisers headlined by President Obama as he negotiated a debt ceiling deal with Republicans.

Obama did not attend any fund-raisers in July and Democratic officials said much of the money raised came from events held by Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and others.

July was the DNC’s lowest monthly amount since Obama launched his reelection campaign in April.

Associated Press