President Barack Obama has been on a break for the past two weeks, vacationing as the world seemed to fall apart: the Islamic State forged a caliphate, an American journalist was beheaded by Islamic State radicals, Israel and Hamas traded fire and the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb of Ferguson burned.
Obama was not entirely absent as the crises unfolded, weighing in with phone calls to foreign leaders and making media statements.
To get a sense of exactly what he was up to in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, the Associated Press broke down Obama’s vacation by the numbers:
— 14: days, all or part, spent on the island
— 9: golf outings
— 2: golf courses played
— 1: beach outing, with Michelle Obama and daughter Malia
— 1: bike ride, with Mrs. Obama and Malia
— 1: fundraiser headlined, for Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
— 1: birthday parties attended, for wife of Democratic powerbroker Vernon Jordan
— 1: interactions with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton while on the island, at the Jordan birthday party
— 1: jazz concert attended, with Mrs. Obama
— 1: fireworks show attended, with Mrs. Obama, Malia and Sasha
— 4: statements delivered to the media, including one from the White House
— 3: issues addressed during statements (Iraq; Ferguson, Missouri; slain American journalist James Foley)
— 9: foreign leaders called from vacation home (German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko)
— 3: disaster declarations issued (North Dakota, Tennessee, Washington state)
— 4: dinners out (including three at restaurants and one at the home of senior adviser Valerie Jarrett)
— 1: hike, with Mrs. Obama
— 1: elected officials Obama dined with (at vacation home, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick)
The AP reported that Obama was wrapping up his vacation and is due back in the White House late Sunday.
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