President Barack Obama and the first family will be spending half the month of August at Martha's Vineyard, the local newspaper there reported.
President Barack Obama reacts as he misses a shot while golfing on the first hole at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
The vacation news comes amid the flood of illegal immigrants across the southwestern border, the continued terrorist attacks in Iraq and other major problems facing the country. But it also occurs after Congress is on recess.
“On Saturday, Aug. 9, the President and the First Lady will travel to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts,” a White House official said on background, according to the Martha's Vineyard Times. “They will remain there until Sunday, Aug. 24, when they will return to Washington, D.C. There are no public events scheduled at this time and further details on travel will be released when they are available.”
The newspaper reported the first family will stay at a “secluded house” in the town of Chilmark. The home has a basketball court and pool.
The newspaper said this will likely be the home of Joanne Hubschman, citing neighbors who requested anonymity. The home has seven-bedrooms, nine-baths, 8,100-square-foot house and sits on a 10-acre lot. It's assessed at more than $12 million, according to the Times. It has a total of 17 rooms in total, expansive water views of Vineyard Sound.
“She told us it was a secret, but I guess the secret’s out,” Lillian Kellman, a neighbor, the Times. “The whole island probably knows by now. My husband will remember when we first heard it.”
“We first heard about it when a friend of ours said, ‘I hear the Obamas are staying on your road this summer,’ a few weeks ago, before we’d heard anything about it,” Kellman added
Another neighbor, not identified by the newspaper, took her secrecy vow more seriously.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she reportedly said with a smaile. “I’ve heard nothing about that.”
The Prospect Hill Association is scheduled to hold a meeting Saturday morning where residents of the exclusive subdivision are expected to learn more about security checkpoints ahead of the president's visit.
Obama and his family have vacationed at Martha's Vineyard every year since his 2008 election, except for 2012, when he was campaigning for re-election and trying to frame his opponent, the wealthy former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, as out of touch with the working class.
In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Obamas rented a 28.5-acre secluded compound in Martha's Vineyard. In 2013, the first family stayed in a 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom house valued at $7.6 million just a short distance off South Road.
Though golf and recreation are expected, no president is ever fully on vacation, as Obama will likely be briefed on matters by White House staff.
(H/T: White House Dossier)
Follow Fred Lucas (@FredVLucas3) on Twitter