The presidential vacation has always seemed awkward—a chance to see the commander-in-chief gallivanting around like the subject of an Us Weekly photo montage: “Stars—They’re Just Like Us.”
President Obama launched endless email forwards this week after a photo was released of him blowing a putt during his respite in Martha’s Vineyard. Gone were the elegant charcoal suits and the crisp white shirts. He donned a frumpy polo shirt and khaki shorts.
Yet Obama could still—if an emergency exists—order a jet strike from the seventh hole.
These vacations intrigue because they often involve the most powerful individual in the free world acting somewhat normal. Or, at least trying to act normal. In fact, these kinds of photos often define the feeling of a presidency as much as any policy achievement.
George W. Bush famously cleared brush at his Texas ranch during the height of the Iraq War. His patrician father preferred an oceanfront estate in Kennebunkport, ME. Pictures abound of John F. Kennedy on his yacht. Teddy Roosevelt busied his time by shooting bears.