WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has no plans to cancel his summer vacation to deal with the US debt crisis and market turmoil sparked by fears over Europe’s finances, the White House said Wednesday.
The president is due to head to his normal summer vacation spot on Martha’s Vineyard, an upscale resort island off the coast of Massachusetts, later in the month with his family.
But as turmoil rocks world stock markets and fears of a second recession mount, some commentators have called on Obama to stay in Washington and recall Congress to discuss ways to create jobs and reboot the stagnant recovery.
“I don’t think Americans out there would begrudge that notion that the president would spend some time with his family,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney,” arguing that Obama was working round the clock to fix the economy.
“There’s no such thing as a presidential vacation. The presidency travels with you. He will be in constant communication and get regular briefings from his national security team, as well as his economic team.
“And he will, of course, be fully capable if necessary of traveling back if that were required. It’s not very far.”
Obama’s vacations have been frequently interrupted by the events which pull a president back into the public eye, even when he is trying to recharge his batteries away from the cameras.
Two years ago, he left his rented vacation farmhouse on Martha’s Vineyard to attend the funeral in Boston of senator Edward Kennedy, his friend and political mentor who died of brain cancer.
During his Christmas holiday in 2009 in his native Hawaii, Obama was criticized for responding too slowly to an alleged attempt by a Nigerian man to bring down a US airliner over Detroit with explosives sewn into his underwear.
Obama is enduring one of the most testing periods of his presidency, and facing a volley of unusually harsh media criticism after many commentators said he came off second best in a debt showdown with Republicans.
He has said he will unveil a new set of measures to create jobs and cut the US deficit in the coming weeks and will leave for vacation next week after a three-day bus tour of midwestern states hit hard by the recession.