President Barack Obama can't seem to catch a break. He's heading to the island of Martha's Vineyard for vacation, but so is Hurricane Bill. The big storm may brush the Atlantic Coast, bringing even more wind and rain into the president's life.
It has been a rough summer for Obama. The economy continues to wobble, the Afghan war is brutal, and the health care chaos has diminished the president in the eyes of many Americans. His leadership on that vital issue has been inconsistent and, at times, downright confusing. I dare you to sit through an entire Obama town hall health care meeting and then explain what the president said. Talk about a tower of babble.
The president obviously needs to relax, and he picked a good place. Obama carried the Vineyard with 75 percent of the vote in November, and the Clintons vacation there all the time. The chances of running into Rush Limbaugh on the island are slim.
Actually, the first president to relax on Martha's Vineyard was U.S. Grant. Back then, there was no intrusive White House press corps, so Grant could sip cocktails all day long, which, apparently, was his primary vacation goal. But Obama is a more active guy. We can expect to see pictures of him swimming, biking and perhaps writing prescriptions on White House stationery just to practice.
The Vineyard has a fascinating history. Settled in 1642 as a whaling center, it is four miles off the Massachusetts coast, and about 16,000 people live there year-round. A bunch of swell folks own island property, people like Mike Wallace, Diane Sawyer, Michael J. Fox, Spike Lee, Bill Murray and Ted Danson.
Obama will rent somebody's house for the week, and he's lucky. Last year, an estate on the island sold for more than $25 million. Actually, the president will be able to see the rich people he wants to heavily tax up close and personal on Martha's Vineyard, so this could be called a working vacation.
There is a heavy rumor that Oprah may show up to party with the Obamas during their vacation week. But there is no truth to a report that the talk show star will give an acre of Vineyard land to a selected studio audience member. Even Oprah has to draw the line somewhere.
I believe it is important that no one yell at Obama during his vacation. He has certainly had enough of that recently. He needs some peace, some downtime. He needs to recharge using the Vineyard's sun and wind. The president must get away from talk radio, tea bag protestors, and cap and trade.
Like Grant before him, Obama should just settle back with a cold one, turn on Fox News and enjoy the moments.
Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News.