Dog Days

Obama Is On Vacation

Barack Obama will leave for a week on Martha's Vineyard Sunday, but it is unlikely to be a restful break for the president as both parties battle over health care and he faces the challenge of increasing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. One former presidential adviser told Reuters that presidents are never really off the job, even when on vacation. "Their 'vacations' do not disconnect them with the presidency. Nor, for that matter, do they look an awful lot like our vacations," said Stephen Hess, now of the Brookings Institute. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that the president's efforts to achieve health-care reform will continue through the week. "Obviously, we'll have some scheduling updates for you throughout the week on events that may or may not be added on health care," Gibbs said this week. But he added, "Obviously, there will be a certain point in which the president will largely be down enjoying his vacation."