Summer Vacation

Obama Takes a Dip in the Gulf

During a press conference Saturday, President Obama said the Gulf of Mexico’s beaches remain “clean, safe, and open for business.” All eyes were on the president to see whether he would take a dip in the surf of Panama City, Florida, where he’s on vacation with his family. The presidential family’s 27-hour trip is intended to boost the area’s struggling tourist economy in the aftermath of the BP spill. This season alone, hundreds of thousands of vacationers have skipped out on the region’s beaches, costing Florida more than $1.2 billion in lost revenue. CNN’s Tom Forman even went as far as to write a letter to Obama, saying a simple dip in the water could undo the spill’s damage. “If people see you playing in the water and having a good time, they’ll think, ‘Hey, he’s the president,’” writes Forman. “[H]e has legions of folks assigned to keeping him safe and healthy.” After Obama joked with the press that they wouldn't catch him with his shirt off, the White House released a photo of the president at Alligator Point late Saturday, splashing around with daughter Sasha.