President Obama greets people gathered outside Nancy's Restaurant… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)
It would be hard to imagine a more inopportune moment for President Obama to pack up and leave for a nine-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard. Consumer confidence is plummeting, unemployment is high, and fears of a double-dip recession are on the rise.
Now it seems Team Obama may be rethinking the wisdom of the trip. It's doubtful the president will call off his annual family vacation at the rented 28-acre estate in Chilmark. But the White House could cut short the stay, set to begin on Thursday.
David Axelrod, Obama's political consigliore, suggested in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday that the president's itinerary isn't locked down.
"Look, the president's family is going on vacation," Axelrod said. "He's going to join them, if he can...."
If he can.
Asked about that comment, Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, told reporters that the president's schedule is always "malleable" – subject to change depending on world events.
Obama's trip to the Vineyard last year was quiet. Lots of golf and private dinners.
But in 2009, there wasn't as much time for R&R. He broke off to announce that he was re-nominating Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. He also left the island briefly to attend funeral services in Boston for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Might Obama leave the island later this month to take part in events devoted to the slumping economy? Earnest was asked.
"There's no current plan for that."