In an extraordinary turnaround, Obama supporter Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, blasts Obama with an article titled:
Obama Vacations as the World Burns
President Obama must really be teed off.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, his once-loyal secretary of state and his likeliest successor, has gone rogue, criticizing his foreign policy as too timid.
Obama responded with not one but two rounds of golf.
Clinton, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg published by the Atlantic over the weekend, offered a withering comment on the Obama doctrine, described in shorthand by White House officials as “don’t do stupid s—.” Said Clinton: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
As the criticism became public, Obama was doggedly sticking with his plans to go on vacation — a decision that, if not in the category of stupid stuff, could fit under the heading of “tone deafness.”
Obama stood on the South Lawn on Saturday updating Americans on the new bombing campaign in Iraq — and then he boarded Marine One for a two-week trip to Martha’s Vineyard. There, half an hour after arriving at his vacation home, he was already on his way to a golf course. He played again Sunday, then had a beach outing Monday followed by a political fundraiser.
Even presidents need down time, and Obama can handle his commander-in-chief duties wherever he is. But his decision to proceed with his getaway just 36 hours after announcing the military action in Iraq risks fueling the impression that he is detached as the world burns.
The highly visible wartime vacation (Obama allowed himself to be photographed on a putting green Saturday with NBA star Ray Allen and retired pro-football player Ahmad Rashad) was not looking any better Monday as Iraq’s political crisis worsened, NATO’s chief declared a “high probability” of Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Gaza remained on a knife edge.
By Monday afternoon, the crises had forced Obama to revise his schedule. The White House announced that the president, after returning from the beach, would make an unscheduled statement about Iraq. He freshened up at his 8,100-square-foot vacation home, then stepped outside, in a blue blazer and open collar; his aides wisely chose a wooded backdrop rather than one with the infinity pool and the sweeping water views. Obama finished his four-minute statement and then hopped in his motorcade for the ride to a Democratic fundraiser.
Milbank concluded his analysis with: Criticism from Clinton. War with the Islamic State. Trouble with Maliki. It’s enough to make a man hook his drive into the sand trap.