The Best & Brightest Need to Vacate

Well, for sure, Mrs. Obama will never go back to her life, as usual. Apparently there are two more vacations scheduled before September, next weekend’s overnight “somewhere” at Florida’s Gulf coast, and then 10 days at Martha’s Vineyard.

I don’t begrudge anyone a vacation, especially not to Martha’s Vineyard, which I hear is great. But as reports suggest that coverage of the First Lady’s 5 days in Spain could have generated about a billion dollars to the economy of that nation, I wonder if the Obama family couldn’t have done better for America by taking their ten-days-downtime in towns that are not quite so well-visited as the Vineyard, and could really use a Marbella-sized influx of media-coverage cash.

You know what could really have spread the wealth around, which President Obama says he likes to do? A ROAD-TRIP across America that could showcase to the world all the beautiful and historical landmarks worth visiting right here. They could start at Montauk, with its wonderful Lighthouse, great fishing and whale-watching, it’s middle-class vibe, so different from the stagnant Hamptons. They could trek through Camp Hero, with its Cold War history and fun-to-speculate-about Tesla connections.


Shinnecock Nation Pow-Wow

Then, the Obama’s could visit the Shinnecock Indian Nation at its annual Pow Wow where he can pick up some pottery and tuck into some delicious Fry Bread. I’m sure the fishermen and pub owners in Montauk and Shinnecock could benefit from the economic stimulus of such a visit. Heading back to Manhattan, the Obamas could visit the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, or sample a the fare in Oyster Bay.

Leaving Long Island, the Obama’s could get in an RV and travel westward, hitting spots of interest, state-by-state.

My family did this when I was a kid
, traveling in a big GMC Rambler Wagon. We saw Notre Dame University, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Buffalo Bill historical center. It sounds corny and campy? Quite the opposite, it was an interesting, educationally valuable and ultimately inspiring vacation. Along the way we encountered American goofiness and American genius and we came away from the trip feeling better-acquainted with the nation and warmly affectionate toward her citizenry, even making peace with people who refer to soda as “pop.”

The media, of course, might not like having to follow the Obama’s into such dusty, hayseed venues when the Vineyard beckons–they certainly didn’t like having to follow Bush to Crawford–but perhaps making the acquaintance of the “provincial” sort of plain-folks American they would encounter may broaden their parochial perspectives a little.

After all, why should anybody go back to their lives as usual? The press has done Democrat-laden Nantucket to death, and they just covered Chelsea Clinton’s Big Wedding. You’d think they’d be a tiny bit curious about life beyond the Boston-DC corridor, if for no other reason than to see if all of their dearly-held stereotypes are ring true.

People are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be. They’d like to get back to work, as soon as the jobs show up, especially because it looks like they’ll soon be required to pay for some more blatant political pandering. But, while we’re waiting, perhaps the president and his family could showcase America’s history to itself, and show them how it was.

You know, before all the hope and change happened.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • lethargic

    Anchoress said “You’d think they’d be a tiny bit curious about life beyond the Boston-DC corridor, if for no other reason than to see if all of their dearly-held stereotypes are ring true.”

    No. Those of whom you speak are not curious in the least. They are certain of their certain knowledge and are in no need of verification. After all, their flagship scripture calls itself “all the news that’s fit to print.” Normal people gasp at the hubris, but those of whom you speak know it is true.

    Our current rulers have never seen themselves as connected to the normal Americans that they would encounter on a road trip such as you imagine … except in a corrective capacity. Such a trip would never occur to them.

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  • Roz Smith

    I’ve discovered most of the nation’s professional class are largely ignorant of the US outside of the downtown areas of the dozen or so cities where most of the seminars and conventions are held. That and the elite college towns. They thought I was nuts ’cause my idea of a really great vacation wasn’t visiting the current foreign hot spot. It was getting in a car and seeing what new part of the US I could cover without using the Interstate highway system.

  • http://cleansingfiredor.com/ Nerina

    Amen, Anchoress!

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  • Philomena

    In 100% agreement with that very thoughtful analysis. Remember in November.

  • kelleyb

    vacation in fly by state that did for for him…don’t think that will happen

  • Bill

    People spend their money how they want.

  • Martine

    The Obamas don’t love this country. They don’t even LIKE it. Doing something to help the economy is not their concern.

  • Jeff

    Barry and Michelle are living large on the taxpayer dime. (yes I know she just paid for her tickets apparently and her own room). I don’t get any sense that the guy does any real work either. His schedule is too filled with fundraising and rallies for that. If tax rates go up in January he will lose massively in 2012.

  • F

    “if for no other reason than to see if all of their dearly-held stereotypes are ring true”

    A friend of mine married a widower in Kentucky & adopted his 3 kids. She’s now homeschooling the 8 year old girl. She told me that her adopted daughter excitedly began to put together a huge United States puzzle on the floor and when she came to the piece for Kentucky, the little gal indignantly exclaimed, “Hey!!!”. The puzzle maker saw fit to portray KY with a hillbilly with bucked teeth. Yes. In 2010. My friend was aghast. The puzzle company could not find anything worthy to share in KY like horse farming, agriculture, etc. The libs must be working at the puzzle makers co. Remember how they were shunned during the ice storms? Just worthless fly-over country I guess.

  • Bill

    I am sure the President works hard. If tax rates go up in January, they will go up for those high-income professionals criticized in earlier comments for being too aloof.

  • http://jmbalconi.stblogs.com JBalconi

    I have to say, Elizabeth, that it’s not just “elites” who are like this. I went to Texas last year and was surprised by the number of people who were hostile to the very idea of visiting the Midwest or New England. I grew up in a small farming community and now live in a small river town, and I’ve run into quite a few people who have taken Caribbean cruises and Mexican vacations, but haven’t visited more than five or six different states. These are 30- and 40-somethings.

    On the other hand, I’ve met many older people who made a point to see the USA. One of them told me that she had been through “free” Europe and most of Africa by the time she was 35, but hadn’t started traveling domestically until she and her immigrant husband decided their children needed to see their country firsthand. She said anyone who claimed “All Americans are…” or “City people are…” or “Country folk are…” needed to travel more. She was in her 70s when I met her and was cycling Mackinaw Island with her grandchildren.

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  • Jeff

    Is soak “the rich” all the democrat party has to offer? Honest to God. That is all you have, year after year after year. And it never works. And it isn’t working now.

  • Peggy Coffey

    Road trip, that is what I thought when I heard about Michelle’s trip to Spain. It’s what we did when I was a kid. My parents were great history buffs and my mother was born in Ireland, so she wanted to see everything. We went to all of the historical areas, from DC, to Boston, to Gettysburg and countless more. We were awakened in the middle of the night and told we were going on vacation, not knowing where we were going, and had a great time. Of course we did it with our kids too. The Obama kids would benefit greatly from a trip across the country to see what the real America looks like. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the Corn Palace in South Dakota.

  • Elaine S.

    A couple of years ago, IIRC, Paul McCartney and his girlfriend decided to make a road trip down the old Route 66, all the way from Chicago to L.A., in her almost 20-year-old Ford Bronco. He stopped in my town at a gas station and got his picture taken with some locals.

    I thought that was kind of neat, although he was a gazillionare celebrity and could jet anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, he chose to just make a road trip through the heart of America and see what it was really like. No entourage or anything.

  • Roz Smith

    F, How about an elk on the piece? A couple of years back I took US 421 through Eastern KY on my way to visit family in Minnesota. I was surprised to see a warning sign of an elk crossing near Hyden, KY. I learned one of the great conservation stories is the reestablishment of an elk in Eastern Kentucky. The critters began producing little elk soon after they were brought in from the Rockies. This year both Virginia and West Virginia are beginning to develop elk management plans because the elk are on the move.

    That’s the kind of stuff you learn by driving tha nation’s backroads to get from point A to point B.

  • Ellen

    To be fair, the Obamas all went to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon last summer. link.

  • dry valleys

    Yes, Ellen, but that’s been forgotten now. Also, it may have escaped some people’s notice that there’s a perfectly functioning conservative elite. You won’t find a right-wing journo living where I live, that’s for sure. Did Gordon Gekko, an elitist if ever there was one, support Reagan or Mondale?

    Being focused on metropolitan areas has little to do with politics, for example the legendary Liz Jones “writes” for the Daily Hate Mail, a right-wing “newspaper”.

    Marbella, though, isn’t that nice a place. Were I to be going to Spain on their budget I’d go to (off the top of my head) Santiago de Compostela, or maybe Seville, or… I don’t know, because I barely travel & don’t read travel supplements because they just make me angry at the thought that I can’t afford to go there. (I’m NOT alone in this, either).

    You’d be surprised at how many politicians’ holidays are chosen with public opinion in mind. Whether they want to go there is right at the bottom of their list of concerns. I don’t know why Michelle went but I hope I can forgiven that she didn’t do it just in order to spite the people who comment on right-wing blogs.

    PS-
    A road trip would be good though. A lot of Britons don’t appreciate what is on their doorstep. I know working-class people who will go without to a remarkable degree in order to go to the same places in the Mediterranean that half the country goes to, but know nothing about the areas I cycle through.

    [No one has ever said that there aren't rich republicans, DV, but can you imagine the blood curdling screams you'd have heard, had Bush or his wife gone on "posh" vacation (her 8th, I think, of the year) while we were dealing with a financial crisis such as we are? Bush went to his damn ranch and cleared brush, and he got slammed for that, but it cost the taxpayer nothing. Also, as a journalist friend of mine once admitted to me: google "rich republican" and then "rich democrat." The difference is astounding, but the truth is our gov't and our media--our ESTABLISHMENT--is rich Democrats. I am no class warrior...if someone is rich, whatever; they have their place in the scheme of things...I just get tired of the "rich Republicans" narrative with little-to-no acknowledgment that the entrenched Democrats are filthy rich, themselves. -admin]

  • expat

    Five star resorts are boring! You see nothing of the country. Not that that was a priority anyway.

  • Sal

    JBalconi-
    As a native Texan, I resemble that remark! : )
    But seriously, it takes us years just to navigate our own state.

    Probably apocryphal, but who cares?:
    President Eisenhower once asked a group of Senators what he might show a visiting dignitary who wanted to see the ‘real’ America. The senator from Michigan said he should take him to an auto plant, the senator from California thought he would like the giant redwoods. The senator from Maine thought a lobster pound would be good and the senator from Texas insisted that he couldn’t leave without a day at a big cattle spread.

    Finally one of the senators asked, “What do you think he should visit, Mr. President?”

    “Well, I’ve always thought everyone should see a Kansas wheatfield.”

    Goodness, we’re blessed…

  • J

    Justice Clarence Thomas takes his rv on the road every summer……and actually meets us regular people. I would love to bump into him.
    I was so excited to hear that Justice Scalia was next door in Rhode Island…..another person I would love to meet.
    From reports up here in MA, michelle obama was not well received on Martha’s vineyard, perhaps the trip to spain was a pre-reward for their trip to mv.

  • Jeff

    Having lived in Spain for quite some time, I wholeheartedly agree with Dry Valleys: Marbella is not that nice. The Ritz-owned hotel she is in looks good, but Marbella itself is hardly a stunning place to be. Seville is far better.

  • Lisa

    I do not begrudge anyone a vacation, but I do begrudge a person taking 8 vacations in 8 months on my dime. The trip to Spain was excessive and will rightfully damage MO’s standing.

  • craig

    “Did Gordon Gekko, an elitist if ever there was one, support Reagan or Mondale?”

    You do realize, don’t you, that Gordon Gekko was a fictional character (from the Oliver Stone movie “Wall Street”)?!

  • JuliB

    Lisa (25) – I agree. It’s incredibly tone-deaf (if they were Rs, it would be called ‘insensitive’). They are acting incredibly nouveau riche.

    Gekko – while fictional, would have been a Dem, I’m sure. Much of Wall Street is.


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