President Takes a Day Off, First Lady Goes to Lunch

6 months 6 days ago

A rare rainy day on the Vineyard Tuesday kept President Obama off the links, but Michelle and her daughters ventured to Edgartown for a ladies’ lunch.

Mrs. Obama, Malia and Sasha arrived at the Atlantic restaurant with a small group of women just after 1 p.m. Overlooking Edgartown harbor, the Atlantic has a full-service seafood oriented menu and does a brisk lunchtime business.

Minutes earlier, a “lid” was declared at the Chilmark home where the Obamas are staying, indicating the President’s intention to remain there for the rest of the day.

Outside the Atlantic, onlookers gathered in the rain as black Secret Service vehicles arrived and Edgartown Police closed the end of Dock Street to traffic. Though the restaurant was filled with patrons, few inside seemed aware of  the First Lady’s imminent arrival. She and her entourage filed in quietly through a side door and into a private dining room as rain poured down outside.

On Monday, President Obama spent the afternoon at the private Vineyard Golf Course for the second golf outing of his vacation. The family spent a quiet evening at home.

After a Quiet Day, Dinner at State Road

6 months 1 week ago

After a quiet day at home in Chilmark, the President is out to dinner at State Road restaurant in West Tisbury.

The President and Michelle Obama have dined at the farm to table restaurant in North Tisbury during their past Vineyard vacations. The restaurant's seasonal specials include striped bass and duck confit.

Mr. Obama spent most of the cloudy, windy Sunday at the family's vacation home off North Road in Chilmark. The trip over to State Road at about 7 p.m. was the first outing of the day for the presidential motorcade. 


On First Full Day of Vineyard Vacation, President Hits the Links

6 months 1 week ago

President Obama started out his Vineyard vacation Saturday with one of his favorite pastimes, a round of golf.

The President arrived at the Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs just after 1 p.m. His golfing parters Saturday were actor Larry David, former UBS executive Robert Wolf, and friend Cyrus Walker.

At the first hole, the President's golf ball was sitting at the edge of the green. Mr. Obama, wearing light pants and a light golf shirt with a beige baseball hat, hit the ball with his putter, and as it approached the hole, he leaned back on one leg and raised the other leg, as if willing the ball to fall in the hole — which it did not.

The temperature Saturday was in the high 70s, with a cool breeze and low humidity.

Farm Neck Golf Club appears to be a favorite of Mr. Obama's. During last year's vacation, he played golf there six times.

First Family Arrives on the Vineyard

6 months 1 week ago

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha arrived at Martha's Vineyard Airport just before 6:30 p.m. Friday for their sixth Vineyard vacation while in the White House.

In a departure from previous years, the President and Mrs. Obama greeted well-wishers and VIPs at the airport before traveling in the presidential motorcade to their rented vacation home in Chilmark. The President is scheduled to stay on the Vineyard until Sunday, August 23; no public events are scheduled, according to the White House.

At a press briefing earlier Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest addressed a question from a member of the media about whether President Obama will cross paths with former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the Vineyard this year, as he did last summer.

"I don’t know precisely what Secretary Clinton’s vacation itinerary will be, but I wouldn’t rule out that they may cross paths," Mr. Earnest said. "If they do, we’ll be in a position to let you know."

Wheels Up for the Vineyard

6 months 1 week ago

President Obama and his family are en route to the Vineyard for their 16-day vacation.

The President, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha departed from Andrews Air Force Base aboard Air Force One just before 5 p.m. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett are traveling with the family, as are the Obama family pets, Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny.

Air Force One will travel to U.S. Coast Guard AIr Station Cape Cod, and the First Family will take the short flight to the Vineyard aboard Marine One. They are expected to arrive on the Vineyard around 6:20 p.m.

Updated Arrival Time

6 months 1 week ago

President Obama and family are scheduled to arrive on Martha's Vineyard at about 6:20 p.m. on Friday, the White House said Thursday night.

The First Family's original travel plans had them arriving on the Vineyard for their summer vacation on Saturday. On Wednesday, the White House confirmed that they would be arriving a day earlier than expected.

According to the White House, the family will be departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Air Force One just before 5 p.m., arriving at Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station at 6 p.m. The family will take the short trip over to the Vineyard aboard Marine One, landing at Martha's Vineyard Airport.

Presidential Preparations at Martha's Vineyard Airport

6 months 1 week ago

For a look at preparations for President Obama's approaching Vineyard vacation, one need only look to the skies.

A steady stream of military planes and helicopters have been landing at the Martha's Vineyard Airport this week, preparing and bringing supplies for the Summer White House to get underway.

Timothy Johnson snapped these pictures of a cargo plane and Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys landing at the airport Wednesday and Thursday.


Early Arrival

6 months 1 week ago

The White House now says President Barack Obama and his family will arrive on the Vineyard on Friday evening, a day earlier than planned.

Preparations have been evident around the Island over the last few weeks, with the appearance of black government vehicles. Local police departments have been working with the White House advance team and the  Secret Service on security measures for the first family's arrival. On Wednesday, U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey and other military helicopters flew in and out of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

As they have in past visits, the Obama family will stay in Chilmark. For the second year, they will be staying at a secluded home off North Road with views across Vineyard Sound. The home is owned by Joanne Hubschman.



President Obama's 2014 Visit

Dinner in Edgartown Before Departure

President Obama has departed Martha's Vineyard for a quick trip back to Washington, D.C.

Marine One left Martha's Vineyard Airport at 10:48 p.m., bound for Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station. After landing in Cape Cod, the President and daughter Malia boarded Air Force One, which left a little after 11:15 p.m.

According to the White House, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be meeting Monday with National Security Council members for an update on Iraq. The President will also be meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder to receive an update on the situation in Ferguson, Mo. 

The President is scheduled to return to the Vineyard on Tuesday, and the First Family's vacation will continue until Sunday.

Before departure, President Obama hit the golf course at Farm Neck before joining the First Lady at Featherstone Center for the Arts for Jazz on the Vineyard. The couple spent about two hours at the outdoor concert, which featured vocalist Rachelle Ferrell and singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello.

Then it was on to Edgartown for dinner at Atria on Upper Main Street. A few curious onlookers gathered at the corner of Pease's Point way and Main street to see what the fuss was about; police were directing traffic away from the road in front of the restaurant.

Jazzing up the Vacation Routine

Following a long afternoon on the golf course, President Obama broke with routine and joined the First Lady for an early evening jazz concert at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs. Jazz on the Vineyard is a benefit for Student Achievement Through Opportunity. Scheduled performers included Meshell Ndegeocello and Rachelle Ferrell. The President is scheduled to fly back to Washington later tonight for two days, returning on Tuesday.

Hitting the Links Again at Farm Neck

It's another Sunday on the golf course for President Obama, who is hitting the links today at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs.

The president arrived at the golf club at about 1 p.m. Today he is joined on the course by retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning and White House aides Joe Paulsen and Marvin Nicholson.

Tonight the President is scheduled to depart the Vineyard for a quick trip back to Washington, D.C., where he will attend meetings at the White House. He returns to the Vineyard on Tuesday, with the First Family's vacation continuing until next Sunday.

Beach Afternoon, Dinner Out for Obamas

After spending a sunny afternoon at the beach, President Obama and the First Lady are out to dinner at State Road restaurant in West Tisbury.

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama are dining with friends, the White House said. The Obamas have visited State Road during their past vacations on the Vineyard; according to the State Road website, tonight's menu includes fluke and swordfish from Menemsha and pan roasted Vineyard striped bass.

Earlier in the day, President Obama, Mrs. Obama, and daughter Malia, 16, spent about four hours at a South Shore beach. According to the White House, they were joined by friends.

Bike Trek Through State Forest, Then Golf

A family bike outing through the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest has become a staple of the Obama family vacation, and so it came as no surprise Friday morning when the President, First Lady and daughter Malia were found pedaling their bikes beneath the leafy forest canopy on a sunny, breezy day. All wore exercise clothing and helmets. Then shortly after noon, Mr. Obama headed back to the Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs for another afternoon on the links. Five-plus hours later, he was back at home in Chilmark and in for the night.

International, Domestic Conflicts Occupy President

President Obama addressed the nation early Thursday afternoon from the Edgartown School, providing an update about the situation in Iraq and calling for "peace and calm" in Ferguson, Mo., where there has been growing civil unrest after the shooting of an 18-year-old man.

It was the second time in four days the President has made public statements from the Vineyard, where he is on vacation for 16 days.

During a nine-minute speech, the President said that while the situation remains dire for Iraqis, American efforts, including airstrikes, have helped improve the situation at Mount Sinjar, where thousands of people were trapped by Islamic militants.

"As commander in chief I could not be prouder of the men and women of our military who carried out this humanitarian mission almost flawlessly," the President said.

Mr. Obama said he has been briefed by Attorney General Eric Holder, who is also on the Vineyard, about the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where there have been protests and confrontations between police and residents after Michael Brown was shot by police Sunday.

The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating Mr. Brown's death, he said, and the Department of Justice has also been talking with local authorities in Missouri about maintaining public safety and avoiding unnecessary escalation of the situation.

The President said he has also talked with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, whom he called a "good man and a fine governor."

He said there is never an excuse for violence against police nor is there excuse for police to use excessive force. He also said police should not be arresting journalists for doing their jobs. There were reports Wednesday night that two reporters were arrested in Ferguson.

"Remember how this started," the President told about 50 members of the press assembled in the school cafeteria, which is serving as the press filing center during his vacation. "We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances . . . his family will never hold Michael in their arms again."

After the address, which ended at about 1 p.m.,  the President headed to the Vineyard Golf Club, down the road from the school. He is playing with Cyrus Walker, World Bank president Jim Kim and former ambassador Ron Kirk.



Obamas and Clintons Celebrate at Farm Neck Birthday Party

President Barack Obama, the First Lady, former president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were all on hand for Ann Jordan's 80th birthday party Wednesday night at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs. 

The party was thrown by Mrs. Jordan's husband, Vernon Jordan. The couple are longtime Vineyard visitors.

Press were not allowed at the party, but the White House released a statement after the party about the event. There were about 150 guests, the White House said. The Obamas sat with the Clintons, Mr. and Mrs. Jordan, Valerie Jarrett and her mother Barbara Bowman, Xerox chief executive officer Ursula Burns and chief executive officer of American Express Kenneth Chenault and his wife Kathy.

"The President and First Lady have known the Jordans for over 20 years, and were grateful to have been able to share this special evening with them," the statement by deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said.

The statement also noted that President and Mrs. Obama were happy to have the chance to spend time with Mrs. and Mr. Clinton. The meeting between the two was the subject of increased media interest after Mrs. Clinton criticized the president's foreign policy in a recent interview. In a later public statement, Mrs. Clinton said she hoped to "hug it out" with the president when they saw each other on the Vineyard.

Mr. Jordan and Mrs. Clinton toasted Mrs. Jordan before dinner, the White House said, as did President Obama, who joked that he met Mr. Jordan first but liked Mrs. Jordan more.

The menu included surf and turf and pasta, and the Obamas danced nearly every song, the statement said. "A good time was had by all."

The President and First Lady spent about three hours at the party, departing for Chilmark at about 10:10 p.m.

Birthday Party Outing

The President and First Lady are at Farm Neck tonight attending a birthday party for Ann Jordan, wife of Vernon Jordan who is a former advisor to President Clinton. The Jordans are longtime summer visitors to the Vineyard. The Clintons were also expected to attend the private party.

Hillary Clinton on Island Wednesday

Former First Lady, secretary of state, senator and longtime Vineyard visitor Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be on the Vineyard Wednesday, adding to the political clout already on the Island as President Obama vacations here for the next two weeks.

Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to sign copies of her new book "Hard Choices" from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven. The event is sold out.

Following the book signing, Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to attend the 80th birthday party Wednesday night for Ann Dibble Jordan, according to Politico's Mike Allen. The party is being thrown by Mrs. Jordan's husband, Vernon Jordan, and will be held at Farm Neck Golf Club. The Jordans are longtime Island visitors. Several media outlets have reported that the White House confirmed that President Obama and the First Lady will also attend the event.

Dinner Out in Oak Bluffs

It's a night out for President Obama and the First Lady, who are having dinner at the Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs.

The couple are dining with National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Attorney General Eric Holder, former trade ambassador Ron Kirk and their respective spouses.

The motorcade arrived in Oak Bluffs just after 8 p.m., and people crowded outside of the Thai restaurant next door to get a glimpse of the action. Others gathered behind yellow police tape across the street. A child asked a police officer on duty if she could take a selfie photograph with him; he obliged.

Sweet Life is a favorite of President and Mrs. Obama, as they have visited the Upper Circuit Avenue spot during past visits. The menu at the fine dining restaurant changes nightly, with ingredients sourced by local farmers. Main plates include artichoke ravioli and sesame and coriander crusted tuna.

Crowd gathers by Sweet Life Cafe.