Obama's off to putter away the weekend in Florida
PALM CITY, Fla. — Faced with a long weekend in an empty White House, President Obama figured he needed a getaway, too, so he put together a golf outing with some buddies.
Not at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland or at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, two Washington-area military posts where he's a regular on their courses.
Instead, he went south, to Florida, to spend the long President's Day weekend staying and playing at the Floridian, an exclusive and secluded yacht and golf club on the state's Treasure Coast. He arrived Friday night after a speech in Chicago and wasn't expected to be seen again in public — including by the members of the news media traveling with him — until he returns to Washington on Monday.
“At this time, there are no public events scheduled or plans for the president to leave the grounds of the golf club,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Saturday.
Call it a weekend with the boys, presidential style.
Eyebrows might have been raised at the thought of the president, any president, high-tailing it out of Washington, without his family, for some “me time” hundreds of miles away from the Oval Office. First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are on an annual ski vacation out West.
During the weekend, the president planned to practice his putting technique on the club's private, 18-hole course, which opened in 1996, according to golfnow.com, and is owned by Jim Crane, a Houston businessman who also owns Major League Baseball's Astros.
Crane has made political contributions to Republican and Democratic candidates, including $35,800 last year to a joint fundraising committee for Obama and the Democratic Party, and $2,300 to Obama in 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Obama's longtime friend from Chicago, Eric Whitaker, joined him on the flight from Chicago to Florida.
America's presidents have been taking solo vacations for decades, according to Larry Knutson, a former White House reporter for The Associated Press who wrote a book about presidents and their vacations.
President Truman vacationed most often by himself in tropical Key West, Fla. Many aides, all men, accompanied him.
President Franklin Roosevelt often visited his cottage at Warm Springs, Ga., without his wife. He was there when he died in April 1945.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program
- Despite high gas costs, Northeast resistant to pipelines
- Mining for tourists? A dubious economic savior in Appalachia
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Attorneys: Sterilizations were part of plea deal talks
- American crash victims: U.S. government contractor, daughter
- A bipartisan push on toxic chemicals makes some Democrats fume
- Run from Cuba, Americans cling to claims for seized property
- Christie rails against high N.J. estate tax
- Johnstown pair among 5 killed in S.C. crash
- Excessive use of solitary found for juveniles in Baltimore jail