Obama Vacations at GOPer's House, His Own Expense

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2009 8:06 AM CDT
Barack Obama departs the South Lawn of the White House with Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia, top right, in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009. Behind them is Obama's mother-in-law.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – The Obama clan will head to Martha’s Vineyard on Aug. 23 for a low-key summer vacation, the Washington Post reports, and they’ll be staying in enemy quarters. The president will be renting out the private estate of noted Republican donor William Van Devender, a Mississippi timber merchant who backed John McCain. In an unusual move, Obama will also pay his family’s portion of the week's rent, which will likely be around $25,000.

Typically, taxpayers pick up the tab for such accommodations, with the White House and Secret Service splitting the tab. Obama says he’s not worried that the getaway will seem unseemly amidst a recession. “Do I think the American people think that because of those hardships I shouldn’t spend some quality time with my daughters?” he said recently. “I don’t think that’s what the American people think about.”