NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — A storm that curtailed outdoor activities for much of President Barack Obama’s vacation was forecast to end Wednesday, but he said he’s been able to fight off cabin fever.
Not only has he been able to sneak in two rounds of golf, but he told reporters Tuesday he’s “doing a lot of reading” at the farm compound he’s rented for the first family. “I’m having a great time,” he said.
The president made the remarks, his first in public since heading out on vacation last week, as he escorted first lady Michelle Obama from the State Road restaurant.
Obama has faced some criticism for his latest vacation, his sixth since taking office. At a time when painful unemployment numbers continue to bear down on the tattered economy, many are frustrated that the nation’s leader is enjoying another luxurious trip. On CBS’ “The Late Show” Tuesday night, David Letterman took a jab at the president, saying: “He’ll have plenty of time for vacations after his one term is up.”
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The couple dined out for the second consecutive night, this time with Washington power broker Vernon Jordan and his wife, Ann, as well as Chicago friends Eric and Cheryl Whitaker. White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett also joined the group.
Fellow diners cheered the president and clapped as he left the restaurant. Obama paused for pictures and signed autographs. While Mrs. Obama wore a colorful print dress with contrasting sleeves, the president looked more subdued in khakis, a striped dress shirt and blue outdoor jacket.
Strong thunderstorms have lashed the island off Massachusetts since Sunday, causing power outages, curtailing air transportation and forcing ferry cancellations. They also triggered traffic jams and long lines at movie theaters, restaurants and other indoor venues.
The Obamas are scheduled to remain on vacation until Sunday, when the president heads to New Orleans to check on the gulf oil spill cleanup and to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
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