On The Vineyard

President Obama and his family are on Martha’s Vineyard for the next nine days, but the press isn’t getting many details of what’s going to happen during their vacation.

Here was some of what Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One.

     MR. BURTON:  Thank you for joining us on our trip to Martha’s Vineyard.  For starters, I just wanted to ask, and for folks who read the transcript of this, that the privacy of the First Family is respected.  And, you know, the girls will obviously be out and about and the First Family will be doing things — you know, it’s just like last year.  We appreciate the hospitality of the folks at Martha’s Vineyard.  And the First Family had such a great time, they’re looking forward to a great time again.  We just hope that the local and national reporters respect the privacy of the girls, especially….

     Q    There’s some talk that there may be movement on the Middle East peace talks.  Is there a possibility that during the course of the Martha’s Vineyard holiday, there may be some news from the White House on progress to direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis?   
     MR. BURTON:  I saw those reports, and as you all know and have covered, George Mitchell, Secretary Clinton and the President have all been working very hard to make progress and get to a place where there are direct talks.  I don’t have anything to announce for you on that.  If there’s any change, then I will let you know as soon as possible….

     Q    Bill, could you say something about what the appeal is that Martha’s Vineyard has for the President — like what is so great about it?

     MR. BURTON:  Well, it’s a beautiful part of the country.  It has really nice beaches and the folks are really great.  The food is terrific.  And it’s some place that the President went before he was President and likes to go back because it’s a comfortable place where he can rest and recharge the batteries a little bit.

     Q    Can you talk a little bit about his workload?  I mean, he’ll get his daily briefings, but anything else scheduled?

     MR. BURTON:  Well, he’ll continue to get his intelligence briefings, and he’ll also be getting briefings on the economy and other issues as they come up.  But as any of you guys who have covered these vacations before know, there’s other things that come up and he’ll obviously attend to those as necessary.

     Q    What’s he reading?

     MR. BURTON:  Still don’t have that for you.  I know, it’s crazy.

The White House says the President will have no public events on Martha’s Vineyard.  He will leave on August 29th to fly to New Orleans for a series of events related to the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.