Exclusive Martha's Vineyard is the summer retreat of choice for many of the richest Americans -- indeed, for more than a few of the wealthiest people in the world.
So, fresh off a tour of the heartland to spend just a bit of time with "real Americans," the Obamas are headed for 10 glorious days at an exclusive 30-acre enclave on The Vineyard known as Blue Heron Farm. Now, this ain't like any farm you've ever heard of. That's because it's not really a farm.
Hey, the First Lady may enjoy growing garden vegetables but she won't be doing any farming on vacation. No way.
No, this "farm" consists of a main house, guest house, extensive gardens, boat house, horse barn and pasture land, golf green, apple orchard and pool. And this farm even has a basketball court so The Prez can play hoops. Plus, there is access to a private beach.
Blue Heron Farm is off-limits to the general public. In fact, it's gated and very secure.
According to the Vineyard Gazette, "the lack of wider access [and little or no public interaction] maintains a pattern set in Mr. Obama's previous . . . visits to the Island."
Blue Heron Farm is for the Obamas and their special guests -- mostly the sort of wealthy and influential people who can afford to have access to, and vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
You see, Martha's Vineyard is set apart. It's an island at sea off the coast of Massachusetts. So, you can't just get in your car and drive there. You've got to take a ferry or a plane to get there. A study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average and housing prices are 96 percent higher. The Island attracts so many artists, writers, stars and celebrities that it has often been dubbed "Hollywood East." It is also a popular summer haven for judges, physicians, business executives, surgeons, attorneys, politicians, and professors. This is where the elite meet.
But among all this exclusiveness, Blue Heron Farm is even more exclusive. For, even after you get to The Vineyard, you have to really hunt for Blue Heron Farm because it's located far afield in the less-populated Chilmark section of the island and it sits on the Atlantic Ocean. Very secluded.
When the First Family first started coming to Blue Heron (in 2009) it was all so chic and it was almost as if a new family of Hollywood stars had taken up residence. The Obamas were still basking in That Glow.
But this is 2011 -- not '09. And an awful lot has changed.
The bright luster that surrounded the Obamas is gone. The bloom is off the rose.
And instead of getting better under Obama, as unlikely as this once seemed, things have actually gotten worse.
The country is facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment is high. Millions are out of work and many have given up finding a job altogether. Manufacturing is down. The stock market is tanking. Home sales figures remain glum. The real estate market is kaput. Consumer confidence is at an all time low. And Obama's poll numbers? Well, let's just say that Mr. Hope & Change has proved to be gravely mortal.
It's not the best time for the president to be hobnobbing with the wealthy and influential on a secluded estate in Martha's Vineyard -- especially when he's still railing against corporate barons and private jets.
But President Obama has made his choice. This is where he wants to be and this is when he wants to be there. Indeed, in these hard times he's chosen one of the cushiest places on earth.
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