Obamateurism of the Day

As Mitt Romney took his family on vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee, where he maintains a tony summer home, Barack Obama decided that this was an opportune moment to paint himself as one of the hoi polloi.  At a campaign stop at Carnegie Mellon University — hardly a discount commuter college — Obama talked about how a trip to a motel with a swimming pool was the mark of a great vacation when he was a wee lad:

“I remember my favorite vacation when I was a kid, traveling with my mom and my grandma and my sister, and we traveled the country on Greyhound buses, railroads. And once in a while we’d rent a car, not that often, and stay at Howard Johnsons,” Obama told supporters at Carnegie Mellon University.

“Didn’t matter how big the pool was; if there was a pool, I’d jump in. I was 11 years old, and I was excited just to go to the vending machine and get the ice bucket and get the ice,” he told the crowd.

Not exactly jet skis on Winnipesaukee. Hint, hint.

Er, sure.  But isn’t this the same man who now vacations with the upper crust at Martha’s Vineyard every summer until, coincidentally, this election year when he needed to look a little more middle-class?  Three days before this speech, ABC News reported that this was the first summer in four years that the Obamas skipped the Massachusetts mecca:

With the campaign heating up before the November  election, there appears to be little time for the president to squeeze in his annual vacation on the idyllic island.

For the past three years, the president, the first lady  Obama and their two daughters have rented a house on Martha’s Vineyard, filling their days with bike rides, golf games and stops for ice cream. This year, however, with what is expected to be a close election just five months away, the president will likely be on the campaign trail.

And let’s not forget the sojourn to Spain that the First Lady and their daughter enjoyed with a few friends and a lot of Secret Service protection:

First Lady Michelle Obama has drawn some criticism from conservative radio hosts for her international travel, including a trip to Spain with daughter Sasha where she lunched with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

The Christmas vacations at the resort in Hawaii aren’t too bad, either.  I’d call that a lot better than the motel swimming pool of Obama’s youth, as are the 100+ golf outings Obama has enjoyed as President by now.  There’s nothing wrong with families taking vacations that fit within their budget, but those who stay in expensive glass resorts on Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, and Spain shouldn’t throw stones.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!