In new president’s location dozens of Secret Service agents will be accomodated, someone will carry a selection of presidential basketballs, and of course the family dog needs his own state-of-the-art aircraft, reports The Telegraph.
President Obama arrived at the idyllic coastal retreat of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, putting off heated debates over the budget, government surveillance programs and his health care reforms.
Now the U.S. president is scheduled to enjoy eight days of his holidays playing in golf, taking sun baths and buying books from the Bunch of Grapes bookstore.
U.S. First Family’s Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, arrived at the place separately on one of two MV-22 Ospreys, a hybrid aircraft which takes off like a helicopter but moves like a plane.
Bo’s short trip marked the first time this type of vehicles have been taken on holiday by a US president.
According to reports, for Secret Service agents have been booked more that 70 hotel rooms, each costing up to $345 (£220) a night. The president’s security took charge of luggage including two large mesh bags full of basketballs.
The Martha’s Vineyard Times newspaper warned residents of the region to expect “extraordinary and lengthy up-island detours”. Local officials also warned residents, saying: “Anyone aggrieved by this closing should email or call the White House.”
Jay Carney, White House spokesman, said: “Obviously, when you’re President of the United States, you carry a little baggage when you travel. And that’s true whether it’s on a summit, international meeting, a domestic trip, or for a vacation. I know he’s looking forward very much to some down time with his family. I’m sure he’ll see some friends.”
The news comes a few days after President Obama promised to carry out NSA reforms.
President Obama unveiled his plans to limit sweeping nation’s surveillance programs that have been highly criticized after leaks by a former spy agency contractor, saying the United States “can and must be more transparent.”
“Given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance, particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives,” Obama told an afternoon press conference at the White House on Friday.
The president went on, adding that it was important to find the golden medium between security and civil liberties and promised to do his best to improve oversight of surveillance and restore public trust in the government’s programs, reports Reuters.
“It’s not enough for me as president to have confidence in these programs. The American people need to have confidence in them, as well,” Obama said, explaining that he was confident the programs were not being abused.
The U.S. president also mentioned a range of steps that would likely help to meet the target he set on Friday.
Obama swore to cooperate with Congress to pursue appropriate improvements of the telephone data program, to reform the secret court that approves that initiative; to improve transparency to provide as much information as possible to the public.
As CNN writes, the president also mentioned appointing a high-level, independent group of outside experts to review surveillance technologies.
“There’s no doubt Mr. Snowden’s leaks triggered a much more rapid and passionate response than if I had simply appointed this review board,” Obama said.
However, the U.S. president refused to characterise the former NSA contractor, who published top-secret agency’s programs online, neither as a “whistle-blower” or “patriot,” saying there were “other avenues” Snowden could have taken instead of doing what he did.