As Obama's vacation ends, criticism does not

U.S. President Obama cycles with his daughter Malia during their family vacation at Martha's Vineyard in MassachusettsBy Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton EDGARTOWN Mass./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Barack Obama discovered over the past two weeks, presidents can run into trouble when their playtime is perceived as detached from the concerns of Americans. Obama returns to Washington on Sunday faced with having to repair some of the dings to his reputation after he came under fierce criticism for playing golf amid smoldering crises involving Islamic State militants, racial unrest in Missouri, a Chinese plane’s altercation with an American aircraft over Japan, and renewed violence in Ukraine. “Perception is reality, and it takes a long, sustained effort to change perception,” said Dana Perino, a former press secretary for President George W. Bush. George H.W. Bush was seen as out of touch by rocketing around the waters off the coast of Maine in a pricey speedboat while the country faced an economic slowdown.

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