No optical illusion: Obama balances world crises with golf, time off

U.S. President Barack Obama talks about Iraq at White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason OAK BLUFFS Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama gave Americans an update on U.S. military strikes in Iraq on Saturday from a podium on the White House lawn with Marine One, the presidential helicopter, parked in the background. Four hours later, he offered an altogether different tableau: a golf game with friends at a lush course on Martha’s Vineyard, the upscale Massachusetts island where the president and his family began a two-week vacation. With crises boiling in Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine, Obama – like his presidential predecessors in similar circumstances – proceeded with plans for a summer break, but only after making his Iraq statement against the very presidential backdrop. “The president will be traveling to Massachusetts with an array of communications equipment and national security advisers and others to ensure that he has the capacity to make the kinds of decisions that are required for the Commander-in-Chief,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday.

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