Nor, apparently, war or the threat of war.
Russian tanks may be revving their engines on the borders of Ukraine, ready to begin Sevastopol Grand Prix, but that’s not going to keep President Obama from jetting off to Key Largo for a little fun in the sun.
The situation in Ukraine won’t keep President Barack Obama from taking a weekend getaway in South Florida with his family.
Obama will stick with his plans to travel to a beachfront resort in Key Largo following a visit Friday to a Miami high school, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“There’s always a chance the schedule could change, but I don’t anticipate any changes,” Earnest said.
The president is bound to face criticism from Republicans for spending the weekend away from the White House while he and other foreign leaders remain stymied by Russia’s refusal to pull back troops from Ukraine.
Obama will be able to monitor the situation, Earnest said: the president is traveling with a deputy national security adviser, will be able to engage in talks in a “secure fashion,” and can meet “all the responsibilities that he has.”
CNN helpfully explains why this is no big deal:
While the White House signaled earlier in the week that a long-planned getaway in South Florida could be nixed due to overseas events, the commander-in-chief and his family will remain in Key Largo for the weekend.
All presidents are routinely criticized for taking time off even though the chief executive always travels with a full retinue of aides and secure communications equipment. This means he can work and the requirements of the job are never far away.
This is true — up to a point. While every president leaves themselves open to criticism for sneaking away for a weekend, I can’t recall it happening when our primary geopolitical adversary is poised to start a shooting war in Europe.
What do you suppose Vladimir Putin is thinking when he hears that Obama is off to Florida with his family to play golf and soak up some rays while he holds a massive air defense exercise and 150,000 Russian troops are on the border of a much smaller neighbor?
What would you think if you were Putin?