Vineyard Vacation: Obamas Arrive Amid Whispers of Kennedy Visit

President Obama and his family have arrived on Martha's Vineyard Sunday afternoon, having delayed their vacation by a few hours today to make sure Hurricane Bill had moved past the island.

A tropical storm warning for the Massachusetts coast was cancelled Sunday morning, but the first family will likely bring a frenzy of a different kind to the beach.

Already whispers are swirling that Obama plans to pay a visit to ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy this week in Massachusetts.

VIDEO: Unsettled health care reform bill may follow President Obama.
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Today, the U.S. Secret Service visited the Kennedy compound, ABC News learned -- though the White House said there are "no plans" for an Obama-Kennedy meeting.

Obama has also left behind a political storm in the nation's capital as he takes his week-long vacation.

Besides being an elder statesman for the Democratic Party, Kennedy is considered a champion of health care reform, and his lawmakers have felt his absence from Washington during the debate.

Today on "This Week", Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Obama's opponent in the 2008 presidential race, suggested Kennedy may have been able to smooth out some of the friction over health care.

Video: Republicans are take up the health care debate while Obama is on Vacation.
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"No person in that institution is indispensable, but Ted Kennedy comes as close to being indispensable as any individual I've ever known in the Senate because he had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations," McCain said.

"So it's huge that he's absent, not only because of my personal affection for him, but because I think the health care reform might be in a very different place today."

Obama kept fighting battles over health care reform right up until his vacation. He used his weekly address Saturday to defend his highly contested health care plan and refute the claims against it.

VIDEO: The president escapes health care for a week to vacation in Marthas Vineyard.
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"We've all heard the charge that reform will somehow bring about a government takeover of health care," Obama said. "I know that sounds scary to many folks -- it sounds scary to me, too. But here's the thing: It's not true."

No Public Events Scheduled During Vacation

Today, however, the first family left the White House and Washington behind, trading suits and skirts for flip flops and sunglasses.

The vacation marks the first full week off for President Obama since he took office in January and the first real family vacation for the Obama family.

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, have accompanied the president on jaunts overseas, but they have mostly kept their own schedule on those trips, taking in the sights and sounds of Europe while the president attended events and meetings.

Except for a few weekends at Camp David, and quick trips to Chicago and New York City, the president has stayed close to the White House, so this week's trip will be a true vacation, a break from policy and politics. That is if world events cooperate with his vacation plan.

Obama has no public events on his schedule for the week, and aides said he was not planning to meet with staff on health care. The White House will rely on surrogates to keep the message going while the president is out of the public eye.

In an interview earlier this summer, Obama defended his taking a vacation at a time when many Americans are out of work or struggling in the weakened economy.

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