ABC News’ Stephanie Smith reports:
On the first full day of his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, the president made his first public appearance at a well-known bookstore, “A Bunch of Grapes,” in the nearby town of Vineyard Haven.
Just after noon, rumors started swirling that he might be coming. Within minutes, mysterious men with yellow police tape appeared on Main Street, where most of the town’s business are located. They blocked off access to the bookstore’s entrance. Shortly thereafter, the presidential motorcade made its way down the narrow street to the delight of the crowds that had gathered.
Dressed in a casual short sleeved blue shirt, the president emerged with his girls, Sasha and Malia. The crowds began to cheer and scream. Washington, D.C., resident Virlynn Adkinson, who just this morning arrived for a week’s vacation with several friends, was thrilled to get a chance to see the president in person for the first time. She scoffed at the suggestion the island is known for attracting mostly the rich and famous.
“I think there’s a perception it’s posh,” Adkinson said. “I think a lot of your middle class, average folks come here for vacation.”
As for those critics who think the president should stay at the White House working on the country’s economic problems, Adkinson wasn’t buying that. “He’s working all the time. He’s doing a little relaxing when he’s with his two girls, but for the most part he’s working. There’s too much going on in the country.”
When the president emerged from the store with his girls some 15 minutes later, he chatted and shook hands with a line of pre-selected, lucky folks who were chosen from the crowds to greet him. Many of them chanted, “Four more years! Four more years!” And then, just like that, he was gone.
Unfortunately, Adkinson and her friends weren’t as lucky but just getting to see him in person was enough. Laughing and giving her friends five, she said, “it was wonderful. It was fabulous.”
Asked if this made her vacation, she replied emphatically, “Yes!”
A Bunch of Grapes has been around for over 40 years. The family also visited there last year. The White House press corps, coincidentally, is staying about one block away from the bookstore but that didn’t seem to deter Mr. Obama from making the trip.