President Barack Obama declared Gulf Coast beaches clean, safe and open for business Saturday as he brought his family to the Florida Panhandle and promised residents that the government wouldn't forget them once efforts to stop the leak are finished. . . .
Obama is in the region for a brief weekend trip with first lady Michelle Obama, daughter Sasha (her sister Malia is at summer camp) and the family dog, Bo. Their 27-hour stop in the Sunshine State is as much a family vacation as it is an attempt by the president to convince Americans that this region, so dependent on tourism revenue, is safe for travel — and that its surf is clean. . . .
The White House scheduled the trip after facing criticism that the president wasn't heeding his own advice that Americans vacation in the Gulf. Obama has vacationed in North Carolina and Maine this year and is heading to Martha's Vineyard, off the Massachusetts coast, later in August. Mrs. Obama also traveled to Spain this month with Sasha.
People aren't stupid - - the unspoken message is that Spain and Hawaii and North Carolina and Maine and Martha's Vineyard are for vacations, but Florida is unsafe and an obligatory photo op for political purposes only.
A 27-hour stop (which included campaign style appearances)? Don't do us any favors. This was worse than not showing up.