Cokie Roberts on Obama's vacation: "I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state," but it looks "foreign, exotic"
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On the August 10 edition of ABC's This Week, ABC News political analyst Cokie Roberts criticized Sen. Barack Obama -- who was born in Hawaii -- for "going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii," which she said "does not make any sense whatsoever." Roberts stated: "I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place." Roberts continued: "He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time."
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported on August 9 that "[a]fter delivering a campaign speech, Sen. Barack Obama's first stop on his Hawaii vacation was a visit to his grandmother's Makiki apartment, where he also lived during his youth."
From the August 10 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
JAKE TAPPER (ABC News senior national political correspondent): A lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill wringing their hands about Obama. He's not hitting back hard enough. Do you agree?
WILL: I don't. Part of his charm, such as it is for those who feel it, is his aristocratic languor, his sort of relaxed, laid-back attitude, and as a result, he gives the impression sometimes as a candidate, not with an instinct for the jugular, but for the capillaries, that he goes for small responses. You pointed one out one this morning, talking about a war going on in Europe and he's worried about some lobbyist working for McCain. But I don't think this is his main problem.
TAPPER: What is his main problem?
GEORGE WILL (Washington Post columnist): His main problem is that people have not yet decided that he ought to be the one sitting across the table from -- to pick a name out of the ether -- Putin.
ROBERTS: Yeah, that he has certainly come nowhere near closing the deal. As we've talked about before, in this year that should be such a Democratic year given all the other indices, he is tied in the polls and stage-sided in the polls and going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii --
VICTORIA CLARKE (former Pentagon spokeswoman): Right.
ROBERTS: -- does not make any sense whatsoever. I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time.
CLARKE: Well, and --
ROBERTS: And I just think that, you know, this is not the time to do that.
CLARKE: And there's plenty of time left. I mean, let's not forget, Barack Obama and his campaign beat the Clintons, which is no easy feat in any year. They beat them, and they beat by being pretty tough on Hillary Clinton sometimes when they felt they needed to. I think they realize that most people right now aren't paying attention. They don't need to do it quite yet. There is plenty of time after the conventions to do that, and I think you'll see the surrogates coming out of the woodwork just ready to redefine McCain. Buried in some of these stories in the last few days, one of the Obama advisers, of course on background, saying, just wait, by the time November comes around, people are going to have a different picture of John McCain.