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WaPo Columnist Works Gratuitous Swipe at Romney Into Story About National Park Service

Lake vacations are now controversial

“Summer’s in full swing, and unless your family is rather Romney-esque, there’s a chance you’ll be spending some time in one of the country’s hundreds of national parks. “

That’s how Washington Post “In the Loop” columnist worked in a gratuitous swipe at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in today’s “In the Loop” column in which he interviewed Jonathan Jarvis, the head of the National Park Service.

It’s tempting to think this was an out-of-the-blue snark by Kamen, but you will recall that on June 25 he asked his readers for their input on where the Obamas should vacation, cheekily noting that it was “our civic duty” to help pick the next vacation spot for the first family — although it appears Kamen never had such a contest when President Bush was in office.

In that same column Kamen wrote the family might have to settle for an abbreviated trek to somewhere far less posh — perhaps a national park. You might recall that during the 1996 presidential reelection campaign, the Clintons (who also favored holidaying at Martha’s Vineyard) hunkered down during the GOP convention in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and toured Yellowstone, a poll-tested acceptable vacation spot in a crucial reelection year. 

George W. Bush waited out the Dems’ 2004 summer confab at his Crawford, Tex., ranch.”  However, heaven forbid Mitt Romney take some time off without the help of an opinion poll from voters and on his own dime.

Kamen is not alone, of course, among journalists attacking Romney’s vacation venue.  Kristin A. Lee of New York Daily News wrote that “as Mitt Romney continued a family getaway at his multi-million dollar New Hampshire compound on Friday, President Obama recalled riding on Greyhound buses and staying at Howard Johnson hotels on his own childhood vacations.”

“During a campaign rally in Ohio, Obama said that as a child he was excited just to play with the ice machine and swim in the hotel pool. It didn’t matter how big it was, Obama said.”  Does the media forget that Mr. Obama is also in the 1%?”

If the media is trying comment on families having to scale back on vacation and rely on national parks, isn’t that partly Obama’s fault, given his handling of the economy?  You don’t have to be Romney rich to spend a week on a lake.

Nevertheless, ABC News’s Emily Friedman noted in a blog post that “just a few hours after telling reporters the jobs report today was a ‘kick in the gut’ for Americans, Mitt Romney returned to his vacation, driving his high-power speedboat, filled to the brim with his kids and grandkids, to a nearby home for a dip in Lake Winnipesaukee.”

Norah O’Donnell took a shot at Romney on CBS This Morning stating  “while the president’s on a bus, Romney’s been on a boat, photographed while on vacation with his family in New Hampshire, and facing criticism from his own party.”

I never knew a family vacation will reap so much coverage from the dead tree media.

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