Obama Called Nine Foreign Leaders While on Vacation

Obama follows through during a round Saturday. Obama follows through during a round Saturday. Steven Senne/AP

The bear is loose again in the streets of Washington.

President Obama returned to the White House on Sunday night after two weeks in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts with his family. During that time, the president broke the cardinal rule of vacation: He worked—calling nine foreign leaders. Here's who Obama called and what they talked about:

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, about Iraq
  • Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, about the leader's recent election
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about Gaza
  • Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, about the Ebola outbreak
  • Sierra Leonian President Ernest Bai Koroma, about the Ebola outbreak
  • Romanian President Traian Băsescu, about the crisis in Ukraine
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, about Russian intervention in Ukraine
  • Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, about Georgia's growing partnership with NATO
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, about the crisis in Ukraine

Obama also, coincidentally, played the same number of rounds of golf—a leisurely activity that, set against a backdrop of tragic news stories in Ferguson and Iraq, drew criticism. CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller counted the rest of the president's activities in Massachusetts, including business and pleasure:

  • Four dinners out
  • Three press statements
  • Two beach trips
  • Two hikes
  • One Democratic fundraiser
  • One jazz show
  • One birthday party
  • One family bike ride

Across the pond, British Prime Minister David Cameron was also on vacation, which he put on pause to deliver press statements of his own. "Wherever I am in the world I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry, and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed," he said, offering a defense similar to the one the White House has given to critics of Obama's vacation.

Looks like when you're a world leader, there's no such thing as an out-of-office message.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.