Under the circumstances, Martha's Vineyard might not be the perfect vacation choice.

Sure, presidents need chill-time just like the rest of us. Probably more so. Their work duties are more relentless. And along with being president, Barack Obama has at least two other jobs, husband and dad.

But why did the O's decide to follow in the Topsider tracks of Kennedys, Clintons and other Democratic aristocrats, choosing the tony Massachusetts island once again as their summer-vacation retreat? Doesn't the Vineyard look a little ritzy when the economy might be threatening a second recessionary dip?

Holy Kennebunkport! Fancy vacations aren't a Democrat-only thing. George W. had his spread in Texas. Mike Bloomberg jets to Bermuda for the weekend. And I don't recall the Romneys checking into too many Motel 6s.

Because here's the truth of the vacation choice, whether you're a Republican or Democrat, on the public payroll, the private payroll or no payroll at all: Traveling well is better than traveling budget. Once you're used to staying in nice places, it's hard to stay in dumps. There's no inflation like taste inflation when you're traveling. And out in vacation America, the nice stuff is almost never cheap.

For the Henicans way back when, that meant a tour of kidney-shaped pools at off-the-interstate Holiday Inns. For the Obamas of today, it means something a little more luxurious.

Last one in the water's a tea party Republican!

WHINE-CATION

1. "Are we there yet?"

2. "I have to go again."

3. "It's too cold in here!"

4. "She's sitting on my side of the seat!"

5. "This room smells funny."

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Is this how we know late summer's really here? Suffolk just recorded its first human case of West Nile? . . . Five years and counting for Trump on the Ocean? Has the can-do developer finally met his match at Jones Beach? Donald gives his banquet-hall spin at a rally Aug. 31 . . . After 61-year-old Jones Beach lifeguard Roy Lester gets done suing the state parks department over its only-Speedos-for-lifeguards rule, you think he might take his pro-jammers campaign to the beaches in Florida? . . . 7,800 jobs lost on LI? Call home, please! . . . With hand-held, iPhone-enabled Ticket Issuing Machines now being tested on the LIRR, how about zapping the $6.50 onboard ticket penalty? Now THAT would be customer-friendly . . . Did the Hartford Courant really have to hype "secret . . . local" Orient Beach to the outside world? "After just a stroll down the pebbly beach, you'll be alone with views of the Long Beach Bar Lighthouse, Shelter Island and awesome sunsets." Not when all these Connecticut people (in their Speedos?) start showing up!

THE NEWS IN SONG:
Why fret about work? "I Don't Have to Be Me ('Til Monday)" by Steve Azar: tinyurl.com/onvacay
LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: RACHEL BOBIS

Many people mourn the death of Daniel Bobis. Staff and students at Long Beach High. Just about the entire Long Island surfing community. The popular math teacher, surf-team coach and long-boarder died last month at age 32 in the pounding waves off Indonesia. But amid her grief, his widow (and fellow passionate surfer), Rachel Bobis, has resisted any slide into blame or bitterness. She organized efforts to find her husband's body. She's shared her passion for the sport they both loved. She's laid out her own her theory of how he died. She believes he tumbled off his board in a 10-foot wave and hit his head on a reef. Rachel Bobis is carrying on. A family fundraiser is being planned on Oct. 15 at the Long Beach Inn. More at Daniel Bobis Info on Facebook.

Email ellis@henican.com

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