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Vacationing Obama hits campaign trail

President Barack Obama tips his hat to the crowd after finishing a round of golf at Mid-Pacific Country Club during his family vacation on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Kailua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama tips his hat to the crowd after finishing a round of golf at Mid-Pacific Country Club during his family vacation. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Golf game, afternoons at the beach and … political campaigning?

President Barack Obama is interrupting what so far has been a leisurely vacation to campaign and help raise money for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee. Obama has said there’s never been anyone more qualified than Clinton, who was his rival in the 2008 presidential contest and his first-term secretary of state, to be president.

Obama is slated to headline a Democratic Party fundraising reception Monday evening on Martha’s Vineyard, the island playground off the coast of Massachusetts where he’s in the midst of a two-week vacation with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters Malia and Sasha.

Democrats Hank Goldberg and his wife, Carol, are hosting the event at their home in Chilmark, the same town where the president is renting a vacation home.

Obama will deliver remarks, but the news media will not be permitted to hear his answers to questions asked by some of the donors in attendance. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort aiding her campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties across the country.

The White House said Obama is eager to hit the campaign trail and be as helpful as possible to fellow Democrats. After the scheduling worked out, he agreed to interrupt his golf, beach and dinner outings to appear at the fundraiser and give Clinton a boost.

Obama recently said Clinton’s opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is “unfit to serve,” his most biting denunciation yet of the New York businessman.

Obama said Trump’s recent criticism of Muslim parents who lost their U.S. soldier son in Iraq and who publicly criticized Trump’s stance toward Muslims, plus the candidate’s lack of “basic knowledge” about critical issues in Europe, the Middle East and Asia “means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.”

Obama is expected to campaign aggressively for Clinton in the fall run-up to the Nov. 8 elections. He endorsed her right after the primaries and caucuses ended in June. At their first joint campaign appearance in Charlotte, North Carolina, in July, Obama said no one more qualified than Clinton has ever sought to become president.

He repeated the assertion at the Democratic National Convention late last month, saying “there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill (Clinton), nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.”

Clinton is not expected to appear with Obama on Monday. She’ll be making her first campaign appearance with Vice President Joe Biden in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Obama arrived Aug. 6 on the tony Massachusetts island where he has vacationed during all but one of his eight summers as president. So far, he has indulged in six rounds of golf, his favorite outdoor pastime, six dinner outings at a mix of familiar and new restaurants, two afternoons at the beach and a couple of trail walks.

The president is scheduled to return to the White House on Aug. 21.


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