President Barack Obama decided to cut short his vacation to Martha's Vineyard on Sunday night and return to the White House for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers amid U.S. airstrikes on Iraq and violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of Mike Brown. Obama received multiple daily briefings during his family trip all last week, but after critics slammed him for spending two weeks on a resort island during growing foreign and domestic crises, he opted to temporarily call it quits on his beach trip.
Obama was far from checked out during his time in Martha's Vineyard, a popular retreat for presidents and other affluent leaders. He made on-camera statements on Iraq and the racial tensions in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb home to a mostly black population with a majority-white police department. The Missouri protests began after a white police officer killed Brown, a black 18-year-old student, for unknown reasons. He also engaged in telephone conversations with foreign leaders to discuss ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.
Amid the turmoil, Obama still found plenty of time to golf, head to the beach with his family and dine out on the island. He and wife Michelle also attended a jazz performance featuring singer Rachelle Ferrell, according to the Associated Press.
Before Obama returned to Washington on Sunday, reporters had dubbed his trip the "vacation from hell," given the many building conflicts and tensions demanding his attention. Politico called it "his worst attempt at relaxation since the Detroit underwear bomber consumed his 2009 Christmas holiday in Hawaii."
It's unclear exactly how Obama will spend his first full day back to work. There were no events listed on the president's public schedule for Monday.