The White House said last week that the Obamas would not be vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard this year.
Phew. Good thing, since we had already launched a contest the week before that for Loop Fans to suggest where the family might want to go instead of the super-tony Vineyard.
We got a boatload of entries, most recommending spots in battleground states — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado or Wisconsin — and even some recommending overseas travel.
Without further ado, the winners:
* “Oil City, Pa., where oil was first discovered, then south to Cambridge Springs to visit Alliance College, the only Polish college in America. Unfortunately, I see it was closed.” Submitted by Bill Topolsky of Gaithersburg, a retiree formerly with the Institute of International Education. (Note: The college is now a state women’s prison.)
* Next door to Chief Justice John Roberts’s place in Port Clyde on Hupper Island, Maine, “where they can help him build a tree house and where he can sit out on a limb.” Submitted by Richard Crowley, a retired University of Pittsburgh professor now living in Annapolis.
* Cedar Point Amusement Park on Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio. (And not far from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Football Hall of Fame in Canton.) Suggested first by Fran Stockdale, a Buckeye-born, retired schoolteacher.
*Chicago. “It’s their home town. Shows he has roots and enjoys them.” Suggested by Gerald Rafshoon, movie and television producer and White House communications director in the Carter administration.
*Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. “It’s presidential worthy — five presidents have visited, including Kennedy and Clinton. I would recommend a visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore.” Suggested by Janet Martin, a Michigan native and finance manager for a Tennessee company now living in Silver Spring.
* A “staycation,” to show that they’re in touch with cash-strapped American families who are staying put this summer. Visit a few museums, maybe a day trip, suggests Elizabeth McGlynn from Bethesda, executive director of the nonprofit group Girls on the Run. “They live in one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions and they should take advantage of it.”
*Greece. “A typical Michelle Obama vacation would bail out the Greek economy.” Suggested by John Lehman, a musician from Independence, Mo.
*Israel. Nice beaches, tourist attractions. “They could stay at the same lodgings as Vladimir Putin has just used. The security arrangements there are already in place.” Submitted by Seth Perelman, a retiree from Verona, Wis.
*Beach spots in solid-blue states, like Ocean City, Md., and Rehoboth Beach, Del. To show the critics that he’s not pandering, Obama should take the family to Democratic strongholds. Suggested by prior contest winner Howard Walderman, a retired federal attorney from Columbia, Md.
*The Jersey Shore. The Obamas might like Wildwood Crest for its all-American boardwalk and beaches. Bonus: the prez could time his vacation to coincide with “Ukrainian Week” in August, says Roma Hadzewycz, the editor-in-chief of The Ukrainian Weekly and Svoboda, who lives in Parsippany, N.J.
Thanks to all for entering and congratulations to the winners. T-shirts (almost) in the mail.