Presidential Vacations Carry Heavy Baggage

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Summer vacations say a lot about a president. Ronald Reagan spent up to a month each season at his beloved Rancho del Cielo near Santa Barbara, Calif., much of the time on horseback. George H.W. Bush retreated to the family's compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, while his son, George W. Bush, preferred clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford, Tex.

Then there was Bill Clinton, always restless and without a home, who often borrowed the compound of a wealthy Democratic donor on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., spending nights on the town hosting fundraisers or playing the saxophone in a local tavern.

President Obama will bring his notably calmer, cooler demeanor to the Vineyard when he arrives Aug. 23 for a family vacation. There are no public events scheduled during the week; Obama plans to spend most of the time in seclusion with his family and a few close friends, aides say.

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