President Obama interrupts vacation, briefly returns to White House.

President Obama Heads Back to D.C., Takes Brief Break From “Vacation From Hell”

President Obama Heads Back to D.C., Takes Brief Break From “Vacation From Hell”

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Aug. 17 2014 1:23 PM

President Obama Heads Back to D.C., Takes Brief Break From “Vacation From Hell”

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President Barack Obama bikes at Martha's Vineyard on August 15, 2014.

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

It seems President Barack Obama is giving up, no longer trying to pretend that he is able to have any kind of a normal vacation during his planned break in Martha’s Vineyard. Obama wanted to catch a two-week break with his family in what has become a “vacation from hell,” as one CNN analyst famously called it. Obama is heading back to the White House Sunday night and will hold meetings on Monday and Tuesday before returning to Martha’s Vineyard. What he will do in Washington remains mostly a mystery, with the White House only saying that Obama will be meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers, reports the Associated Press.

The president’s rare break from a break comes amid criticism that now is not the right time for Obama to be taking some time off. Even though it has been clear Obama was engaged with the events that took place over the past week—he addressed the media twice—critics have questioned whether it makes sense for the president to be seen riding a bike and playing golf amid turmoil in Ferguson and Iraqi airstrikes, notes the Washington Post. Ultimately, Obama’s vacation this month marked his “worst attempt at relaxation since the Detroit underwear bomber consumed his 2009 Christmas holiday in Hawaii,” according to Politico.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.