Something fishy about Obama’s Montana visit

August 15, 2009

It was Barack Obama’s “A River Runs Through It” moment.

Moving beyond his usual sporting pursuits of basketball and golf, the U.S. president took advantage of his trip to Montana’s Big Sky country on Friday to try his hand at the Western pastime of fly fishing.

His original plan for a 30-minute helicopter ride to a fishing spot at the O’Dell Creek Ranch was nixed by rainy weather.

Instead, after hosting a healthcare townhall meeting in the rustic town of Belgrade, Obama traveled by motorcade to a nearby private ranch set against a misted mountain range.

The meandering East Gallatin River runs through it and the fishing hole there was apparently deemed acceptable for presidential use.

Although the press pool was kept at a distance with its view mostly obscured by trees and overcast skies, Obama’s entourage was spotted headed to the riverbank with fly-fishing rods in hand. Whiplike lures could be seen looping gracefully over the water.

But that didn’t last for long. Driving rain soon forced the party indoors at a sprawling ranch-style mansion.

Obama was said to have planned to try out a new fishing rod he received as a birthday present from friends.

Trout are plentiful this time of year in Montana’s cool waters but there was no word from aides on whether the president hooked anything. But if he did, locals expected he would follow the custom of “catch and release.”

 Continuing his half-business, half-pleasure Western tour, Obama will visit Yellowstone National Park in nearby Wyoming on Saturday and the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Sunday.


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President Obama needs some recreational time with the full-plate of problems of state. This charismatic President is handling things admirably well despite the number of banana skins being placed by Republican critics. One thing that is crystal clear is that the President maintains his sense of humour with his razor-sharp intellect. He is bending himself backwards to provide comprehensive insurance and affordable health-care to all sections of American society. His use of town hall meetings to explain his policies is to reach out to all sections of American people and to be more transparent.

Posted by Pancha Chandra Brussels | Report as abusive

The way I see it is that he is taking a nice vacation at MY expense, staying in the northern climates to remain “cool”.

Posted by Sam in Austin, TX | Report as abusive

Every president takes vacations — here’s the totals for previous presidents — looks like the democrats worked harder — and the Bushes took the most with GW Bush taking 1,020 days — yes that adds up to 2.8 years.

Carter took 79 days in 4 years.
Clinton took 152 days in 8 years.

Reagan took 335 days in 8 years.
Bush Sr. took 543 days in 4 years!

George W. Bush’s vacation time (grand total)

487 days at Camp David
490 days at Crawford Ranch
43 days at Kennebunkport Compound

Total: 1020 days, more than 1/3rd of his presidency. Bush set the record for most vacation time taken by president.

At some point you’ve got to acknowledge that he just wasn’t that interested in dealing with the issues facing ordinary Americans — except for those who went to fight his wars of course.

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive

There are vacations and then vacations. I would never assume that because the president is away from the White House and assumed to therefore be on vacation, that he is not working. Work travels with them regardless of wjere they are. True of all Presidents.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

In my opinion—-he should stay on vacation until the next election—-that way he would do LESS harm–the same thing for the Congress. Ever since the Democrats and Republicans combined – we have had nothing but bad decisions and choices and luck. Their agenda is to fight little battles between themselves to entertain the public and to divert attention away from the big, important and serious issues. Until the public learns that the private owners of the Non-Federal Federal Reserve system are pulling the strings so our existing president can dance the puppet polka and it’s lapdog, the entire combined welfare-warfare administration are destroying our nation, the down-hill slide will continue. Simply watch the value of the dollar drip away. The fiat currency aka the dollar is the most apparent example of the corruption. U No Who

Posted by Kenny Boya | Report as abusive

Well Sam in Austin, TX, maybe if Texas weren’t so full of ideologically closed minds maybe Obama would visit your neck of the woods, but it just doesn’t seem so inviting now, does it? After all, Texas killed Kennedy.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

get real. NO president ever takes a true ‘vacation’.

Posted by Asrai | Report as abusive

Thank you Lisa…Did Obomba promise you a condo on the water with a Cadillac Escalade with 24 inch rims in the garage. Presidents dont take vacations.They are on duty 24/7/365…grow up

Posted by obomba da magnificent | Report as abusive

Just wondering. Did Obama have in his possession a Montana fishing licence as required by law?

Posted by Dale | Report as abusive

obomba, well done. Don’t call out Sam (who cracks on Obama taking a “vacation” on his dime, crack on the person who responds to Sam with facts. Typical Pub shell game.
Maybe your comment (which contains SOME truth) would be worthy of respect if you had.

Posted by violiner | Report as abusive

This President can sell a rotten fish as the catch of the day and that is frightening, but more importantly I do not understand how there can be so many interpretations of the points in this bill and that, in my opinion, is the most worrisome issue of all. Mr. Obama claims he will not ration, he will not dictate end of life care, he will not tap our bank accounts, but many reputable news services have in fact listed exact text from the document to the contrary. I believe once we let the government in, they will do what they want because the language is so vague. Therefore, with a bill that seems to have been rushed and a President which tried to bully it through the approval process in addition to language that leaves so much room for interpretation I can not understand how the public should support this bill and I believe it should NOT be passed.

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

Obviously Obama went fishing for a new health care plan while up in Montana. He took a look at the poll numbers and dropped the public option faster than he dropped Jeremiah Wright. Those of you on the left who insist on the public option should be very upset at the Prez now. But you won’t be, cuz he sure can read a teleprompter well. Obama-0 American people-1

Posted by droidtokyo | Report as abusive

So what?

About a year ago, VP Cheney took a fishing trip in Idaho, including the usual security precautions AND divers in the river.


Posted by Greg J | Report as abusive

I think that managing foreign relations to prevent wars and managing the wars that are necessary are about the only things the president should be working on. All of this money shuffling from one working person to another one who can’t work or will not work just gives all the politicians a chance to skim off a percentage. In the end those in need don’t get it anyway. Please take care of your family, your neighbor, your community – without involving the government.

Posted by BenJ | Report as abusive

while everyone hear is talking about vacations and fishing. The real problem of health costs keep going up and the doctor are making million and the hospitals are building and adding medical office because the are suppose to be profit free. We need reform funny when the govenor of Mass.Romney a Republic was running for President that was 1 of his points to vote for him and toted as the state to mimic.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

Lisa’s comment says it all – GW Bush was on vacation for 1/3 of his presidency. Maybe that is why Kenny likes Presidents that are on vacation a majority of their time on the job (and maybe Bush was his favorite).
I want my President and Congress working for me, not taking vacations and only being a Decider-In-Chief.
Bush and Cheney were on vacation at the time of Katrina and on a lot of other issues and look where that got us -The Iraq WMD fallacy & The Great Recession will be their legacy.

Posted by RB | Report as abusive

Hey Borisjimbo,
You’re right Kennedy was shot in Texas. But, Lincoln was shot by an actor. Reagan was shot by a guy obsessed with an actress. Sounds to me like those darn actors are shooting Presidents or causing them to be shot. Maybe Obama shouldn’t visit hollywood or accept endorsements from actors. After all those darn actors are historically most likely to shoot a President or cause one to be shot.
William McKinley was shot in New York. Guess Obama shouldn’t visit New York.
Lincoln and Garfield were shot in D.C. So guess Obama shouldn’t go there either. Garfield was shot by a lawyer. But we all knew lawyers were bad news anyway.

Posted by Rudderfish | Report as abusive

When will he get something accomplished?

Posted by brigitte | Report as abusive

Obama is a wonderful and gifted public speaker, but the American public who voted for his rhetoric are just now discovering that the emperor has no clothes.

His first seven months are littered with failed legislation and failed campaign promises, and his popularity is taking a nosedive. His administration is awash in massive and non-productive overspending.

He is in a bind primarily of his own making — a victim of his consistently lousy choices in appointments, and his decision to let Nancy Pelosi and the dem committee chairmen manage his legislative agenda.

If he doesn’t quickly make serious changes in his administration and vastly improve his leadership of the Dem congress, his approval ratings will continue to plunge, his presidency will be irretrievably failed, and the 2010 elections will see BIG losses for his party in the congress.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Please tell me the times Obama has displayed a “razor sharp” wit. I would like to hear him say something off the record that sounds like a real American.

He comes across as dumb; so dumb that he cannot talk without a teleprompter. When he does his true self is revealed. And that is very scary!

Posted by Chris Spangler | Report as abusive

Let me state this again for those of you who failed to understand the real issue here. This man has been on a perpetual vacation his whole life, and he will continue this at taxpayer expense. There is nothing stressful about his job and where in this country can you work for a few months as a new employee and take as much vacation as you want? Thought for the day – take 1 week vacation after the first year, 2 weeks after 5 years, just like everyone else, and pay for it with your own money. No planes, hundreds of security people, closing roads, etc. Hmm.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

Your all missing the point here. Obama’s healthcare is just another step towards the New World Order. What we truly need is a smaller government and smaller deficit. Remember one thing, Obama learned from the greatest scam artist of all time, Mayor Daley of Chicago. Obama is going to try his best to destroy this country just like Daley is doing to Chicago. WAKE UP AMERICA!

Posted by John G | Report as abusive

If the Crusades had been in Montana the Rider would have
been dressed in full Armor,sword etc they would have fought for Justice,Morals and ethics.The President would
have been on a Horse dressed as the “Joker”he has presented himself as the Champion of all that is wrong.
America please wake up

Posted by John McMackin | Report as abusive

He is a limp wristed no fly casting want-a-be!!! Could not hit the broad side of an Acorn Building in down town Chicago. Sorry to all of you Lib’s out there!

Posted by smitch270 | Report as abusive

President Obama came to deliver a message that resonates throughout the country. Fix healthcare. The very unsavory comments here are indicative of a particular point of view. I think it is unfortunate that 2/3 of the country voted for Obama, but the usual few have to be so characteristically vacuous in their appraisal of the man personally. He is doing a wonderful job while trying to raise our collective butts out of a fire that your beloved heroes created. Wake up and smell what you are shoveling.

Posted by Darrell Hitchens | Report as abusive

What I don’t understand how people keep saying that he is going to fix all of the problems that he inherited from the former president. Wasn’t he in the legislature where they are suppose to fix these problems. He could have fixed it then. Why didn’t he do it before. He really didn’t inherit anything he was part of the problem.

Posted by Becky | Report as abusive

For all the comments I have read not one person has a idea to fix the health prpblems we have in the United states we pay more for health care here. Instead of bashing the people who are trying to fix it just like when the Clinton’s tried to fix it. WE NEED REFORM NOW OR OUR JOBS WILL CONTINUE LEAVING WHERE EMPLOYERS DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR HEALTH CARE.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

Obasm’a fly fishing trip reminds me of Carter’s attempt at the same thing. Hopefully Obama’s tenure as president will suffer the same fate as Carter’s.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

A fine gentleman, booster of fly fishing, calm under pressure, insightful and with a good sense of humor. Americans are so lucky. What an awful past 8 years we have had under the scantily educated GOP gang of thieves. Thank Goodness Obama is not obligated to everybody and his brother. With our help he will pull us out of this mess Bush created.

Posted by owlafaye | Report as abusive

As time goes on, racism becomes less acceptable in our society. I feel that the hateful, disparaging remarks and observations that follow Obama’s every day are the incipient product of latent and inner seething racism. They vent in a snide, hateful, distorted and irrelevant manner. I am quite sure it is the realization that they have only aspired to Obama’s level of principle and character, and will never attain it.

Posted by owlafaye | Report as abusive

Obasm’a fly fishing trip reminds me of Carter’s attempt at the same thing. Hopefully Obama’s tenure as president will suffer the same fate as Carter’s.

– Posted by Dan

Dan, throughout Vietnam and cold war the cry from the right was “America Love it Or Leave It” now finally the tables are turned. If you don’t like the way things are going then leave, go, vamos. Wishing failure on Obama is wishing failure for the country and we don’t need you here. Let me know where you want to go and I’ll put the ticket on my Visa.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Eric. Actually, wishing failure on Obama and his policies is good for America. His plan for America is not where the majority of Americans want to go. If you want to somewhere like that, then please move to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, or a whole host of other places where people are not free to make choices and to just to live…free!!

There is nothing unpatriotic about disagreeing with the policies of a president. The current one is more unpopular (by voters, not the media) than the last one was. At this point in their first terms Bush had a 56 percent approval rating. Obama has barely 50 percent. People are starting to with for the “good old days”….

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

eric h If you recommend someone to go to england , warn them that they have socialized medicine over there.If they insist tell them to get their teeth done before they get there,dentistry is the flag ship of socialized medicine over there, and let that be a warning to be careful what you wish for.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

One question. How did this pristine politican come out of the Chicago poltical system above the reach of corruption?

Posted by Chris Nordeen | Report as abusive

I don’t want the government to touch health care until they fix the other stuff they are allowing to wallow in ruins, like the Veterans Hospitals/Medical care systems, the illegal immigration problems, Social Security, etc. Don’t even think about taking on more responsibility until you can effectively manage the ones you already have under your supervision. Fix the other stuff first, then we’ll talk about health care!!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Obama is doing a nice job of representing the spineless jellyfish that voted for him. What has he done to stop medicare & medicade fraud? Irag & Haiti are both going to turn in to jokes, crooks lining their pockets with the taxpayers money while the people that we, the taxpayers want to help continue to suffer. Anyone who thinks more government intervention in their lives needs to get off their lazy ass and figure out a way to pay for the lifestyle themselves that they want the government to provide to them for free. If something doesn’t change, we are going down.

Posted by potsy | Report as abusive

If Obama wants to snuff out racism in the United States, he needs to quit trying to prove that he is at least twice as smart as any of his predecessors. The truth is he is going to paint himself into a corner that he can’t get out of. When that happens, the racists in this country will have the last laugh. Trying to cram a health bill down our throats that we don’t want isn’t going to earn him any respect. He is just pouring gas on the racism fire.

Posted by potsy | Report as abusive