Sunday, August 10, 2008


Steve Benen notes today that it's apparently politically risky for Barack Obama to visit the state where he was born: seems Obama isn't being criticized for taking a break, so much as he’s being criticized for where he's taking a break. TNR's Michael Crowley noted:

I know he grew up [in Hawaii] and all. But if Obama's being smeared as a highfalutin celebrity who is somehow "other" and distant from the American heartland, is Hawaii really the ideal vacation destination? ...

Steve also notes a lengthy Politico story about this trip. And the Republican National Committee is already mocking Obama for visiting his home state, where his grandmother still lives.

Under these circumstances, I want to know when we get to start talking about where John McCain goes to relax -- his Arizona home, which (although it's just outside the city limits) he refers to as his "home in Sedona."

Know anything about Sedona, Arizona? If not, read this 2006 article from the New York Times travel section:

... I had my "aura" photographed in Sedona. It's a good city for doing things like that. There are more places here to buy crystals, incense and healing stones than there are places to purchase, say, a bag of ice or a hammer.

... I found myself on my first evening in Sedona standing on a hill called Mystic Vista, taking in the mind-bending views and trying to soak up some "vortex" energy. Sedona is famous for its so-called vortex sites, spots where the earth's energy is supposedly increased, leading to self-awareness and various kinds of healing.

I'd taken a New Age jeep tour with a company called Earth Wisdom.

... at sundown, [a] guy from Arkansas brought out a drum and starting tapping on it, Iron John-style. As if on cue, Larry-the-tour-guide pulled out a wooden flute and began accompanying him, playing cryptic Native American-inspired riffs.... It was a Sedona moment.

..."Even today, if you walked into a cafe and asked how many people had been adducted by aliens," one long-time resident, the writer Eve Conant, told me, "I suspect one in 10 would raise their hands."

...There are more types of cutting-edge massages, facials and yoga programs available [at Sedona's Enchantment Resort] than you thought existed. And it you want a past-life regression session ($220), a psychic massage ($130 an hour), a "palm reading for empowerment" ($130 an hour) or a tarot card reading ($130), you've come to the right place....

I've actually been to Sedona -- you don't have to do New Agey things there, or even go vegetarian, and the landscape and hiking come highly recommended (though I chickened out when crossing Devil's Bridge, unlike, say, this guy).

But if the press and the GOP are going to act as if Barack Obama is indulging himself in what Hawaii has to offer tourists, why shouldn't we being asking about how much time John and/or Cindy spend in healing vortexes?

No comments: