Part of the decision to head back to Washington appears aimed at countering criticism that Obama is spending two weeks on a resort island in the midst of so many foreign and domestic crises. Yet those crises turned the first week of Obama's vacation into a working holiday. He made on-camera statements about Iraq and the clashes in Ferguson. He also called foreign leaders to discuss the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, as well as between Israel and Hamas.
Obama is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard on Tuesday and stay through next weekend.
Even though work has occupied much of Obama's first week on vacation, he still found plenty of time to golf, go to the beach with his family and go out to dinner on the island. He hit the golf course one more time Sunday ahead of his departure, joining two aides and former NBA player Alonzo Mourning.
Earlier in the week, Obama attended a birthday party for Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan's wife, where he spent time with former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
That get-together between the former rivals-turned-partners added another complicated dynamic to Obama's vacation. Just as Obama was arriving on Martha's Vineyard, an interview with the former secretary of state was published in which she levied some of her sharpest criticism of Obama's foreign policy. Clinton later promised she and Obama would "hug it out" when they saw each other. No reporters were allowed in, so it's not clear whether there was any hugging, but the White House said the president danced to nearly every song.