Forsaking his annual vacation in Martha's Vineyard to campaign for re-election, US President Barack Obama has admitted to a bit of holiday blues as his daughters head off to summer camp.
Obama said he was going to spend most of the summer campaigning ahead of the November 6 election and to make matters worse his daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, were soon going to be flying the White House nest.
"So they've got a sleep-away camp for a month, both of them are leaving,'' the president said in an interview with CBS television.
"We're going to be, you know, experiencing the first stages of empty nest syndrome.''
Asked if he was ready for that, Obama replied with a smile: "Well, I get a little depressed.''
Campaigning on a promise to improve the lot of America's struggling middle-class, Obama has decided not to open himself up to election-year attacks over Martha's Vineyard, a vacation bolt hole for east coast elites.
In previous years, the president has been savagely mocked for his holidays at sprawling rented Blue Heron farm, and regular forays to expensive golf courses on an island famed for its pricey restaurants.
Obama's spokespeople, like those of previous administrations, habitually protest that even the US president and commander-in-chief deserves a break, despite economic problems at home and raging wars abroad.
They also argue that a president is never really off the clock, given the massive security and secure communications infrastructure that follows him wherever he goes in the world.