Obama departs Washington for 10-day vacation

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama is leaving Washington for a 10-day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, joining his family following a three-day bus tour through the rural Midwest, where he promoted his economic policies.

Obama boarded departed Thursday afternoon wearing business attire ? gray suit and tie ? that belied his destination of an island resort.

The departure came after a busy morning in which the president called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down and imposed sanctions on the beleaguered Mideast regime.

Obama was traveling with his counterterrorism chief, John Brennan.

Obama ditched the Beltway grind Thursday as the stock market plunged amid fears of global recession, and restless voters demanded jobs.