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Obama back at Camp David after long hiatus

Declaring his independence of his official duties, President Barack Obama has started his Fourth of July holiday weekend at Camp David in the Catoctin Mountains north of Frederick.

The latest visit, which began Friday afternoon, is his first to the presidential retreat in more than three months, an unusually long hiatus. Obama has spent less time at Camp David than other recent presidents at the same point in their administrations.

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He and wife Michelle insist they really enjoy the place, with its outdoor pool and private golf hole. It's just their daughters' busy schedules--including weekend soccer games in the DC area--that have made it tough to carve out the getaway time, they've indicated.

Until this weekend, Obama hadn't spent time there since late March. That early spring visit made it a snap for him to disguise a secret trip to Afghanistan, which began far from prying public eyes at Camp David.

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Despite his sparing use of the Catoctin hideaway, Obama has still made more visits as president to Maryland than any other state. For a map showing his Maryland stops, and other information about his Free State visits, check out our new mashup here.

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