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Politics Is "The Last Thing" On Obama's Mind After Kennedy Death

As some Democrats look to turn Sen. Ted Kennedy's death into a rallying point for health care reform, the White House is downplaying the potential political ramifications of the moment.

Speaking to reporters in Martha's Vineyard, deputy press secretary Bill Burton said that politics is the last thing on President Obama's mind at this point.

"We've all experienced a pretty big loss, and Americans are going to have different reactions and find different ways to memorialize his life," he said. "There'll be a time when it's appropriate to have discussions on different ramifications, but I don't think anybody thinks that now is that time."

Asked specifically about groups using this moment to renew a call for health care reform, Burton said Obama "isn't in a place where he's looking to referee what everybody's saying."

Obama will disrupt his vacation and travel to Boston tomorrow night to deliver the eulogy at Kennedy's funeral Saturday, with Burton saying Obama will deliver "a very personal statement." Weather permitting, he and the first lady will return to Martha's Vineyard Saturday night, and then to Washington on Sunday.

But next week also looks to be a light one. There are no public events planned for Monday, Burton said, adding that the first family will spend Wednesday through Sunday at Camp David. Have the events of this week disrupted what was to have been a relaxing time?

"The president when he ran for this office knew that there would be no days where he was completely down, and he's responded accordingly," Burton said. "I do think he's had a chance to spend some time with his family, play some tennis, play some basketball, dig in on his books a little bit, and actually do a little relaxing."