On CNN [yesterday] morning, host John Roberts asked former Romney spokesman Kevin Madden about the hypocritical “heat for this president from the Republicans” regarding the Obama administration’s response to the attempted Christmas day terrorist attack. Madden claimed that the two reasons Republicans were launching attacks were that Obama “has very little political capital” on terrorism and that he is “on vacation in Hawaii” at the moment. Madden added that “Hawaii to many Americans seems like a foreign place.”

I’d hoped we were past this by now.

You’ll recall that, during last year’s presidential campaign, Cokie Roberts complained on ABC, “I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place.” Soon after, on NPR, Roberts repeated the criticism, arguing that Obama’s vacation destination “makes him seem a little bit more exotic.” She added that Hawaii is “a somewhat odd place” for him to take a break, even though he was born in Hawaii and grew up there.

Around the same time, Politico ran a 1,200-word piece — seriously — on the political perils of Obama spending eight days vacationing in the state of his birth. It quoted a pollster saying, “For somebody who has been called ‘elitist,’ going to Hawaii is not exactly going against type. I would rather have him going to national parks.”

For some, it seems the silliness continues.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.