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Separated from his family in Hawaii, Obama goes shopping

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:38 p.m. HST, Dec 21, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. >> Home alone at the White House, President Barack Obama headed on an impromptu Christmas shopping trip Wednesday with first dog Bo, searching for some holiday cheer despite the latest stalemate with Congress.

The president’s wife and daughters already are on the family’s annual Hawaii vacation, leaving him behind to negotiate with Republican lawmakers to keep payroll taxes from going up in the new year.

So Obama squeezed in time after calls with congressional leaders to hit a PetSmart and a Best Buy in this Virginia suburb before picking up pizza for lunch.

Along the way he wished Merry Christmas and happy holidays to dozens of thrilled bystanders in this politically important state less than a year out from the 2012 presidential election, and days from Christmas and an end-of-year deadline to reach a deal with Congress or see taxes rise and unemployment benefits expire on millions of Americans.

At the pet store the president bought Bo a toy bone and a bag of treats, as the presidential pup played with a poodle puppy named Cinnamon.

“OK, Bo, don’t get too personal” Obama admonished at one point as the two dogs sniffed each other in excitement.

From there Obama headed to Best Buy to shop for his daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10. He purchased two $50 iTunes gift cards and two games — the Sims 3: Pets and Just Dance 3 for the Wii.

“If you’re wondering — Just Dance for the Wii,” the president informed reporters. “The girls beat me every time on these various dance games. So. You’ll never get a picture of me doing it because I get graded F every time.”

Obama spent over $190 and put it on a credit card, first remarking to store employees, “It’ll be really embarrassing if it doesn’t go through.” But there was no problem.

Then it was time for lunch. The president hit Del Ray Pizzeria and picked up three pies to go, stopping on the way out to greet screaming onlookers, dispense holiday wishes and pose for pictures with kids. “I love you!” someone screeched.

But even among the upbeat holiday crowds Obama encountered a bit of friendly criticism over a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline he has delayed, creating a jobs issue for Capitol Hill Republicans.

“I just said I disagreed with him on the pipeline but I love what he’s doing for the country otherwise,” John Passacantando, 50, of Alexandria said after meeting Obama.

The last group of onlookers Obama met invited him to their office holiday party at their Internet development company. But the president regretfully declined.

It was time for him to head back to the White House.

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likewise wrote:
I thought one of the local news shows had Bo playing on the beach in Kaillua. Obviously a full investigation is in order. Which Bo is the imposter? Does Obama have a doppelganger? The people need to know these things. =o)
on December 21,2011 | 09:14AM
McGarret wrote:
And where exactly was Bo born? Where's the birth certificate?
on December 21,2011 | 10:13AM
Lindall wrote:
So funny. LOL
on December 21,2011 | 11:13AM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 21,2011 | 12:38PM
control wrote:
better yet....you can pack and move to Chicago then we wouldn't have to listen to the lame sour grapes.
on December 21,2011 | 03:04PM
copperwire9 wrote:
I agree, control. Good heavens! Classic Chevy needs to get out and smile a bit. It would do him/her and all of us a lot of good.
on December 21,2011 | 04:21PM
hilopango wrote:
Does the first dog get to go into Best Buy & the pizzeria? Or does he wait outside in the car?
on December 21,2011 | 01:01PM
Graham wrote:
Who cares?
on December 21,2011 | 01:36PM
dctaira wrote:
on December 21,2011 | 08:48PM
Toneyuki wrote:
He made millions of dollars last year and he spends 190 on Christmas presents? What a cheapskate. You would think he would practice what he preaches and spend more money to help get the economy going. What a greedy 1%er.
on December 21,2011 | 01:52PM
High_Society wrote:
That would be $190 of HIS money sir. The rest of the Christmas presents were purchased using taxpayer funds. :-(
on December 21,2011 | 02:26PM
HD36 wrote:
Another PR stunt to align himself more with the common citizen who spends on average that amount, but who can't spend 4 million on a vacation. The ignorant are thinking, "What a humble president, see, he doesn't live a lavicious lifesyle."
on December 21,2011 | 05:10PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Instead of shopping how about paying attention to the country.
on December 21,2011 | 01:52PM
Smiling wrote:
Paying attention to the country???? Are you kidding me??? This guy should be on vacation with his family ,....right here in paradise!! He has chosen to stay behind in Washington DC to do EXACTLY that...pay attention to the country,and help the middle class...like YOU and ME !! To stay and battle it out with Congress on this payroll tax break !! For goodness sake....LOOK ! ...So you and I can get a tax break !!! I certainly think this is "paying attention to the country.!!!"
on December 21,2011 | 09:10PM
Oahu1234 wrote:
From there Obama headed to Best Buy to shop for his daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10. He purchased two $50 iTunes gift cards and two games — the Sims 3: Pets and Just Dance 3 for the Wii. I hope his daughters don't read the papers. There will be no surprise on Christmas!
on December 21,2011 | 02:44PM
monizjm wrote:
Ain't that the truth. I'm sure he spent more than $190. He's got to be much more creative than that...right?!?!
on December 21,2011 | 03:00PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Actually, he spent more than he can afford. But, not to worry. True to form, he'll be handing the bill to not only Sasha and Malia, but to their kids and grandkids, too.
on December 22,2011 | 05:27AM
808Cindy wrote:
This President has Class !!
on December 21,2011 | 03:55PM
HD36 wrote:
Gee isn't he humble....
on December 21,2011 | 05:11PM
motoxdad wrote:
I wonder if Bo went threw 3 months of quarentine before coming here.
on December 21,2011 | 07:41PM
Smiling wrote:
A couple of days ago the Star Advertiser reported that 'first dog' Bo was here with the First lady and daughters....supposedly seen in the Kailua neighborhood....now, we see the dog is with the Prez in Virginia..shopping !! Really should get facts straight when reporting stories !!
on December 21,2011 | 09:06PM
entrkn wrote:
I have spent Christmas away from my family and loved ones more times than I care to remember so my thoughts are with the President as he makes this sacrifice for all of us...
on December 21,2011 | 09:26PM
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