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Obama readying for re-election bid after vacation

By Julie Pace

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:05 a.m. HST, Jan 03, 2012

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama will waste little time getting back in front of voters following a 10-day Hawaiian vacation spent largely out of the spotlight. 

Air Force One landed just before daybreak in Washington on Tuesday morning after an overnight flight from the island of Oahu. The president is returning from vacation the same day Republican presidential candidates square off in the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the 2012 campaign. 

Obama plans to make his presence in the campaign known quickly. 

The president will host a live web chat with supporters in Iowa on Tuesday night as the caucuses are unfolding. The following day, Obama will travel to Cleveland for an event focused on the economy. 

Obama aides said the president will seek to draw a contrast with his GOP challengers during Wednesday’s trip to Ohio, a state sure to figure prominently in the presidential campaign. 

Obama returns to Washington facing further debate on extending payroll tax cuts, the same issue that consumed Washington during the final days of December. 

Congress broke through a stalemate just days before Christmas, agreeing to extend the cuts for two months. Lawmakers will get back to work later this month to negotiate a full-year extension of the cuts, which Obama supports. 

White House officials say the tax cut extension is the last “must-do” legislative item on Obama’s agenda this year. His strategy for his fourth year in office will focus largely on taking executive actions that do not need approval from lawmakers as he seeks to break away from a deeply unpopular Congress.

The payroll tax cut debate almost prevented Obama from taking his annual Christmas trip to Hawaii. He delayed the trip nearly a week, finally departing on Dec. 23, just hours after Congress finalized the two-month extension. 

The president, wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha stayed largely out of the public eye during their trip to Oahu, the island where Obama was born and mostly raised. 

The Obamas stayed in a multimillion-dollar oceanfront rental on Kailua Beach, near Honolulu, and surrounded themselves with a close-knit group of family and friends. That included Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who lives on Oahu, and several of the president’s childhood friends. 

Obama’s outing consisted largely of trips to the gym and golf course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii near his vacation rental. The first family also made a few outings around the island, including a snorkeling trip to popular Hanauma Bay and a stop for shave ice, a Hawaiian snow cone.

The president also took his family to the East-West Center, a research and exhibition center that is displaying the anthropological work of his late mother. 

Aides say Obama spent a bit of time on vacation brainstorming ideas for his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, where he will lay out an agenda that also will serve as the basis for his campaign message. He also was briefed by a small cadre of traveling advisers on some of the international issues looming in 2012, including renewed threats from Iran and a request from Yemen’s outgoing, autocratic president to come to the U.S. for medical treatment.


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toomuchpilikia wrote:
Thanks for the vacation....sorry I had to inconvenience a lot of Local people and Tourist's. Oh...and thank HPD for putting out $228,000, we had a great time. Aloha!
on January 3,2012 | 05:10AM
ya_think wrote:
And yet the people of Hawaii will still vote for this jerk.
on January 3,2012 | 05:30AM
krump1_aka_protector wrote:
So you think the alternative Republican jerks are better? They're even more clue-less, more affluent-enabling and even more selfish and mean-spirited.
on January 3,2012 | 07:09AM
HD36 wrote:
Except for Ron Paul , who only wants 39,000 in compensation for the presidents office, and will slash one trillion from the deficit.
on January 3,2012 | 08:06AM
Pacej001 wrote:
on January 3,2012 | 09:16AM
LanaUlulani wrote:

In 2008 70% of voters who voted in Hawai'i voted for Obama. It should be noted that 30% were NOT fooled.

on January 3,2012 | 07:57AM
ballen0607 wrote:
In retrospect to the alternative decision....McCain/Palin.....really!? You were NOT fooled....HAHA!
on January 3,2012 | 08:46AM
PaloloValley wrote:
^5 LOL
on January 3,2012 | 12:07PM
entrkn wrote:
I will certainly vote for him and do what I can to get rid of the gop Congress.
on January 3,2012 | 12:24PM
Highinthesierras wrote:
How about the country's fiscal crisis? How about that hollow promise, one of many, about being a good one term president? The good news, he will lose for failing to provide leadership form the beginning, so next year will be last we see of him.
on January 3,2012 | 06:18AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Obama has three (3) events that he will build on as his poll numbers begin to rise till election time in November. He has (1) killing of Bin Laden (2) departure of the US from Iraq (3) the humiliation of the Republicans when Obama won approval of his Payroll Tax Cut. The fly in the soup is the rider in the Defense Authorization Bill which provides unlimited detention of persons - including US citizens - suspected of being involved in Terrorism. Another subject that could be a controversial and heated subject of debate is another rider in the Payroll Tax Cut Obama signed - the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The controversy over this pipeline is about lots and lots of oil piped from Canada to the US. Should Obama approve the project he will be facing the wrath of environmentalists who consider the oil to be piped into the US as "dirty" oil. Should Obama reject the project he will be appear to be rejecting two things (1) National Security because the huge amount of oil involved would win the US from dependence upon oil from the OPEC countries. and (2) Jobs because the project would create lots of jobs as well as indirectly cause employment from businesses along the pipeline route. Other than that, Obama has an easy path to re-election. However, as one may recall, GH Bush was on a roll from the liberation of Kuwait in February 1991. But got beat by Clinton in the debates of 1992. Obama is unbeatable in a debate against any of the Republican candidates except the hated Newt Gingrich. Should the long shot and hated Gingrich become the challenger to Obama, a debate between Obama and Gingrich would be a must-watch debate.
on January 3,2012 | 07:14AM
HD36 wrote:
The American people are tired of smooth talking politicians. The young college educated are now with Ron Paul.
on January 3,2012 | 08:08AM
ballen0607 wrote:
I'll give to you when it comes to Ron Paul's foreign policy...he is SOOOO spot on. But when you come back home to his domestic policies and how he will treat the economy in the name of "freedom", we start getting a little crazy.
on January 3,2012 | 08:49AM
ya_think wrote:
Your joking right? His foreign policy is that he doesn't have one, he wants to be an isolationist, he thinks that we can just shut our eyes to the rest of the world and they would leave us alone. He would be worst than Obuma and he is bad. We tried that in the 30's and we ended up with WWll, I don't think it would be a wise thing to try it again.
on January 3,2012 | 11:04AM
LanaUlulani wrote:

Oh good. Obama the Hawaiian Wanna Be can go HOME now where he BELONGS.

SHAME on him for misappropriating "I am from Hawai'i." Now the rest of the world and some people in the States think that people who are REALLY from Hawai'i are selfish and cruel. People who are REALLY from Hawai'i do NOT enslave others to the Federal Reserve. Shame on Obama for further enslaving OTHER POPOLOS AND THEIR KEIKI TO THE FEDERAL RESERVE. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME! Good riddance!

on January 3,2012 | 07:54AM
ballen0607 wrote:
He's FROM HAWAII....how the heck did he "misappropriate" it?
on January 3,2012 | 08:50AM
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