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Obama goes golfing on first day of vacation

By Star-Advertiser staff & Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:24 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2013

Photo Gallery: First family arrives in Hawaii

President Barack Obama went golfing on his first day of vacation.

Obama, typically an early riser, got a late start, staying at the home until early Saturday afternoon, when he headed to the golf course at a nearby Marine Corps base. Joining Obama for the round of golf were Sam Kass, the White House chef; Marvin Nicholson, Obama's trip director and a frequent golf partner; and childhood friend Bobby Titcomb, the White House said.

The presidential motorcade left his Kailua vacation home and arrived at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at about 1:10 p.m.

Obama, in white golf shirt, hat and sunglasses, was all smiles as he drove past reporters accompanying him to the Kaneohe Klipper golf course. He finished his game at about 6 p.m. and spent the rest of the evening at their Kailua vacation compound.

The first family arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam at about 11:30 p.m. Friday to begin their sixth consecutive Christmas vacation in Honolulu.

Every year, Obama and his family prepare to return to his birth state. And every year -- until now -- congressional squabbling has forced the Obamas to delay their trip.

A few weeks of low-key rest and relaxation would be a welcome change of pace for Obama, who reflected on a high-stakes year of brinkmanship and health care woes as he packed his bags for Hawaii.

"The year is always a good time to reflect and see what can you do better next year," Obama said Friday. "I'm sure that I will have even better ideas after a couple days of sleep and sun."

Last year, Obama had to temporarily abandon his vacation to fly home amid a congressional standoff over the so-called fiscal cliff. The year before, a showdown over payroll tax cuts forced him to delay the start of his Hawaii hiatus. In 2010, it was congressional wrangling over repeal of the ban on gays in the military and other issues that delayed the trip. And in 2009, Senate deliberations over Obama's signature health care law meant that Honolulu had to wait another few days.

Conditions seem ripe this year for a few weeks of interrupted family time. Obama did spend part of this morning conferring with top national security aides about the situation in South Sudan, where U.S. military aircraft evacuating Americans from the violence-plagued African nation came under gunfire and had to divert to Uganda. The White House said four U.S. troops were injured in that incident.

Throughout his vacation Obama will continue to get regular briefings from advisers traveling with him, White House officials said. Obama and his supporters were hoping those routine updates wouldn't interfere with regular rounds of golf and family outings for shave ice, the Hawaii version of a snow cone.

"I don't want any interruptions. He deserves a vacation," Brian Pritchett, an assistant principal visiting from Mt. Vernon, N.Y., said as he sipped a rum-infused drink dubbed the "Obama Mama" at a Honolulu hotel. "He puts in too many hours to not have his vacation with his family. I know that's what I would do."

The Obamas are expected to spend the next 17 days at a luxury beachside rental in the same Kailua neighborhood in which they've wiled away their previous Hawaii vacations.

Obama left the White House  with his wife, daughters and mother-in-law Marian Robinson to board Marine One for the helicopter flight to Andrews Air Force Base at about 6:45 p.m. Washington time.

First dogs Bo and Sunny are also with the family.

The president arrived in the islands with an acknowledged desire to rejuvenate himself following a tumultuous year that saw his political successes -- including his staredown victory over Republicans in the government shutdown battle and the diplomatic breakthrough that yielded agreement by Iran to freeze its nuclear-enrichment program for six months -- overshadowed by the Obamacare website snafu, revelations about the National Security Agency's questionable spying practices, and an inability to garner bipartisan Congressional support for gun control measures and other priority legislation.

Hours before Obama and family boarded Air Force 1 for Honolulu, the president held his final press conference of the year and, citing recent economic growth and falling unemployment numbers, expressed optimism that "2014 can be a breakthrough year for America."

The president doesn't have any public events scheduled during his time back in the islands.

In previous years, the president has played golf, visited Hanauma Bay, gone out to dinner with friends and ventured into Kailua town for shave ice.

The president may also watch Oregon State play at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center. His brother-in-law Craig Robinson is the coach at Oregon State.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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realist3463 wrote:
Seventeen days will seem like an eternity to the Oahu residents.
on December 21,2013 | 06:33AM
Venus1 wrote:
Speak for yourself ! Not me!
on December 21,2013 | 03:37PM
hanalei395 wrote:
realist sounds like a malihini, an outsider, a foreigner who just moved to Hawai`i.
on December 21,2013 | 05:13PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Again, from the Obama haters. Instead of an Aloha and a Mele Kalikimaka to the Obama family, they happily display their hatred.
on December 22,2013 | 04:55AM
serious wrote:
He's golfing. I understand they call a bad lie an OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on December 21,2013 | 04:59PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Obama is not like Bush, he tends to be a bit more considerate.
on December 22,2013 | 05:59AM
jussayin wrote:
Must be nice to rent a $25,000 a week ocean front home. Total cost to us taxpayers will be about $4 million. Bad year for Obama which is an understatement. Hopefully next year will be more productive on the Hill.
on December 21,2013 | 06:43AM
aomohoa wrote:
Are you jealous.? LOL
on December 21,2013 | 05:01PM
loveneverfails wrote:
Another article says they are paying for the rental out of their own pockets. The rest is par. All presidents take vacations. jus sayin.
on December 21,2013 | 10:27PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Petty cash. At least under Obama the economy has recovered from the Bush depression, the worst economic meltdown since the great depression. Shame phony conservatives still have influence.
on December 22,2013 | 06:01AM
richierich wrote:
Yay, the Emporer has landed. The Emperor has landed.
on December 21,2013 | 06:51AM
richierich wrote:
Oh yea, and mahalo for increasing my medical premiums by about $40 per month.
on December 21,2013 | 06:53AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Your age and unhealthy diet raised your premium, rich.
on December 21,2013 | 02:38PM
BigErn wrote:
You sure about that libby?
on December 21,2013 | 03:40PM
aomohoa wrote:
That is just not true!!!!! Mine was raised and I am healthier than ever. He probably was given coverage he didn't need like BC pills. LOL
on December 21,2013 | 05:03PM
kukunaokala wrote:
mine by $500
on December 21,2013 | 04:37PM
aomohoa wrote:
It's shameful. It would have been cheaper to just give people insurance for free that didn't have it and leave the rest of us alone. Now businesses are cutting peoples hours and not hiring because of this.
on December 21,2013 | 05:04PM
2NDC wrote:
All part of the "obama master plan" to kill America before he leaves office. :-(
on December 21,2013 | 08:45PM
gary360 wrote:
He will be making an 'executive order' during away with presidential elections and remain in office.
on December 22,2013 | 03:40AM
ehrhornp wrote:
lol, now that would be great.
on December 22,2013 | 06:04AM
loveneverfails wrote:
If you reach back over the last 15 years, you will find insurance premiums have consistently risen every year. My employer in 1999/2000 paid $74/monthly for HMSA. My employer is now paying nearly $400/monthly. The insurance premiums have increased every year. Most people have no idea of this, because they don't pay their health insurance premiums. Their employer does, so they are not aware of the gradual increases. Now all of a sudden, people want to blame Obama for their premiums when the increases have gradually taken place all along.
on December 21,2013 | 10:34PM
Shotzy wrote:
Obamacare is a disaster, and you know it. It will not work and is designed to fail. Then they "liberals" can get what they really want, which is single payer, government knows everything,sees everything,controls everything Health Care.
on December 22,2013 | 04:42AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Keep believing this but that won't make it true. Fact is Obama care is working. Last year saw the smallest increase in health care in a very long time. Why people want to pay high rates for little coverage is beyond me.
on December 22,2013 | 06:05AM
ehrhornp wrote:
At least now you have some real coverage. No Claim, no pain we just want your money was not a good program.
on December 22,2013 | 06:02AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Hopefully you will thank him for it when you have a claim that is covered and not denied.
on December 22,2013 | 06:55AM
mrluke wrote:
"staredown victory over Republicans in the government shutdown battle and the diplomatic breakthrough that yielded agreement by Iran to freeze its nuclear-enrichment program for six months" ?!?! Who wrote this cr@p?
on December 21,2013 | 07:09AM
mrluke wrote:
Oh yeah. Michael Tsai the SA's ace reporter.
on December 21,2013 | 07:11AM
samidunn wrote:
Comrade Tsai
on December 21,2013 | 09:57AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Copy and paste. When u see words such as brandish, etc. instead of "da guy stay carry one club", u know somehow that writer grad from Punahou and not Nanakuli.
on December 21,2013 | 03:02PM
Mana07 wrote:
You are supposedly the effen president you don't get "uninterrupted rest and relaxation" you socialist clown.
on December 21,2013 | 12:41PM
Maipono wrote:
"You are supposedly the effen president you don't get "uninterrupted rest and relaxation" you socialist clown." I beg to differ Mana07, on the contrary, the more time he spends here playing golf and bumming around, the less damage he will do in Washington DC. So Mr. President, please extend your stay here, just don't come to my neighborhood!
on December 21,2013 | 01:17PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Oh so u live up in Hawaii Loa Ridge?
on December 21,2013 | 03:04PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Unfortunately, there's a lot of truth in what you say, Maipono. How sad.
on December 21,2013 | 06:27PM
ehrhornp wrote:
I think the same about the do nothing republicans. What idiots they have become.
on December 22,2013 | 01:52PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Wait a minute, did your comment get started in a new thread, or r u Johnny Carson, King of Monologues?
on December 21,2013 | 03:03PM
aomohoa wrote:
Now that is a bit nasty.
on December 21,2013 | 05:43PM
DAGR81 wrote:
How many of us can afford a seventeen day luxury vacation. When I go on vacation I pay for it myself. My employer only gives me the days off and it is never for seventeen consecutive days.
on December 21,2013 | 01:23PM
Johnmakiki wrote:
Did you register that same complaint when George W. Bush spent months at vacation?
on December 21,2013 | 02:03PM
Wahiawamauka wrote:
Sure none of them said anything. Just like they never said a peep when GW Bush doubled the federal deficit while in office. LOL. Most of the people bashing Obama get their talking points and ideas from hot air talk radio hosts. Nothing new here.
on December 21,2013 | 02:21PM
Venus1 wrote:
Such hypocrites!!
on December 21,2013 | 03:38PM
aomohoa wrote:
Guess what, the people commenting are the ones that read the real news. Not SA>
on December 21,2013 | 05:46PM
ehrhornp wrote:
It it is not in The SA, then it is not news. lol
on December 22,2013 | 04:56AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
And how would you know? You're listening to Rush, et al, everyday? I doubt it. We don't need commentators to tell us how it is. Some of us can actually see things for what they are and form our own opinions. You want to talk about doubling the deficit? You are either truly blind with this so-called president or you are in serious denial. On entitlements are you?
on December 21,2013 | 06:31PM
South76 wrote:
You must be another one of those welfare W-H-O-R-E-S; your "you can keep your insurance--liar" president has been spending like there is no tomorrow. He bought the elections with people's hard earned money with social programs that are supposed to help those in need and not the ones like you who live on social programs. Grow up, get your a-s-s up and get a real job.
on December 22,2013 | 12:12AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Have to laugh at the phony conservatives who love to do things backwards. Trying to balance the budget during tough times is stupid just as destroying a balanced federal budget by lying us into two wars. Hopefully some day phony conservatives will wake up and realize that their heroes in the far right media are not accurate but just full of lies.
on December 22,2013 | 04:59AM
Wonderful_World wrote:
Bush went to his home in Texas, don't think that costs 4 mil to get there.
on December 21,2013 | 02:57PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No only dollar ninety-nine.
on December 21,2013 | 02:59PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Bush was a drunk who plunged this country into the worse economic crash since the great depression. Way to go phony conservatives.
on December 22,2013 | 05:01AM
aomohoa wrote:
It's on not at! Obviously our educational system has failed you. Months? No one takes your comment serious when you exaggerate.
on December 21,2013 | 05:45PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Nothing else to attack except when our leader is on a well deserved Christmas holiday.
on December 21,2013 | 02:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
He technically is on call 365/24/7, not like the custodian who cleans from 12:00 noon to 7:30 pm five days a week, relaxes for the remainder of time, unless only for a short while being chastised by the boss who says that certain trash can liner was not cleaned up.
on December 21,2013 | 02:58PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Well deserved.
on December 21,2013 | 03:23PM
Venus1 wrote:
Obama s a Class Act!!
on December 21,2013 | 03:39PM
HD36 wrote:
True, there's never been a better b.s. lier since Richard M Nixon said he was closing the gold window to strenthen the dollar and protect it from the speculators on August 15th 1971.
on December 21,2013 | 05:24PM
aomohoa wrote:
With lots of charisma and a nice family, but that doesn't make him a good president.
on December 21,2013 | 07:12PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Sure beats the prior president by a mile.
on December 22,2013 | 06:09AM
ehrhornp wrote:
That he is. He is after all, a Punahoe Boy. lol
on December 22,2013 | 06:08AM
kahuku01 wrote:
There is a huge difference being a president and you, and that's the reason you can't afford a seventeen day luxury vacation and must pay to go on a vacation but there's surely many people that are able to afford a seventeen day luxury vacation, not only the president. And who cares whether his vacation is for seventeen or thirty days, let the man enjoy his vacation because nothing you say will change his itinerary.
on December 21,2013 | 04:02PM
aomohoa wrote:
But do we really need to hear about every move he makes. Maybe he would even like a little privacy.
on December 21,2013 | 05:48PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
True. And nothing WE THE PEOPLE say will change his agenda. And there's your "Hope" and "Change", right?
on December 21,2013 | 06:33PM
Mythman wrote:
Hawaii is the perfect place for a royal potentate, isn't it, given how confused we are over whether we are a kingdom or a state in the union of states. We still think our royal constitution is superior to the constitution this president must follow and which he formerly taught to students at U of Chicago. I hope he locates his pres library here and not in Chi Town - it would be good for business in spite of the hatred some have for him. Respect the office if you can't respect the man, you clowns.
on December 21,2013 | 02:17PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
With respect to Michelle, I think Obama will select Chicago.
on December 21,2013 | 02:24PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
It's still early in the vacation. What if Oregon State loses to Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl? Is President Obama going to cut short his vacation and return to Chicago? Stay Tuned. I drove to Kailua via the H-3, from the H-1, earlier today, I guess about 9:00 AM and it is the direct route to Kailua that avoids the most traffic especially during low volume traffic. If u want to get into that motorcade, good luck because hundreds of Honolulu's Finest are providing The President with 24/7 protection. Our POTUS is the most protected person in the world. Thank goodness we do not have a style of government such as Great Britain and Japan, where political power is passed on through family blood lines. Hence our leader is simply named The President of The United States of America, and not, with respect to LeBron, King Obama.
on December 21,2013 | 02:20PM
jotobuddy123 wrote:
Why would he leave is Oregon State loses to Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl?
on December 21,2013 | 03:06PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
These seniors like HonHi., should eat ginko biloba. Dude, he will watch his bro in law coach Oregon State basketball team in the Rainbow Classic. Gramps please don't make A.
on December 21,2013 | 03:26PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Lol it's the Diamond Head Classic. Get off ur weed !!!!!
on December 21,2013 | 04:06PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Btw I got this ongoing spat with this HSA marketing dept that is attempting to renew my subscription. u know what they did a year ago? Ignore means to go away right? So I don't pay attention to their advances. I say so many times I don't want to go out on further dates. So what they do is that if I continue to share my thoughts on their web site, it's an indication that I am interested in at least getting engaged (to read HSA indefinitely, or at least until YourTrain starts running), which may or maybe not be January 1, 2017. This is an exasperated person saying: CANCEL MY DAMMMNN SUBSCRIPTION !!!
on December 21,2013 | 04:14PM
Venus1 wrote:
I am so proud of Obaa and his wonderful family!! Enjoy Hawaii and get a much deserved redtaurant! We love you!
on December 21,2013 | 03:36PM
BigErn wrote:
You must get a lot of government cheese
on December 21,2013 | 03:45PM
kahuku01 wrote:
We all did at one time or another and I'm sure your cheese tasted pretty good, since you know about it.
on December 21,2013 | 04:09PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
What happened to Obama? Obaa sounds like waaaaaa when a baby cries!!
on December 21,2013 | 04:45PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Sure beats the Bushes who previously occupied the white house. wonder if GW is still looking for those WMDs. What a liar he was. Amazing anyone could possibly believe anything he said.
on December 22,2013 | 05:05AM
ehrhornp wrote:
It is nice to have a president who is actually doing something. Remember the prior president? He could only make pot holes. Thank God we have Obama as president.
on December 22,2013 | 06:11AM
HLOEWEN wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 21,2013 | 03:56PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Do you even know what morality is? What makes Obama the most immoral president? Just love phony conservatives who claim such absolutes. What jokes they are.
on December 22,2013 | 05:08AM
yhls wrote:
The modern day equivalent of playing the fiddle while America sizzles.
on December 21,2013 | 04:36PM
ehrhornp wrote:
That was Bush. lol
on December 22,2013 | 06:58AM
false wrote:
Not to worry folks. Another year of this Obama nonsense and we'll never see him or his family again in Hawaii . Oh joy!
on December 21,2013 | 05:05PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Too bad for false. Nobody here sees him/her in Hawai`i, but Pres. Obama and his family will again come to Hawai`i a year from now, a year after that, etc.
on December 21,2013 | 05:58PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Rumor has it that he plans on moving to Hawaii and running for senator. lol
on December 22,2013 | 05:09AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
I'd say you've got your lips firmly planted on his buttt, eh?
on December 21,2013 | 06:40PM
2NDC wrote:
C'mon obama, live a little. Mix things up a bit and visit your supporters in Chicago. I bet they really miss you there! :-(
on December 21,2013 | 08:42PM
pridon wrote:
Wonder if Bobby took him to the "massage parlor" in Kaakaako after the match?
on December 21,2013 | 08:45PM
bigbud808 wrote:
Do you guys pick on any president or only the current one? When it was Reagan it was he doesn't know this and that. He is just an actor. Bush, he was too slick for America and spent plenty money. Obama , everywhere l look Obama is to blame. from being born to heroin being delivered w/ his name on it to increasing insurance premium. Have you ever thought how many potshots you would take if you had to RUN America? JMHO
on December 21,2013 | 08:59PM
pursuit2000 wrote:
FORE!! Obama's second most used statement next to: "If you like your insurance, you can keep it..."
on December 22,2013 | 02:07AM
Mythman wrote:
A politician has to be also a salesman, pitching we buy some product someone down the line put together and when it doesn't sell, take one for the team. Pres O did a good job of selling himself to the public because we could all project onto the blank slate but with this issue, health care, it broke down to nuts and bolts, like TepCo and Fukushima - toxic fallout.
on December 22,2013 | 04:47AM
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