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Golf, snorkeling fill up Obama's day

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:21 a.m. HST, Dec 29, 2010

President Barack Obama spent yesterday morning on the beach and afternoon on the golf course, both favorite destinations during his vacations in Hawaii.

The president's motorcade arrived at Hanauma Bay late yesterday morning. The area is closed to the public on Tuesdays, giving the president's party a chance to snorkel with friends and family in private.

The president began his day with his daily trip to the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. After snorkeling he arrived at Mid Pacific Country Club in Kailua and played with a fivesome that included friends Mike Ramos, Eric Whitaker, Marty Nesbitt and Bobby Titcomb.

Reporters traveling with him watched Obama miss a 12-foot putt on the ninth hole before sinking a shorter 1-footer.

The president waved to a few dozen onlookers before driving his golf cart to the next hole. He played only 12 holes, and the motorcade was back at their rented vacation house at 6:26 p.m.

Meantime, it is unclear what Gov. Neil Abercrombie can actually do after asking the state attorney general's office about putting an end to questions about Obama's birth.

Hawaii's privacy laws have long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest.

Abercrombie was a friend of Obama's parents and knew him as a child, and is deeply troubled by the effort to cast doubt on the president's citizenship.

"He had a friendship with Mr. Obama's parents, and so there is a personal issue at hand," Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said yesterday. "Is it going to be done immediately? No, the first thing on our list is the economy."

Hawaii's health director said last year and in 2008 that she had seen and verified Obama's original vital records.

So-called "birthers" claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there is no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya, his father's home country.

"What bothers me is that some people who should know better are trying to use this for political reasons," Abercrombie told the Los Angeles Times last week. "Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, 'I was here when that baby was born.'"

Abercrombie was unavailable for additional comment yesterday because he was vacationing on Maui, Dela Cruz said.

Obama is scheduled to return to Washington on Sunday.


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