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Obamas back in Washington

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama shook hands with the crowd before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Saturday evening

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL/CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama shook hands with the crowd before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Saturday evening. Waiting to meet the President are Nicole Burrows, Anita Ross and her mother, Dorothy Wilson who is reaching for First Lady in the background.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Barack Obama waves as he walks across the South Lawn with daughter Malia, left, followed by Sasha Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, on their return to the White House, in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, after a family vacation in Hawaii.

President Barack Obama and his family have arrived back in Washington D.C. after their annual two-week Christmas vacation in the islands.

The First Family landed at Joint Base Andrews at 11:42 a.m. (6:42 a.m. in Hawaii).

The president’s Hawaiian holiday included his usual vacation routine of golfing with friends, family hiking and beach excursions, and several dinners at some of Hawaii’s top restaurants.

The final day of the Obamas’ Christmas vacation was also one of their busiest.

The president started the day with a two-hour visit to the beach at Bellows Air Force Station with first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and undisclosed friends.

After a brief respite back at the first family’s vacation rental in Kailua, the Obamas traveled to Manoa to spend time with the president’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.

Soetoro-Ng and her daughters joined the Obamas on visits to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, where the president’s grandfather Stanley Dunham is buried; and to the East-West Center, with which Obama’s and Soetoro-Ng’s mother, anthropologist S. Ann Dunham, was long affiliated.

The family next visited the Honolulu Zoo.

While younger daughter Sasha stayed close to her cousins, Obama walked hand-in-hand with older daughter Malia.

Upon spotting the group of pool reporters trailing him on his Hawaii holiday, he quipped: “Hey, guys, sorry we’ve got to go home.”

When the family stopped to look at the lemur exhibit, Obama picked up a young girl who was part of the group so she could have a better view. The president and his family lingered for a few minutes before heading toward the howler monkeys.

The Obamas returned to Kailua shortly after 6:05 p.m.

At 7:24 p.m., the motorcade left for Buzz’s Steakhouse, where the family dined with friends. A small group of onlookers had apparently predicted this last stop and was awaiting the motorcade’s arrival, hoping to glimpse the president.

After dinner, the first family left for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the flight back to Washington.

The Obamas arrived at the base about 2o minutes past their scheduled departure time of 10 p.m. and spent several minutes greeting onlookers and members of the military. Before boarding Air Force One, the president and the first lady were greeted by Gov. David Ige, his wife Dawn Amano-Ige, and U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris.

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  • I actually like that the Obamas are still here in Hawaii, at least it keeps Barry out of Washington DC where he inflicts more damage to the rest of America. Come on Michelle, keep Barry here longer.

        • We have nationwide healthcare and the economy is good enough that the fed was able to increase interest rates. Underrepresented groups were appointed to the Supreme Court. DOMA was repealed.

        • Some things are tripled the Dow Jones, gas prices are amazingly low, cut the annual Bush deficit by two-thirds, unemployment is halved, inflation is at all time low, automakers are doing great, and clean energy numbers are doubled. And Bin Laden.

        • Obama was able to lower America’s status internationally to “level the playing field” by showing America is not exceptional. He has weakened the military to the point where our enemies mock us with impunity. On the economic front, we have had the weakest recovery in the history of the US and race relations are at an all time low. The labor participation rate is at an all time low as more Americans just left the workforce. Just a few of the accomplishments of a failed president, the worst president in history.

        • seaborn, your right, got me on that one. Automakers are doing great. Remember that commercial for Dodge where they show cars driving through a city at night and the caption says Detroit is back? All those cars are built in Canada and now are owned by Fiat. Been to Detroit lately? Thank the greedy unions and the dems for that. Lots of Japanese cars are built in the US. The price of gas is low because of over production, the east coast didn’t get hit with the cold weather like they did last year. Labor force is back, if you don’t mind working for 1/2 the pay you once worked for. Since Obama took over the federal debt has grown almost 70%, almost 8 trillion dollars. Do you think we are safer as a country? Obama wants to shut down Guantanamo Bay, that’s insane!! These prisoners will do anything to kill americans, anything!!! And he wants to gust let them go?? I would be flying on a commercial plane after that…….. Ask anybody who served or had served in the military what they think of Obama……. I remember when the US was sending troops to the middle east and all our cargo planes were flying around the clock supplying and helping out troops. Obama wanted to take a trip to Africa to visit his “birth place”. He took 3 C-17’s off line to help with his vacation. Not only did that trip cost the taxpayers 100 million dollars but it may have cost some troops their lives. One of the requirements to be president is you have to be a “US born citizen.” The health care is a disaster. The nations largest health care insurer, United Health care group will be getting out of Obama care in 2017, can’t make any money because less and less people are renewing, the ones that are are sick. Obama is doing a bang up job!!

        • @scuddrunner, here are some more (as taken from The Atlantic): “In his first year, he pushed through the largest economic stimulus in American history—larger in inflation-adjusted terms than Franklin Roosevelt’s famed Works Progress Administration. In his second year, he muscled universal health care through Congress, something progressives had been dreaming about since Theodore Roosevelt ran as a Bull Moose. That same year, he signed a law re-regulating Wall Street. He’s also spent roughly $20 billion bailing out the auto industry, increased fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, toughened emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the production of carbon dioxide, expanded the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to regulate the sale of tobacco products, doubled the amount of fruits and vegetables required in school lunches, designated 2 million acres as wilderness, and protected more than 1,000 miles of rivers.”

        • @scudrunner, Plus we got Kagan and Sotomayor on the Supreme Court; that alone makes me happy I voted for him.

          “Do you think we are safer as a country?”

          I don’t fear foreign terrorists; I’m much more likely to be killed by one of my fellow Americans.

          “Obama wants to shut down Guantanamo Bay, that’s insane!! These prisoners will do anything to kill americans, anything!!! And he wants to gust let them go??”

          We should close Guantanamo. It’s an international embarrassment. What’s worse is the fact there are some innocents in there. I wouldn’t be surprised they hated us after being unjustly imprisoned and tortured; wouldn’t you? Anyway he doesn’t want to “just let them go.” The guilty ones would stay imprisoned. Heck we’ve imprisoned other foreign terrorists, like the one involved in the 1993 WTC bombing.

          “One of the requirements to be president is you have to be a “US born citizen.””

          And he is a US born citizen. Those who insist otherwise are the tinfoil hat brigade. You want to avoid those people, they’re potentially dangerous.

          “The health care is a disaster. The nations largest health care insurer, United Health care group will be getting out of Obama care in 2017, can’t make any money because less and less people are renewing, the ones that are are sick. Obama is doing a bang up job!!”

          Your facts are wrong; every year more people have signed up for health care (including me). I don’t think the ACA was the best solution, but it was the only thing Obama was able to push through. But it’s a first step. It’s embarrassing being part of a nation that has some factions so staunchly against providing health care for its citizens. A few years ago I needed surgery and w/o having insurance I had to set up a fundraising website. My friends from overseas were appalled I had to do such a thing. I think everyone should have health care provided for them, cradle to grave, and there should def be price controls to reign in the drug companies. But, as I said, this was a first step. I see the Repubs attacking the ACA, but I’ve never seen them propose a solution. Instead of repeatedly saying how awful the ACA is, why don’t you show me what you’ve got in mind that’s better?

          I was very happy to vote for Obama twice. He actually turned out better than I thought!

      • You mean how he said ISIS is a JV team and is contained, making a nuclear deal with terrorist country Iran that is already breaking the agreement, how Obama care has greatly raised insurance rates for everyone beyond just helping the uninsured, you mean how racial tensions has INCREASED between law enforcement and African Americans, etc.

      • The inherited GW Bush”Excuse” card… Barry said he would fix it all and bring Americans together. I along w/many Americans hasn’t seen that “Pretty Good Record”! And that mean “Horrible” George W Bush? mean?lol. I’ll take GW anytime time of the week,twice on Sundays!

    • PioDoggy the bail out money has yet to be paid back by Chrysler yet the US let Fiat buy 51% of it. Now the US own part of Fiat. Fiat/Chrysler are the most recalled vehicles ever.
      Read what Senator Tom Cotton who was a Captain and a Army Ranger has to say about Guantanamo Bay. The ONLY reason Obama wants to shut it down is because he made a campaign promise, that’s it! For no other reason….It has nothing to do with it being an “embarrassment,”
      Was the the killing of 3000 people at the WTC and embarrassment? Was American flight 11and United flight 175 the planes that crashed into the WTC an embarrassment? Was American flight 77 and United flight 93 and embarrassment an embarrassment? Michelle Obama ADMITS her husband was born in Kenya, google it. Obamacare is on the rocks, it won’t survive, I don’t know where you are getting your information, it’s in the news everyday. 60% of americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling terrorism and two thirds disapprove of the way he’s handling ISIS. Increased fuel standards, that’s called CAFE that started in 1975, Obama had absolutely nothing to do with that, doesn’t matter who was in office it was going to happen, that’s funny!!

  • Late as usual. Good job SA. You have a president in town for 2 weeks and you guys managed to ask zero zero questions. You guys deserve a vacation.

  • Oh, gotta feel pity for the haters here. They’re gonna have to tolerate another Democratic President for 4 years after Obama leaves office, as there is not a single SERIOUS contender in that GOP train wreck.

    • Instead of chanting your political mantra you should at least do you due diligence. The fact is according to the latest Census Bureau data,from 2009 to 2014, real median household income dropped by more than $1,000 — or 2.3% — to $53,657. (And that decline would likely have been steeper if not for a 2013 change in the way the Census does its annual survey.) The bottom fifth of households saw their average income fall by 8% from 2009 to 2014. In Obama’s first year in office, 43.6 million people — or 14.3% of the population — lived in poverty. By 2014, that number had climbed by more than 3 million, pushing the poverty rate up to 14.8%.
      Obama doesn’t need any help from the Repubs; he has managed to accomplish this all by himself!

  • seaborn said:
    “Some things are tripled the Dow Jones, gas prices are”

    FYI: the DOW lost 398 points or -2.28% in 2015

    He didn’t have anything to do with lower gas prices.

    • “He didn’t have anything to do with lower gas prices”. Exactly right… just like he had nothing to do with higher gas prices when the GOP folks in here were blaming him for that.

    • The fracking boom (at the initiative of private companies) and a slow global economy have pushed gas prices down, for now. Meanwhile, Obama’s main accomplishment in this regard falls into the category of “being there”, his main talent.

  • I would venture to say that most of the courageous folks who opine on these Star Advertiser boards fit the following profile:

    White
    Male
    Between the ages of 37-57
    Loved the movie American Sniper.

    Obama has actually been one of the greater presidents of our time. The world is a much more complex place than it ever was. I’ll take a smart guy who is not afraid to engage the enemy over a DUMB, trigger happy, “we need less pussys” guy any day. If he could run for a third term, I’d certainly vote for him over anyone in the field right now….republican or democrat.

  • “A small group of onlookers had apparently predicted this [Buzz’s] last stop and was awaiting the motorcade’s arrival, hoping to glimpse the president.”

    “Apparently”? It’s the worst kept secret on the island. First it was Lucy’s on his last night here now it is Buzz’s. Absolutely predictable.

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