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Obama Takes In a Show and a Shave Ice

By Philip Rucker
WAIMANALO, Hawaii -- President-elect Barack Obama interrupted what has been a reclusive Hawaiian vacation today by taking his daughters and a caravan of family friends to a marine amusement park and to a mobbed shopping center.

In venturing out as a Hawaiian tourist, Obama ditched his "press pool" of reporters, photographers and cameramen, breaching the long-standing protocol requiring that presidents or presidents-elect travel at all times with at least some journalists.

Instead, with only his Secret Service detail in tow, Obama, his daughters and friends spent about an hour here at the Sea Life Park, taking in a dolphin show.

On the way back to his Kailua vacation home, the president-elect stopped at the bustling Koko Marina Center for a bite (coincidentally allowing the pool to catch up with him). "So, what are we going to get?" Obama asked at the counter of Koko Marina Paradise Deli.

"Let me get a tuna sandwich," he said, asking for it on 12-grain bread with tomatoes. (Hold the mayo, he said.) "Actually, can you melt cheese on that? Can you make like a tuna melt with cheddar cheese?"

Carrying his sandwich, Obama walked with his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to Kokonuts to order shave ice, a Hawaiian treat akin to a snowcone. As dozens of onlookers swarmed the shop, snapping pictures and saying hello, Obama ordered for his daughters and several other children.

"Everyone, once you've ordered, step back," Obama instructed the kids. "We're going to do it one at a time." He pulled out his wallet and paid for the shave ice with cash. (Eric Whitaker, a close friend from Chicago, pitched in to cover the rest of the tab.)

Obama joked with reporters that he ate his sandwich before his dessert, to set an example for his daughters. He then enjoyed a green-and-orange shave ice.

He also offered to buy the journalists some.

"Guys, here's your chance," Obama said. "No? I'm telling you, this is really good."

No one took him up on the offer.

By Post Editor  |  December 26, 2008; 9:39 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
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Next: Obama's Vacation: Power Returns to Oahu


I know it is your job and your duty to inform the public. But is this informing ? What is the connection between this episode of Barack Obama's private life, which is none of your business, and his coming action as the 44th President ? Don't you think you take a risk in dissecting and reporting his least deed only to satisfy an unhealthy, obnoxious and preposterous desire of part of the the public for knowing "everything" about him? For the sake of what ??
Past experience should prove you that this is unsane and not connected in any way with the need and legitimate right of information of the people of America.

Posted by: JML_Paris | December 29, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Every day I face 100s of possibility of death. I can not think of OBAMA being a great president if he could not have a family life. All of us are in danger when we walk on a sidewalk, drive a car, go to a bank, and more that I'll let you to thinking about. I know the president needs protection I was around when JFK, RFK, and MLK were killed. I was sad, well more then sad, I was mad. I remember seeing FDR, meeting HST, RFK,and JFK. I remember seeing MKL at a church in south LA. I wish I could remember it's name. I knew when JFK was killed in Dallas TX things would change but I feel most Presidents after JFK lost touch with the PEOPLE, less so with JC, and the bad jobs they did shows it. Just think if hwbII knew what the people think, would he still be the lowest rated President? Well bad example!!!! The Press, Internet, and Camera persons should allow OBAMA to have time with his family and friends with out a gaggle of people around. NO law, just a little courtesy.

We need leadership now more then anytime since the Great Depression and we need a President to see what it's like for the middle class. AND I ask, no demand, the press allow OBAMA to feel OUR needs, not feed yours.

Posted by: theemailman | December 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Bruddah Prez-

You get 'em- bruddah. Aloha nui and Imua.

Posted by: interactidiomas | December 29, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

You mean not even ONE journalist took him up on the offer of a shave ice? How stand- offish! Come on guys, loosen up!

Posted by: James101 | December 29, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised he did not go for an "Island Snow" Shave Ice!

Best mix: Coconut and Vanilla! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | December 27, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Something isn't right here. You say Obama ditched his press pool of reporters and with only his Secret Service detail in tow he proceeded to the park and shopping center. You then say he joked with reporters and offered to buy the journalists food. Obviously he didnt have ONLY his SS detail in tow. How many reporters were there really? Obviously there were not none. So why were the reporters there if he ditched them? Why don't you report on yourselves and how you are like paparazzi following him around 24/7? Don't you remember what happened to Diana?

Posted by: bjhutch1 | December 27, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Ok, Mr. President-elect. I won't try to second guess or lecture you. But please stay safe.

As for the press, I really don't blame you for trying to get away from a crowd of people who are just salivating for something salacious to report about you, your family, and your friends.

Really, it seems to me that a lot of media folks go out of their way to put a negative slant on you, and anything or anyone associated with you. That this is happening when the country needs you to be strong reflects on how rotten, irresponsible, self-indulgent and incompetent a lot of the 4th estate actors have become. So, you just rest, relax, and revel in your hard-won victory!!

Posted by: youngo47 | December 27, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I hope that this soon will end: this "desire to be free" of the responsibility that Presidents have to be "cordoned off from the public", if you will. If this desire is not curbed, it is my firm belief that an assassination will occur, and it will be one of those damned, stupid crimes of opportunity perpetrated by some sicko who just happened to be there... packin' a gun at the time.The President has a responsibility with respect to his security, not only to his electorate, his country, and the world: he also a responsibility to his wife and his children... and I pray to God that he begins to seriously pay attention to his Secret Service people... who I am absolutely sure did not want him to be thrusting himself into the public in this manner. I give you your "last hurrah", Sir: but please, I beg you, enough is enough. You're gonna give me a heart attack if you do not stop this.

Posted by: DarylAtamanyk | December 26, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

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