December 23rd, 2008
01:41 PM ET
5 years ago

A long lens photo stirs debate

ALT TEXT

For the Obama family, vacations will never be the same.

President-elect Obama isn't the only politician or head of state to be popular with the paparazzi: French President Nicolas Sarkozy is a fixture in the European tabloids, as are the British royals - who have endured decades of interrupted vacations.

And photos of presidents on vacation are nothing new - many remember seeing images of Ronald Reagan on his horse in California. Whether it's golfing or fishing, the demand for a photo of the commander-in-chief at play has always been high. But with the president-elect, it's at a whole new level.

Yesterday on the golf course, Obama told the press corps he'd buy them some beer if they'd just leave him alone for a little while. Now pictures from the paparazzi trailing the president-elect and his family on vacation in Hawaii have sparked new questions about presidential privacy. (Photo credit: Bauergriffinonline.com)

–CNN's Ted Rowlands

Watch: A photographer gets close enough to the Obama family to snap dozens of photos on the beach.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. lissie

    WHERE IS THE SECRET SERVICE! THIS CLOSE IS TOO CLOSE!
    DANGEROUS AND FRIGHTENING.

    December 23, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Chris in MI

    Forget the privacy! What's going on with the security???Even with those telephoto lenses, NOBODY should be able to get close enough to shoot ANY pictures! What the hell is going on with the Secret Service?????

    December 23, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Betty the maid

    Wow...he is kind of sexy!

    December 23, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Debby

    Finally the media showing the real Obama and what he is good at doing NOTHING.

    December 23, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Once you vote Black

    I bet you people who were against him for picking Waren are now back on the band wagon. I am sure Big Daddy O staged this shot to win you back.

    December 23, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. ladyc803

    You go President Obama. People get a life the MAN is on vacation! A vacation in which he desires. This MAN is Hot and not bad on the eyes.

    December 23, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. OBAMA GIRL

    Such a good looking man! Sorry Michelle lol

    December 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Michelle

    His privacy doesn't concern me nearly as much as his safety. Our President should be more closely guarded and no one should have access enough to him to take his picture or to do worse.

    Same as with Bush recently, where was the Secret Service that the man got two shoes off and thrown towards our President?

    Now is not the time to rest, Obama should be protected as our national treasure, he is not a celebrity, he is our leader.

    December 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. naqib

    Who says smoking, booze and cocaine are bad for you...
    He looks pretty fit...

    December 23, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. MD

    Doesn't this scare anyone else besides me. If a camera can get to him unprotected then what else can get through.

    I will be keeping the PE in my prayers everyday. I wish the media would just back off a little. No use giving some nut case any ideas...

    December 23, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Gregory T: NYC

    I'm not even going to comment on this.

    December 23, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    I feel a little dirty, seeing my new President shirtless. It seems strange, I'm pretty sure I've never seen any previous President without a shirt (wouldn't want to, either). I'm having a hard time with this. He is pretty hot, though.

    December 23, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Jealous

    Check out the Presidential Junk

    December 23, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Joanna

    Now, imagine the same photo of : John McCain, George Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney....feel free to scream in absolute horror at the mental image; I know I did.

    December 23, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. KJL

    I'm glad it wasn't his wife and children. That would be inexcusable.

    December 23, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. whatever

    looks like little man boobs to me. Not the best picture for someone who's in good shape.

    December 23, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Mike O'Brien

    President-elect Barack Obama looks good. U.S. Secret Service needs help. Mike in Montana

    December 23, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Diing

    Give Barack a break!

    December 23, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. dr.mimi de la cruz

    I APPRECIATE THE PICTURE MUCH, IF IT WAS TAKEN BY

    PERMISSION. I AM FURIOUS THAT THE SECURITY FOR

    THE WELL BEING OF OUR PRESIDENT IS SO LAX.

    UNBELIEVABLE !!!!

    WHAT IS THE SECRET SERVICE DOING, WATCHING THE COWS !!!!!

    December 23, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Dan in Philly

    So nice of CNN to do their part to make these kinds of photos valuable so more paparazzi will be inclined to invade privacy.

    Way to go! Idiots.

    December 23, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GOOD REASON TO VOTE FOR HIM RIGHT OBAMA FANS!!!!!!!!!!

    December 23, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. dr.mimi de la cruz

    Chuck,

    I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU.

    December 23, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. A Woman In California For Obama

    This is shameful. How low can the media go?

    December 23, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. obama-mama

    @Once you vote black.....You're a pubic hair....

    December 23, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Bridgette-PA

    PE.....SHOWEM' WHAT YOUR WORKIN' WIT!

    December 23, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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