December 23rd, 2008
06:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Put the journalists' beer on my tab

Obama offered to pick up the tab for a group of journalists -- an offer few would make.
Obama offered to pick up the tab for a group of journalists - an offer few would make.

HONOLULU (CNN) – Many Republicans already believe President-elect Barack Obama has gotten a free ride from the national media, so they may not be happy to learn the incoming Commander-in-Chief offered to buy a round of drinks for reporters covering his working vacation on the sands of Hawaii's beaches and the greens of its lush golf courses.

Halfway through a round of golf on Sunday afternoon, Obama rolled up to the snack bar in his golf cart to find a small pool of reporters waiting to get more pictures of him enjoying a leisurely day. No doubt realizing these might not be the best images at a time of recession, Obama suggested the reporters seek some other recreation to pass the time - rather than snapping so many pics.

"Obama then told us we should be in the clubhouse at the bar having some beers," according to a pool report by Jamie Farnsworth of CBS News. "Someone asked if he would pick up the tab and he agreed before driving off to the next hole. Pool is still holding without beer.

In a separate pool report for print journalists, Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times added helpfully: "He chatted for a moment, telling the pool to have a beer and put it on his tab. No one took him up on the offer."

Aha! So the key here is reporters covering the President-elect are having more fun here in Hawaii than we had in Crawford, Texas - and 85 degrees in the middle of the afternoon here is way better than the cold winds blowing through Chicago too. But none of the journalists were corrupted by free beer - we pay our own tabs.

And just for the record: your faithful correspondent, while enjoying the wonders of Waikiki beach, never drinks - at least not on the job.

soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. ELIZABETH

    CNN- You need to show the real stuff- the new pictures of Obama in his swimsuit. You know what I'm talking about. 50 police couldn't stop someone from taking the picture. Come on, lighten up, show it!

    December 23, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  2. KJL

    It's the holidays, for pete's sake. Find something real to crab about.

    December 23, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  3. nyindependent

    Very generous of him. If the republicans can have a beer with Americans, then Obama certainly can buy one for them. I just wish the media would leave him alone so he can have a much deserved vacation. Trust me, come Jan. 20, he'll earn his money!

    December 23, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  4. Shawn Waldron

    C'mon, a beer with Obama in Hawaii or with Bush in Texas.? I'll take Hawaii!

    December 23, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  5. Malcolm jhala

    CNN and journalists at large, give the man a break he is on vacation. He needs all the rest he can get before he takes over and sorts out this mess the Republicans have caused the whole world.

    We in Zambia are eager for him to move on the global financial mess whose ripples have hit our tiny economy.

    December 23, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  6. jeo

    Please leave him he is on vacation.
    thank you

    December 23, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  7. DSWood

    I am so impressed that the press corps, not a one, added a beer to President Elect Obama's tab....we have win win again, the gracious offer and the honor. Excellent.

    December 23, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  8. Everything in Moderation

    Image is everything. Can't be seen being the rich snob that he is. Buying favorable press coverage with free drinks. The Chicago way. America has been hoodwinked and bamboozled.

    December 23, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  9. WIlly Brown

    Wonder why he did nut vacation in Kenya? Maybe because the beer is too warm there.

    December 23, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  10. Scott

    Thats ok....Its Obama. He that doth no wrong.....

    December 23, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  11. ws

    he's so likable it boggles the mind.

    December 23, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  12. noneofyourbusiness

    And this is news because what??

    December 23, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  13. AJ

    This is a nice picture when many Americans are losing their jobs, the president elect riding around in a golf cart spending what is most likely taxpayer cash buying the house a round of beer. Obama and Michelle obviously have that "let them eat cake" attitude. Is anyone surprised?

    December 23, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  14. NJ Mom

    Hmmm...I distinctly remember W going golfing many times during the crises of the past 8 years (too many to bore you with.) This guy has not yet taken office so give him a break. Golf, as you may not know, is not exactly a 'rich man's game' anymore. Anyone can play...

    December 23, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  15. Once you vote Black

    Poor judgement. He is trying to get the press drunk so they will give him good coverage. Or was he just being nice.

    December 23, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  16. Josh

    Suckers. Should have taken him up on the offer. Get off of the egg shells and be human...

    December 23, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  17. Susan

    Gee, tough to be a White House pool reporter these days; hanging out in Waikiki. Life can be so cruel for the members of the fourt estate :).

    December 23, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  18. tanyakristine

    So? i'd love it if Obama bought me a beer!

    December 23, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  19. Larry from TN

    It's the least he could do, all things considered.

    December 23, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  20. atlgal

    Who Cares, Bush has always picked up the tab on his oil croonies!!

    December 23, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  21. BB

    I'm finding a bit of hypocrisy in the CNN talking heads today. They are blasting a photographer for taking a picture of PE Obama, yet the same hypocrits have dug into every personal aspect of his life and some of the people around him. The hypocrits need to shut up.

    December 23, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. carlo

    These are the same Republicans who were falling over each other to get an invite to one of McCain's famous barbeques at one of his seven homes. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    December 23, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  23. carol

    Pe Obama is one cool guy , he looked relaxed and well deserving of this break he sure will have his hands full come Jan next year.
    I hope all the family have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing them all for the Inauguration ceremony in Jan.....it's going to be a wonderful day.

    December 23, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  24. OneLove2008

    Yes,Mr President elect...You deserve your vacation and family time..Get refreshed ,get rejuvenated .We can't wait to see our country moving on Up again
    Offerring to pickup the tab was a nice gesture .The Press men/women also need some down time,enjoy some cold ones too..just to keep them cool in Hawaii...We all know that come January it going to be "Let's get ready to rumble !!! time ..So he's getting his mind set and prepared for the gaint tasks ahead of him .
    God Bless the President-elect and God bless the USA

    December 23, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  25. Ed

    That act of Kindness goes a long whay in showing America what kind of guy President-Elect Obama really is.

    December 23, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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