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. Sean

    WOW! So because the country is in economic turmoile a man can't paly a round of golf?! Hey I played a round of golf last week and bought my buddies a few pints! I'm not rich, nor close to Obama's earnings but we can still have fun, can't we?

    December 23, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. sg

    Such a heart warming story!! He's just one of us. Why isn't he back in the continental US dealing with the horribly cold weather we're having. So many folks are suffering. Shouldn't he be forming a panel to work on the global cooling problem!!

    December 23, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Who cares!

    December 23, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Faith

    This story is such an important one...my goodness, what is this world coming to? Reporters, were offered beer.

    December 23, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. roald

    I can just see the headlines now, Chicago-Tainted Obama Now Attempting To Draw Press Into Depths Of Corruption

    When will it end?

    December 23, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. anonymous in Big D

    The media got the man elected period! If they did their job, he would never have been elected with all the shady ties he had/has and he knows it. The media better get used to being shunned now that he's almost in office!!

    December 23, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. cad

    Yeah!!! So what??? Why is this a big deal??

    December 23, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. Kenneth

    Hey did President Elect Obama just fart? lets see who can tell what he ate. Come on folks its the holiday season before he is officially signed into office at one of the most critical financial times in our countries history. Wouldn't you want to relax if you were staring down the barrel of a gun aimed to wipeout the country and you were the one that was going to be responsible for not only stemming the financial flow but healing the moral fabric of society? Pressure bursts pipes and arteries ... give the man time to breathe and prayerfully we can all reap the benefits.

    December 23, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. tim

    This is news? A guy buys a round of beers...How about the reporters/photographers just say thank you. Instead a thank you to Ed Henry for letting us know he's not drinking on the job, way to pat yourself on the back there chief. You're in Hawaii, watching the incumbent enjoy himself, maybe you should have that beer or two or ten. If a man buys you a beer, no matter who he is, it's disrespectful not to accept, a slap in the face if you ask me. Write on something that matters.

    December 23, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. chuksis

    So Obama is human after all, bleeds like us, feels like us, concerned like us, humble like some of us, and above all has the future of the free world on his hands at such a crucial time in their history: yet we have haters? Idiots!

    December 23, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  11. Richard

    Good for President O'bama. You missed all sorts of good things he was doing by playing golf on a well deserved vacation. First he is supporting the whole golfing industry and the local golf course. 2nd he's telling people it's OK to drink beer, supporting another very important industry. 3rd he's supporting the whole idea of still taking a break from all the worries of the world, something all of us should be doing. Nice no substance article, though ED.

    December 23, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. Bryan

    Why do I believe Obama is going to be one of the most crooked Presidents ever? The economy is horrible and he's out on vacation smoking and drinking and buying the press. Wow, great example.

    December 23, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. CanIcallyouJoe

    OMG The Republicans were RIGHT!!

    This is clearly socialism!!!!!

    December 23, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. RealityKing

    "No one took him up on the offer."

    Of course that’s only because the narcissistic national media dubiously believes itself unbiased and doesn't want to give a false impression(eyes rolling)..

    December 23, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. TCM

    Of course he'll pay for the beers! They're part of the corrupt wave that elected him! I wouldn't be surprised if ACORN heads weren't along on the trip to celebrate!
    Now, that he's liquored them up, he'll provide them with a much anticipated, but empty report of how he didn't communicate with Gov Rod....what a whitewash....and libs buy into it everytime. Here's a tip, Obama, why not try to be honest the first time you're asked a question?

    December 23, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Why????

    Very smooth Mr. President.

    December 23, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. Paul

    "covering his working vacation on the sands of Hawaii's beaches and the greens of its lush golf courses."

    lmao – working?

    Amazing time to take vacation; economy is plunging into an abyss, major companies are battling bankruptcy, his Chief of Staff is possibly involved in pay to play scheme, he has at least two legal teams being paid $1M+ to defend against the natural born citizen debate in the Supreme Court, and so much more.

    He is one cool dude, that's for sure.

    December 23, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Keith

    Jesus! Let the man play golf and buy a round if he wants. He's had a long past few months and it's time to relax a little. He's not in office yet. I think Ed Henry needs a vacation to prevent him from writing garbage articles like this. BTW, I would buy a round for those guys too. OBAMA = MAN OF THE PEOPLE

    December 23, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. roy

    Obama's golfing is turned into 'No doubt not the best image in a recession??' Can't his offer of a beer just be a friendly gesture?
    Wait..NO ONE took him up on the offer? OK, who spoke to who when....what contact was there between Obama and the press about beer? When was this inappropriate beer talk overheard? And especially, was this an IMPORT beer offered?

    December 23, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. rich

    So what's the big deal? It would serve some reporters right to get drunk and fall by the wayside and stop reporting everything that the president elect does or says just for the hell of "making news". Cambell Brown could do with not just a few beers but a case. lol That should hold her for a while.

    December 23, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. Enjoy the vacation

    I guess if there is anything to be had from this "non-news" story it is 1) there was only a small pool of reporters, 2) Obama is a gracious person, even on vacation, and 3) hope he enjoys his time off, it'll be the last good rest he gets for at least 4 years.

    December 23, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Paula

    I lost my son to drunk driver who was returning from a gala... He left behind a Mother and three children - one being 6-months old.

    Any advocacy for alcohol by the President Elect may seem innocent but it communicates a wrong message. Having president elect Obama pick up the tabs for alcohol consumption is truly disapointing.

    The world is watching... And, many will follow in accordance of their leaders example. I hope he will be more mindful of his actions as his term proceeds.

    Most Respectfully

    December 23, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. Mike NYC

    I have no problem with this – its good to see a president that is down to earth as well.

    Grabbing a round of beers is a decent gesture. Especially for a person on Vacation who is relaxed and enjoying themselves. What is so wrong with that?

    December 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. JP

    Mr. Senior White House Correspondent ... You call this news? Seems to me that in this economy a senior correspondent has better things to do than follow someone who has earned his vacation on the golf course ...

    I heard a few drops of alcohol is a good way to get rid of a leech ! Offering someone a beer is not quite the same as selling a senate seat you know.

    December 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Lauren the Designer

    Aaaaand cue the Republican backlash....

    (By the way...who cares if he's on vacation? He's allowed to take a vacation around the holidays if he wants. Clearly Mr. Henry is a bitter man. I think it was really nice for the PE to offer.)

    December 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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