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. CMJ

    slow news day?

    December 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Matt

    So, the second coming is playing golf and buying beer. Mr. Hollywood is having a good time. The question is now what is he going to do next in the hollywood script. The man has done nothing yet and he is all ready a hollywood star, only in America or what's left of it. We as Americans have been brain washed again, John Mcain deserved the presidency no doubt, and we now have Mr. hollywood and the media who by the way put him there. Remember, hollywood builds fictional characters and Mr. Obama is the star. So, let him buy the beer for the people who put him there, what's wrong with that? He's making history.

    December 23, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Empty suit, empty promises

    He is simply running away from his remarks that neither "he nor ANY of his staff had ANY contact with the Governor".

    Then when Axelrod was found on tape stating that he had indeed contacted the Governor as we ALL WOULD EXPECT, Axelrod joined the list of people that are thrown under the bus.

    Not saying that anyone is guilty of anything, but the first inclination was to LIE and that is a FACT.

    Look up his original comments and not the ones the next day or the day after, NOBODY had ANY contact with the beloved Governor.........

    Make mine a double Obama, it's going to be a long four years.

    December 23, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Diane

    Its nice that he offered

    December 23, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Pete

    Change you can believe in.

    It should be against the press's code of ethics to accept drinks for those they cover. Oh, that's right, the press doesn't have a code of ethics.

    December 23, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. RevGreen

    maybe the reporters can enjoy some of the better recreation Hawaii offers instead of beer.

    December 23, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Linford

    This is a useless story, he on vacation, he better relax and have fun now, because when Jan 20th comes the fun will be official over.

    December 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Obama Fan - but a bit concerned

    I have to agree, I do not think it's smart of Obama to play golf in Hawaii while most of the country is really suffering economically. The guy deserves a vacation, and God knows he needs to be rested when he takes office, but maybe golfing is not the best choice.

    December 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Damon

    much ado about nothing....geesh get real.

    December 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. former republican

    im starting to like obama. he seems genuine.. like a regular guy. good luck to him!

    December 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. bob searcy

    i wouldnt begrudge the man his liesure time, i only hope he understands the plight of the working poor. most are in a bad way simply because they have been enslaved by underregulated banks who have changed the very concept of a contract. all policy is now subject to change at the disgression of the bank. i believe biden fathered the deregulation of banking, then fathered bankrupcy reform that might have protected peoples homes. mr obama, all change is not positive nor all movement forward.

    December 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. KP

    I sure that what was said was nothing more than a joke. But the thing that bothers me the most was that the reporter saying that the President-Elect is worried about having so many pictures taken of him on the golf course at a time of financial heartache. So what that he is on the golf course. I golf too, still today, the man is just trying to relax and that is it. I think that he deserves it don't you?

    December 23, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Sam

    Big whoop! Oh my...what a scandal. He offered some beers to some reporters. Give the guy a break. We are way too PC these days. This article is a waste of time.

    December 23, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. pray2008pray

    How are ignorant can people be? Grow up and have a beer. Its not OBAMA's fought that people are losing there jobs. Why is everyone else suppose to be depressed because some American's have gotten a bad deal with the economy. I am not rich but I never lived above my means as well. So my family and I are doing ok. My husband lost his job in July but we are ok.

    Obama enjoy your family and your vacation. Forget these "haters" who wish they were you.

    Before Obama was president elect he had a decent education, salary, and life why not now? Just like his inauguration, people complaining, He should be able to enjoy an inauguration just as elite or well as the past Presidents.

    December 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Mona

    He deserves the short vacation (if you can call it that) after putting together the best administration, making history, and dealing with a current president who is pretty much a laughing stock and most disliked person around the world. He's got a tough eight years ahead, so let's let him enjoy a few minutes where it all started.

    December 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Ben

    Loved "The Shot" on AC360 ... Although living out of a suitcase and chasing down stories is hardwork, I am almost envious of the work environment. Who wouldn't want to work in paradise while the NE is covered in snow and frigid?

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. ben

    Its not fair for people to demonize the man for going on vacation. If he has been economically sound with his money he should be free to enjoy the use of it as he sees fit. While he may have sympathy for the many americans who are without at this unfortunate time, he is by no means under any obligation to restrict himself from enjoying the fruits of his labors as he sees fit. I cannot understand how anyone who believes in freedom would even consider this an issue.

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Phoenix

    You people need to take a serious pill. Obama is not IN OFFICE YET. We had an administration that did not even want to admit that we were in an economic crisis and we drank the kool aid. If he's still playing golf after Jan 20, okay, we have a problem, but until then, stop trying to create problems where none exist.

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. bill

    Obama not only rocked the vote. He rocks COOL!

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. abraxis

    Hey, Repugs! Let's compare what the Obama hasn't done and what Dubya did in the last eight years, and come back and write again how they are the same.

    Stupid is, is stupid does! I don't mean Dubya, we know he is stupid. I mean the people who still support him!!

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. 46_2

    One: Not news.

    Two: "No doubt realizing these might not be the best images at a time of recession..." Let's not put words into his mouth. Especially such ridiculous ones. Maybe, just maybe, Obama wants to be left alone. Holiday break with the family and all. Weird, huh. Bizarre concept.

    Three: Obama did not "offer" to buy drinks, according to your own supplied text. Obama asked the reporters to go to the pool and a reporter asked Obama to pick up the tab.

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Mike

    This man is a joke that will come back to haunt the press that elected him.

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. AmericaGotItRightThisTime

    Where was the media when John McCain was buying food for reporters? He is on CHRISTMAS VACATION! Give it a break!

    December 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. BULA

    Talk about Judging....alot of you need to worry about judgement day and not the small things....Obama will be in the White House on
    January 20, 2009....so deal with it...he is going to be your President.

    December 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Don

    Leave the man alone dangit, he is in Hawaii looking for his birth certificate!

    December 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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