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. if franken wins my state im moving!

    to all those libs who are screaming "leave him alone, he is on vacation"...over the past 8 years did W. get to take a vacation with the peace of mind knowing that the "media" would not be following him....

    get off of your soap boxes and get back to work...that is the only true way to get this country back moving in the RIGHT direction!

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Let the man enjoy his vacation whether it be golf or whatever he decides to do. Nothing wrong with the president-elect offering to pick up a tab of beers.

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. royale6

    Does anybody remember:
    "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you."
    [George W. Bush, as he brandishes a golf club]
    "Now, watch this drive. "
    {Bush had to say something but briefly because it was interrupting his game)

    I'm sure Obama won't be so flip.
    For Pete's sake, idiot Republicans, he's NOT PRESIDENT YET!

    We've been in a recession since Dec 2007 but it is Obama's recession. . remember?

    December 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. Eric M

    "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."

    Right...for his vacation, maybe Obama should be shopping at Sam's Club or making Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Maybe he should be serving meals at a soup kitchen...yknow, on his VACATION.

    Or perhaps it's time that Americans come to realize that golf is no longer a rich man's game. A decent set of new starter clubs can be had for $200, and on many courses a round can be played for under $50...not exactly a king's ransom for 4 hours of golf. A kid with an Xbox360 can easily spend more money on their hobby than a golfer. If Obama were doing that instead, would we be saying "maybe Guitar Hero is not the best choice"?

    But shame on President Elect Obama for trying to shoo reporters away because he's worried about how it might look. Grow a backbone, man-up, and tell it like it is. Barack Obama isn't going to help the struggling working man or fix our economy by staying off the golf course during his Christmas vacation.

    Ridiculous non-story.

    December 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Are you serious??

    Wow–this is definitely a slow news day. It's freaking Christmas people. People go on vacation. People drink and have parties. I for sure am one of those people. None of us were on a campaign trail day in and day out for 18 months! You would need a vacation too and something stronger than a beer!

    December 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Adrian

    The comments on this page in exception of one or two are ridiculous. CNN should leave a field to put the age of the person making these comments. It is the careless attitude that everyone on here has that has lead this country to where it is now. What if those reporters would've gotten drunk and killed someone, would it have been ok then for Obama to have bought them beers. I am sure it wouldn't have been on CNN if that would've happened. No matter what goes on with this presidency, this guy will always have someone to pawn his failures on. He will always blame it on the presidency before him. And the majority of his followers will believe him. What this country needs is to be shaken and rocked backed to its original beliefs.

    We have comments like "lighten up", "that was decent of him", "its the holidays".... Let me tell you how this fake holiday is a great excuse to get drunk and forget about our problems. Yay!!! lets celebrate Jesus, when we are so far from Him, on a day He was never born, and do all the things He is against. ... WHAT A HOLIDAY...!!!!!

    December 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Chess

    The guy is cool. Relax its two days before Christmas!!!

    December 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Debbie

    Golfing is not the best choice??? What???? Please make a suggestion, almighty president-elect-vacationing-while-country-is-in-recession expert! He's not the president. He did his job by putting together his cabinet. Now is the best time to take a vacation. And some people really like golf to unwind. That's the dumbest post I've ever seen, with all due respect. I don't suppose you've ever been to Hawaii and seen their golf courses. They should not be missed by any golfer. Would you rather he was out partying at one of the nightclubs getting drunk? Laying out at the beach with a mai tai? Snorkeling at Hanama Bay?
    God, I miss Hawaii...

    December 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Laverne

    Why should he pretend to not be on a nice, relaxing vacation with his family. He deserves it because when he returns it will be on like a pot of neckbones! By the way, Obama prefers Hawaii and golfing, other presidents go the Camp David to relax. In other words, they all get their vacations in regardless what is going on in the world.

    December 23, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Danielle

    This story was a waste of time. I keep reading that Obama does not deserve a vacation because we are in a recession and people are losing their homes, however its not mentioned that President Bush is getting ready to retire in a house that is worth over 2 million. Nobody is mentioning that John McCain has houses but can't remember the total. They aren't offering any help but yet this man can't take his children on a vacation. The elite aren't worried about the recession. Just the ones mostly being affected by it. Leave the man alone for crying out loud! If i had the money i would take a vacation too!

    December 23, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Brianne

    What's the big deal? That seems like a very normal thing to do. Yeah, yeah economy. He didn't offer to buy them diamonds!

    December 23, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. MARY

    To all you critics, Obama has earned that beer and any he wants to buy. Yea, the economy is bad but don't blame it on him. Blame the banks, the credit companies, the auto companies and every other big company out there that took advantage of the American people. We are still under Mr. Bush's watch and he is moving on to live at home on the range, write a book, and build a library. What a mess he left for Obama. Oh yea, blame our Congress also.

    But, at the end, it's your own fault, mine, for not managing finances correctly. Not saving like our folks and grand folks did. We are the most wasteful nation in the world, we take everyting for granted. Now everyone wants the government to take care of them. Well, move to Russia.

    And Mr. Obama, enjoy your vacation, enjoy your family time.

    December 23, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Greg

    I did not vote for the man, but who cares if he is on vacation? He is not the president, that happens next month. He will need to be fresh to take over the job ahead, regardless of the state of the country.

    December 23, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Tired of meaningless Obama stories

    Slow news day, eh?

    December 23, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. john Doe

    Get a life!!!! I hope the President elect is allowed to be human! There are more important things happening in the world.

    December 23, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Moe, NY

    What a wonderful change...a real person, down to earth human being. Can't wait for January 20th to get here....a President for the people/by the people...it has been a long time coming.

    December 23, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. bitter_in_pa

    its good to be the king...

    December 23, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. TR

    $75,000 + for a 12 day vacation in those mantions. Seems like the savior is being a little opulent. The cost of that resort is more than most families make in a year. Change we can believe in!

    December 23, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Amy

    Oh good grief! Since when is being generous during the holiday season a bad thing?

    December 23, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. Twigg

    OMG. Offering guys a beer is like saying " We're all Americans". He's no better than Joe – six pack as he is the President 2b of all americans. It's a humble way of being real. It seems to me that when anyone goes on vacation, that's where they are. ON VACATION.

    December 23, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Hypocracy has no bounds

    Looks like 95% of the bloggers didn't read the comments. How about reading them before going on the attack and telling people to relax. Glad to see holiday season bring out the best in people. I think all you people who are attacking people for not even saying anything should be directing thier comments at themselves.

    December 23, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. M. Taylor

    The President-Elect has been going non-stop for almost two years and deserve a break. IF the media will allow him to relax just a bit, he will come back refreshed and ready to respond to all the special interst groups who want him to do this and that. I am sure he is keeping an eye on things on the mainland so will not be entirely relaxed – but will make the best of a bad situation. Also CNN and the other news outlet could try being more positive instead of reporting in such a way that is "depressing" a lot of people.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to PE and his team as well as the positive-thinking people in the US.

    December 23, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Mark

    Geesh.. Bush was on vacation ever other day. Give the new man a little respect and drink a beer if he buys you one. Good Job Obama... Your're "tha Man" now.

    December 23, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. MeH82

    Certain Contractors Made Billions in no bid contracts under Bush/Chaney...
    Oil Companies Have made Record Profits under Bush/Chaney...
    Let the President Elect Buy a round for the Press...

    December 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. republicans hate america

    he has done more in this month for America then Bush has in eight years. This is the guy I would have a beer with.

    December 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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