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

A long lens photo stirs debate


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:

–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. Gay Marriage

    Hey Erika, George Bush keeps his clothes on and still don't look Presidental. God knows he can't even pretend to act Presidental.

    December 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. mary

    As they say " Lawd make a way"!!!!!!!! Coffee with just the right touch of cream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Dave from Canada

    Sale of pictures for cash without consent should be a criminal offence, be it President, or celebrity, or a citizen of interest. I hope Washington puts an end to Paparazzi's . Can you just imagine what pictures the load took that the publisher/editor said No to. I'm sure they will show up in some slime magazine before his term is up.

    December 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |

    a real role model who did plenty of drugs and alcohol.... you should re-think what a role model is... maybe you should strive for your kids to look up to there parents and not someone else and just maybe this society would not be filled with murderers and rapists...... and we could get back to the morality that made this country great in the past

    December 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. georgia girl

    this is our first black president and people are trying there best to find something on him. Now if he was white all of this will not be going on let the man injoy his holiday. because he know when he gets into the office there will not be a vacation. Im glad we have a find and stronge black man for president because he can pick this world up and up it back on track. SO GET OF HIS BACK

    December 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. canuck

    this was a set up for the media, just like Bill and Hill beach dancing pictures at St. Thomas. don't be so naive.

    December 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Lori

    Smart and good-looking. What a great combo!!!

    December 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. John from California

    At least he is not fat.... who knows how Bush or McCain will look like ...

    December 23, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. Perusing-Through


    December 23, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. clifford

    This guy's a wimp!! Go to your local gym then you'll know what in shape is!!

    December 23, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. American Made

    He's tall, dark, and handsome. Did I say tall, dark and handsome? Oh, and he's all American.

    December 23, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. Michael - California

    @ Dave in CA:

    Been drinking too much kool-aid? What about John McSame cheating on his first wife, who then died? Some role model.

    I hate California Republicans, they're mad that the last time they ever got powerful was during the Reagan Era. And we all know what he did.

    December 23, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. PoliticoMike

    C'mon guys,
    Let's be honest, the dude is prob one the most fit future & current Presidents we've ever had. No need to hate. I think a lot of you haters on here should take heed & get ur lazy fat butts to the gym.
    Whenever there's something positive about a black man, haters have to try to tear them down.
    And if you're worried bout his junk, don't be, he's got a wife, your women are safe 😉

    December 24, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  14. Kriss-ATL

    Hot body or not, they need to leave them alone to enjoy a simple vacation. Who wants to see Mr. Obama half naked and enjoying the beach? It's too early to start the madness!

    December 24, 2008 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  15. Kriss-ATL

    This is a violation of privacy and security. If a photographer can take a picture so clearly then a more sinister person can fire at him from a distance. I really do not think his security is worth this or any other picture. This kind of behavior also puts his girls and wife at risk.

    December 24, 2008 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9