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. cherrystrawberry

    OMG! He is Soooo HOT!!!!! Michele is a lucky woman!

    December 23, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. CWhite

    He looks like a young Arnold! He must be hanging out with Barry Bonds,,,,WOW! What a hot bod!

    December 23, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Greg

    Who cares?

    December 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Anna

    hottest President ever

    December 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    Yeah, this is sad, very sad. I think we need to give them their space to do their jobs.

    December 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Lauren the Designer

    Jeez do people have no shame?? Leave him alone for chrissake! This is getting ridiculous!

    December 23, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. david

    Obama is shape.. i guess the election took its toll!

    December 23, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Pauli

    Yeah, Bush had so much privacy.

    December 23, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. ugh.

    who cares?

    December 23, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    Hey, hey, a lot of people are upset that he picked Warren for his inauguration. First and foremost, people, chill out!!! This is America and this country belongs to US, straight people too!!! America will have no future if everybody was gay!!

    December 23, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Once you vote Black

    How come he has not body hair if he is so Muslim? Are Kenyans knowns for not body hair?

    December 23, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Salt

    Yes...a very controversial photo that totally invades the PE's privacy. So what does CNN do...but post it right on up in the ticker.

    December 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Jonita

    "He is the Man"

    December 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Janice

    The Obama family should be allowed their space without intrusion from the media.

    December 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. cherrystrawberry

    Ugh & Greg...Jealous much. Come on admit it at 48.... He's HOTTTTTT

    December 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. s

    But yet CNN you show the picture in a mini artlcle discussing the President's privacy. Interersting...

    December 23, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. so....

    If the paparazzi can get so close, where are the secret service? Seems that this kind of exposure out in the open would be dangerous.

    What if terrorists were masqarading as paparazzi?

    December 23, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. rachel

    If they paps aren't climbing over walls or peeping in windows and the pictures are taken on public property then they have a right to take them.

    December 23, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. chuck


    December 23, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. waxwing069

    WOW! What a great inshape body our PE has... You can tell he takes care of himself.. I see nothing wrong in a grown man walking around in only his swim trunks, if you go to a beach you would see dozens of men doing the same thing.. It's not a crime!!! I cannot wait for Jan. 20 to arrive, so I can watch the new President take office, and start to improve this country's standing in the world and the economy.

    This is the best looking First family I can remember, Michelle is beautiful and young, and the girls are also...

    December 23, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. patNY

    We should all be grateful to the sacrifice he's making by being our president – the sacrifice being his youthful physical shape – in 8 years the poor thing isn't going to resemble this photo – an unfortunate fact that the presidency ages a person 25 years in only 8!

    December 23, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. KimT

    Why is this news? And can the President-Elect not have a moment of privacy during this holiday season. In addition, why would you take pictures of the man shirtless and post them to the internet. Were there ever pictures of Bush taken when he was shirtless...I seriously doubt it. Give me a break and find something more worthy of my reading time to post.

    December 23, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Paola Alarcon

    Is there anything that isn't perfect about this guy!?!

    December 23, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Allen

    Oh what a joy! We get to have the obamas ugly faces on every newspaper and magazine now, for the next 4 years. I think I'm going to throw-up.

    December 23, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. HouseDiva

    mmm mmm Mmm...stop my nerves...I do NOT mind looking at that for the next 8 years 😉

    haters eat your hearts out!

    December 23, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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