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. He's got man boobies

    They're starting back at me!

    December 23, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    President Obama looks very good,as I use to fit fight . Better than President Bush with his shirt off and senate / congress too

    December 23, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. photog4

    As a professional photographer, I can tell you that even the longest telephoto lens of which I am aware (a 2000mm Canon lens, which costs about $100,000 per unit–and only a handful were ever made) is still no match for a sharpshooter's rifle. If this is not an authorized press photo, and I doubt that it is or it would have been taken at a much closer range and with the appropriate media attribution, then the Secret Service is not doing a very good job.

    December 23, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    What a babe

    December 23, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. sunshine

    leave him alone.

    December 23, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. stephen

    At least he wasn't wearing a thong.

    December 23, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Natasha/Ohio Democrat

    We will protect our president at all cost...... Pap stay your azz at a distance.....LOL

    December 23, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. AEK

    Was going to comment but I think I hear the treadmill calling!

    December 23, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Patrick, St. Louis

    Its times like these I really wish the nation had elected McCain.

    December 23, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. hitobito

    Mens sana in corpore sano....a sound mind, in a sound body!" This a very smart President elect with a very fit body! I cannot wait until he becomes "Mr President" because it will be a great day for the United States of America and maybe even for all Americans!

    December 23, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Danielle, TX

    I ain't complainin'!!!!

    December 23, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. kitty

    wish they could put his face on a five dollar bill, just to see the expression on your faceā€¦ PRICELESS!!!

    I am sure the messiah will have it on there before it is over with. I can't wait to read the stories where he turns on his voters. It's coming, wait and see.

    December 23, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. John in Ohio

    Wish I looked that good.

    December 23, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Marc PTD

    Full Disclosure: I'm a republican...

    Someone better protect Obama better than this. He is about to become our president for crying out loud. And there are obviously people in the world that intend to do America harm. That consider us the Great Satan. How can a photo like this be a clear shot for someone who hasn't gone through a security checkpoint like regular reporters????

    December 23, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. shay

    OOOOoooo Barack got it going on. You can tell he is working out. His body is looking better each time. Work it Barack Work it. I am an older woman but it doesn't hurt to look.

    A well deserve vacation for him and his family.

    SECRET SERVICE Where are you guys?

    Don't let anything happen to him.

    December 23, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Patricia in Las Vegas

    dang! We should all be so fit looking. I'm hitting the gym after work and no more Christmas cookies!!!

    December 23, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. strong

    Wow, I have never seen Obama look so presidential ! LOL

    December 23, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. D.Kimbro OHIO

    CNN WHY???? You were one of the most credible news outlets. What Happened??? Why would you put this picture up so that these types of comments would be encouraged? This is a shame!!!! Please report the news.

    December 23, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Cori from Colorado

    I can't believe the paparazzi, they're evil and have no respect for the privacy of people. This is our next President, not Paris or Britney.

    What sickens me even more is the lack of security. What if this lens shot was from a weapon instead of a camera? This really worries me.

    December 23, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Lauren the Designer

    @ Gerda Edwards...

    You seem to have so much to say about other people...let's see a picture of you. I'm sure you're a REAL looker!

    December 23, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Shame on YOU CNN!!!

    Every time I hear about The Pararazzi ......I always think of Princess Dianna and CNN you are encouraging them .....Maybe you guys should team up with the National Equirer

    December 23, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Topless Obama

    Our new Prez is going to be on the cover of GQ – topless. Hey, it could be worse, they could have snapped Cheney topless

    December 23, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Former Hillary Supporter

    Ripped and ready to lead. About time we got some MUSCLE in the Oval Office -- Great Pic. Go Obama

    December 23, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Matthew

    Obama did everyone possible to encourage the cult of celebrity during the campaign. He can deal with it now.

    December 23, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Barney Frank

    I happen to like man boobies.

    December 23, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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