December 23rd, 2008
06:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Put the journalists' beer on my tab

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Scott

    And next month, he will be picking up the tab for the UAW and the big-3 auto makers and sticking it to us taxpayers.

    December 23, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    CNN, why do you have to put a negative spin on EVERYTHING? Yesterday, reporters in Hawaii told your onscreen personalities that it was a joke, taken as a joke by the reporting pool. You make it sound here as if P.E. Obama was bribing people! You should be ashamed of yourselves. The President Elect can't even be lighthearted around journalists? Maybe you've got to shift your paradigm from covering the sneaky G.W. to the open and friendly Obama.

    December 23, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Justin

    I find it completely HILARIOUS that all you right-wing nut jobs are finding fault in this. After 8 years of vacations and golf outings and Great Moments in Presidential Speeches, you'd think they'd give PE Obama a chance to have a vacation before taking the most important and stressful job in the world. Have you seen before and after pics of past presidents? They get completely worn down from the 24/7 stress, so give the guy a break. He's trying to relax with his family, play a little golf, and was being a "real" person by offering to buy a round of drinks. God, it's pathetic how people let something as small as this get their panties in a bunch. Meanwhile, we've got W still screwing things up on a day to day basis in Washington. How about we focus on what he's doing, rather than someone who hasn't even started his job yet.

    December 23, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. M. Taylor

    I play gof and I am not rich. I am retired and watch my pennies. But I prioritize my wants and needs and the best way for me to relax and smell the roses even (especially) when life is challenging. Maybe we should all try this. A round of golf to relieve stress could be exactly what the doctor ordered instead of listening to negative reporting from CNN and FOX day in an day out.

    December 23, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Sanjay

    It is funny to me how all the Dems are complaining about CNN covering this story but a lot of you are the same people that would post about W taking a vacation in Crawford. Let's be honest: if you are a republican you will probably find this newsworthy. If you are a Dem, you will sit there and claim that this is a non-story and how ridiculous that CNN is covering this issue. I am a republican, didn't vote for Obama, and don't care that he is vacationing in Hawaii playing golf. It think it is a little shady given that his report about ties to Blagojevich comes out today, but he deserves a vacation and if he wants to drink a beer so be it. I don't think people need to get all bent out of shape and blame CNN for covering this story. There jobs is to cover politics and by the fact that there are over 200+ posts, and people are visiting their site, you all are obviously tuning in.

    December 23, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Jackson

    Someone asked "What's the big deal?"
    Someone else suggested this isn't news.

    What it is, is a display of lack of regard for the general American population's financial situation and an arrogant aloofness from the state of the economy.

    True, Obama is not yet president but this "vacation" foretells the future.
    Nero will fiddle while Rome burns...and burns..and burns.

    Of course, Obama doesn't want photographers documenting all this fun and frolic.

    What's the rest of America doing? Counting their pennies.

    December 23, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. James

    Sooooo, what's the problem!

    December 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Dee G. - CT Voter

    Okay – since Adrian(previous poster) thinks none of us are old enough to understand the comments we are making. And he thinks we need to post our ages, I will. I am a 44 year old white female voter from the state of CT. And I do not see any problem with the President-Elect being on vacation. We all know that he probably won't be able to get in another one for a very long time. If you don't think after this ridiculously long primary season, that he did not deserve a vacation, then you really are out of touch. Or maybe you can find nothing better to criticize him over. This is the best you can do? Get a life! And, by the way, offering to buy the press corps some beers is not like forcibly making them drink to get drunk. The men and women of the press corps are all adults, if they drink and drive and hurt someone- they are at fault no one else.

    Have a good time on vacation Mr. President-Elect! And don't forget to get those beautiful girls of yours the puppy they want.

    December 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Arrrggghhh!

    Get over your selfish, holier than thou art, viscious selves.
    He will hit the ground running when he is inaugurated.

    December 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. kim

    I think the repukes that dont like this need to get a life!!! I am sooo glad he is buying them a beer and not tapping his foot under a bathroom stall for sex

    December 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. latina for Obama

    OH AND SO AM I 🙂

    December 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Ron

    LOL let me get this straight...CNN is reporting the fact that Obama offered them beer and then didn't follow through? LOL it IS a slow news day!

    December 23, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Fact Check

    Ref: Paul's comment on 12/23/08 9:36am
    Quote: "covering his working vacation on the sands of Hawaii's beaches and the greens of its lush golf courses."

    lmao – working?
    It is a working vacation, seeing that he's receiving daily briefings and not just lying around on a beach sipping drinks, like you're trying to imply.
    Quote: Amazing time to take vacation; economy is plunging into an abyss, major companies are battling bankruptcy, his Chief of Staff is possibly involved in pay to play scheme, he has at least two legal teams being paid $1M+ to defend against the natural born citizen debate in the Supreme Court, and so much more.

    He is one cool dude, that's for sure.
    First, the last time I checked, until Jan 20, 2009, Obama is the President-Elect, not the current Commander-In-Chief, so his hands are tied in reference to any legislation that could possibly bring relief to the country's economic issues. There can only be one Commander-In-Chief at a time.

    Second, did you ever have a problem with George W. Bush vacationing on his ranch in Texas while our country was in the midst of fighting a war initiated by himself/Cheney? How quickly you forget that George W. took more vacation time than any other president in US history. He beat Reagan's record, so at least he succeeded in something while in office, I suppose.

    Third, Obama does not have any legal teams defending against "the natural born citizen" debate. Every court that's heard the ridiculous cases has thrown it out immediately due to lack of merit – Obama was born in Hawaii, making him a natural-born US citizen & able to run for president according to Article II of the Constitution. Maybe Hawaii is not part of the US on your map?

    Any other angry Republicans with short/selective memories out there?

    December 23, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Michael

    Yes the economy has tanked. But why should a person, that has the means, not be allowed to enjoy a vacation? Good grief, the man just went through almost two years of a near non-stop campaign. He does deserve some down time.

    December 23, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. Al

    You know it's a slow news day when news people want to be The News for the day. For goodness sake, have a drink and chill. You're in Hawaii. If you can't find anything newsworthy, go somewhere else.

    December 23, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Jules

    Hmmmm...the last time I checked...Bush is still President until Jan 20th!!!! Obama can do whatever he wants...Do I go running around complaining as to why people are taking their vacations during this time of crisis? No. Everyone is complaining he shouldn't be in Hawaii on vacation. He is human, he gets a vacation like the rest of us.

    December 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. B Weaver

    Correspondent Ed Henry–Get a Life!

    December 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. John

    Ed Henry's obvious dislike for Obama showing.
    He has lost all credibility as a journalist.

    December 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. sunshine


    December 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. lee

    CNN sucks, that is not news, find a real story

    December 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Sandy Faye


    PRESIDENT BUSH SPENDS 8 years doing what?????..maybe he should have played some golf with Obama and learned a few things.

    December 23, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. snowy in oregon

    Remember when O.J Simpson was going to look for the killers of his ex-wife and boyfriend? He hit the links. I remember B.O. saying he was going to fix this economy, where does he head...the links. Somthing about those golf courses, great at solving mysteries.

    December 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Jake

    He's about to have the most difficult job in the world. He deserves a little vacation time.

    December 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Mike E. Cooney

    He can buy beers for the screamers and droolers on the left ! And yet, he cannot give his aunt, uncle ,or step-brother a PENNY, who ALL live in GHETTOS !! Thanks alot ,you morons who voted for such a pathetic liar !!

    December 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. proudliberal-independent

    beer is good for you. you should see what its done for my ab.

    December 23, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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