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. ATLmom

    I usually don't post to these things, but you know, it really disturbs me that this man can't seem to do anything right. He's not even in office yet, and he still can't enjoy his holiday golfing if he wants to. His opponents ran on "Joe Six Pack," but now Obama's the antichrist because he offered to put some beers on his tab.

    I'm really sorry for anyone who's suffered a loss because of a drunk driver, but the last I checked, drinking is still legal in this country. There's a legal drinking limit, and those who violate that limit should be punished; but let's not move into judging and hypocrisy by stating that his offer to buy beer–that he didn't even drink–is wrong. That's a moral issue, not a legal and/or ethical one.

    Guys, it's the holiday season. Let's all just chill out a little. Clearly he won't get any breaks once he gets into office, and he's already been working harder than the man who's still getting paid to do the job. If he wants a beer, I'll be the 1st to ship him one. He truly deserves it.

    Give peace a chance... 😉

    December 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Mildred

    I can't beleive what I'm reading. For those of you who can't remember, George W. Bush is still your president. Obama is the president-elect and will not take office until January 20th. I agree that these reports should have other things to do than to tail Obama around waiting for him to make a mistake so they can run and print it in the news. Some of you really need to get a grip. He is on vacation and so what if he offered them a beer. It's not like if offered them some dope or something. People need to leave this man alone. He is our president whether you like it or not and will be for the next four years so get use to it. You need to ask yourselves the qestion while the economey and country is going to hell in a hand basket where is Geroge and what is he doing about it other than getting ready to get out of doge. It is because of him we are in this mess.

    December 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Once you vote Black

    Look at Obama Celebrate Christmas. Just like a good Christian. O wait, he is Muslim because his dad was born in Kenya. It is getting harder and harder to keep up with this crap the GOP is putting out.

    December 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. j

    Hey Matt,

    If John McCain wasn't running for Bush's third term (tax cuts for the wealthy, unwise military action) and didn't want to create a health care system that would be taxed I'm sure McCain would have been a great president. I'm sure the republicans should be commended for the faltering economy with 4 more years. That makes sense. Or maybe he should have had Sarah Palin out front more. She really knew how to bring the country together unless you live in a big city, are gay, or don't like 1950 values. Dont get upset because Bush took conservatism and broke it. You and your party could have stood up to him even when he was popular.

    December 23, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Mari

    There WILL ALWAYS be HATE-mongers among us! Some people are just plain mean, anger and .... stupid for listening to AM Radio and watching Faux News! To the HATERS I say ...PEACE BE WITH YOU!

    What a great story of President-elect Barack Obama! He has worked hard and deserves a chance to go home to Hawaii (lucky to be born there!) and get some rest!


    HOPE WON..... HOPE WON...... HOPE WON...... HOPE WON.....HOPE!!!!!

    December 23, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Patty

    Would you please PLEASE grow up?!?! The man is on vacation. And this will be the last true vacation he gets to enjoy for at least the next 4 years. So, if he wants to golf, hang glide, go deep sea fishing, that's his right. There are some people out there that are so bitter they didn't get their way, that they will find ANYTHING to use as a negative against OUR President-Elect. When he takes a 6 week "vacation" in the middle of a national crisis, then you can complain. I can't wait until 1/20, when we get to hear all you people complain that he won't be a good President because his shoes aren't tied right, or he waved to the crowd w/the wrong hand. Gimme a break!! I thought it was a very nice gesture for him to offer to buy a round for a group of people who I am sure he has gotten to know very well over these last several months. Kind of like a Christmas present for the reporters pool...and yes, I said CHRISTMAS!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    December 23, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Iowa Mom

    Seriously people. I think the man deserves a vacation before taking on the biggest job of his life! I certainly hope at least on Christmas some of you may take a break from the hate.

    Happy Holidays to everyone!

    December 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. CNN ...this is news?

    What is the matter with you CNN pukes? Don't you have anything better to do than run a story like this?

    December 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Amy

    I am so sick to death of hearing bitter Republicans clinging to any pathetic bit of information in order to paint Obama in some sort of horrible life. I have actually heard Republicans say "He is the worst president ever..impeach him". Guess what? HE ISN'T PRESIDENT YET. (and we probabaly won't have a president worse than Bush for a very long time..) This article just shows me that Obama is taking a well deserved holiday. After pretty much 2 years of constantly being on the go Obama is enjoying a little break before his inauguration he has been working non stop since after election day. Just because we are in a recession and it's cold outside doesn't mean that Obama can not enjoy a vacation with his family and should be forced to sit in cold weather just because some people in the country are. Get a life and actually give the man a chance to see what he can do.

    December 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. nom deplume

    THIS ISN'T NEWS. It doesn't matter that republicans (indeed, most americans) believe that the media is in the tank for Obama. Members of the media have already said that they actively support Obama and will advance his agenda, so can we get onto something that we don't already know???

    December 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Independent NY

    Ok, so wait a minute here.....Bush was someone you'd like to have a beer with, but you actually have a President who WANTS to buy someone a beer and you complain over that??? A person in a bar can offer to buy you a drink and it's no big deal, but the President-Elect (taking a much deserved working vacation during the Holiday season before he takes office) can't offer to buy a drink for someone? Where is the law that states that once you are the President or President – Elect you are not able to offer a beer to anyone? Seriously! Wow, you people are really reaching here aren't you? The guy puts a cabinet together in record time, filled with intelligent and QUALIFIED people, and is not even technically the President yet, but still can't play a round of golf or have a break BEFORE his time in office without being completely torn apart. You people have too much time on your hands!

    December 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. C.T.

    You gotta be kidding.... Has the LPGA, or other golfer tours suspended play. For that matter, what idiot would go to Hawaii and hole up? Get a life..... and be happy.

    December 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Last call

    The world already looks at him with beer goggles.

    December 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Ed Barenborg, Vero Beach, FL

    The mentality expressed by "concerned" is ridiculous. I did not vote for Obama, but I'm GLAD he's playing golf. Those that can afford to spend money don't need to be "cutting back" right now. What about the people that work at the golf course? They need customers too! The best thing Americans can do for our economy right now is to spend money on American goods and services!

    Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what and where you can spend money in your country!

    December 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Tiaunia - Dallas

    Isn't the word VACATION in this article somewhere???

    Who cares, tell me who doesn't have a drink on a vacation working or not!!! And it wasn't him drinking for crying out loud.

    I can't believe this is even an issue. I don't see anyone crying foul when corporate america workers are out drinking on the job at lunch.
    Stop the madness and cry about something else.

    December 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. J

    Seriously who cares what he is doing right now he in not the president yet. Leave the man alone. He only offered to buy the beer to keep the stupid reporters off his back.

    December 23, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. EW

    I'm not a fan of President-elect Obama's politcs but give the man a break.

    He is not President until Noon on January 20th. His vacation isn't part of policy and it affects nobody except him and his family. There are more important things to worry about than someone taking a vacation before starting a really tough job. After the 20th then the spotlight will be on everything he does for four years.

    December 23, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Vincent

    What a bunch of whiners on this message board. Get a life.....

    December 23, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Know Hillary - No Hillary

    Any vacancies in the White House Press Corps? I'm thirsty. How many cacations has W taken during his occupancy of the White House? Obama's not even in office yet, and people are wanting to criticize every little thing. He said he's not perfect, how about you guys? What's the story about throwing stones?

    At least he isn't snorting a line at Camp David or getting a DUI fixed by his daddy.

    December 23, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Dave, Illinois

    CNN = National Enquirer = dribble you can believe in. First you throw article after article about Palin, Palin's daughter's boyfriend's mother, Palin's afterthoughts, etc as red meat for the hateful Libs. Then you throw feel-good stories to the same crowd. What a pathetic excuse for a legitimate news source CNN has become!!!!!

    December 23, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. Jim

    NY independent is thinking clearly, good comment, absolutely right, unfortunately alot of people on here spend most of their time finding ways to hide from the fact that they caused alot of this mess and for some weird reason they want to continue causing it. So far Obamas been attacked just as much as Bush in a matter of days, its really pathetic, i mean you people caused this mess by voting for knuckleheads over and over again and now its almost like your looking to pounce on anything that may go slightly wrong whether they understand it or not, its a chance to be like their favorite news station Fox and distract and ignore till nobodys to blame, well news flash, not everybody is stuck in the stoneage. I agree with alot of complaints although CNN is going down the dumps lately, what is with that? They hire some republicans or radical liberals or something whats happening here? headlines dont match, errors all over the place...dont know what to think anymore, are we getting dumber? still ahead of the rest though i must say, Fox still has more then half their fan base still searching for obamas birth certificate, talk about not getting past the first hurtle, how long will they be stuck on that? who knows...anyway brighten up CNN dont stoop this low.

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. obama-mama

    A lot of haters....Ha ha ha ha......Hate & jealousy. Terrible thing....Love you President Elect......Love you haters. Happy Holidays....

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. MW in MD

    Republicans will complain about EVERYTHING Obama does so what is the point? Please stick to newsworthy information.

    Merry Xmas to all!

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. P

    Pete –

    Did you even READ the rest of the story??? The reporters DIDN'T accept his offer, so they were acting ethically, contrary to your distorted view.

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. SJ

    He's on vacation and he has a sense of humor! GWB has been on vacation for 8 years and has a sense of humor. So what is the problem!?!

    December 23, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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