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. Chris

    This is probably the worst article I've ever read on

    December 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Havoc

    People saying golfing is not the best choice... How can you sanctimonious nimwits determine how someone else spends their leisure time. Noone was telling any other Pres. what to do or where to spend their vacation. PE Obama can't tell you, but I'll say it for him..Kiss my a$$.

    December 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. jaw536

    Leave it to the media and the right wing conspiracy theorists to make a big deal out of what was clearly just good natured kidding around. Also, what nobody is picking up on is that one of the reporters asked if he was buying. No reporter would seriously ask the President-elect to buy a round. It was all in fun

    December 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. obama-mama

    Paula December 23rd, 2008 9:37 am ET

    I lost my son to drunk driver who was returning from a gala… He left behind a Mother and three children — one being 6-months old.

    Any advocacy for alcohol by the President Elect may seem innocent but it communicates a wrong message. Having president elect Obama pick up the tabs for alcohol consumption is truly disapointing.

    The world is watching… And, many will follow in accordance of their leaders example. I hope he will be more mindful of his actions as his term proceeds.

    Most Respectfully

    Your story is very tragic and I'm sorry (I could not imagine what it would be like to lose a child) but why use it against the President Elect. The man is on vacation. He is not driving around drunk.

    December 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. John

    To: If Franken wins my state, I'm moving:
    See Ya. It will come under the heading of civic improvement. Alabama beckons!!

    December 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. AW

    don't have fun, be miserable, the nation is in shambles.

    A beer is not a bribe..I would hope, or someone's really cheap.

    and did I really read the words, "white man's golf course"?

    my god, people.

    To the President elect,
    I'm not much into the golf thing, and I won't follow you onto the green, but I'd love to have a drink with you.

    December 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Looking for Truth

    Merry Christmas and may God bless all

    December 23, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Muhammad: The Sensible Guy

    Why do people believe that the country is suffering economically? More than 90% of the people have jobs, 95% of homeowners are current on their mortgages; the vast majority of us are not employed by Ford, GM or Chrysler. Gas prices are lower than they have been in years and ONLY citizens of Texas care that the Cowboys are disappointing LOSERS. So, why should'nt Obama enjoy himself on the golf course and buy some reporters a beer to keep them occupied while he chills?

    December 23, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Ravi in MO

    This story is yet another attempt to make Barack look bad and give even more people another excuse to hate him. I am disgusted with the amount of hatred from the Left and the Right that is being directed at our President Elect.

    December 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. clevercandi

    Man, lots of anger out there toward Mr. Obama.

    Instead of concentrating all your efforts on negativity toward him, why don't you try dealing with the fact he's going to be in the high office for the next four years.

    Oh, wait! That would involve peace (on earth) and goodwill toward man(kind). Too many of you obviously aren't able to muster the effort.

    Happy Holidays to all, anyway.

    December 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. Darrell Burks

    Please give me a break. The President-Elect Obama deserves at vacation. 2 years for campaigning and putting his cabinet in place before January is exceptional. Have a great time in Hawaii Obamas and Have a Merry Christmas

    December 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. from minneapolis

    how about reporting on serious things like the vaporized $700B that Bush spent and the $700B that Obama is proposing spending!!

    The Republicans and Democrats are driving our country into unimaginable debt that we can never repay.

    Stop the madness and stop voting for these two party jokes.

    December 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. See Obama as a human not a God

    All of you who are looking at Obama as if he should be pure as God Himself need to get a grip...This is a man who has blood in his veins and who walks and talks and breathes and has a heart. Stop judging him as if he was born President (royalty ) and dealt with the public, the press and all world issues from the moment he arrived on earth. Be real....He is a man not a God. Give him a break. Let the man vacation in the sun, kiss his wife and pee when he needs to without judgement. How many of us will get this kind of microscope in our lifetime? Better yet, how many of us could handle it as well? And for those who commented negatively on his offering beer to the reporters.., Be real. What haven't you done lately that was equalvalent to his gesture??????

    December 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Susanne.NM

    @ if franken wins my state im moving:

    Here is a lesson in Government; He isn't President yet and won't be until Jan 20th 2009!! The President right now is Bush.
    I swear the bitter Repubs pounce on any little thing no matter what. Give the guy a break, he'll have enough on his hands after he is sworn in. Let him and his family enjoy this time.

    December 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Don't tread on me

    It's a shame the media has Neglected the Intended Trust of "freedom of the press" in favor of flaunting their adulation for a president -elect.

    The American media is nothing more than the fourth arm of corruption and entitlement of this government.

    December 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. RinFL

    What a bunch of Whiners!! some of you guys/gals/TROLLS could give a 2 year old a run for their money. WAAAAAAAAAAa WAAAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAA. Grow up you big babies. Vacation, beers, fun OH MY GOD HOW DARE THOSE LIBERALS. We conservatives have done every thing we can to ruin this country with our absentee governance and gutting of the Constitution how dare they those liberals take a break before they have to work 24/7 to fix our mess WAAAAAAA WAAAAAA WAAAAA .

    December 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. florida jack

    oh you sour grapes repubs......

    you still can't stand it that "one of them" was elected president.

    lighten up and let him enjoy his vacation. he gets to go to hawaii to see his family and i get to go to florida to see mine. i’ll be playing a little golf down there. jealous of me, too?

    (and he didn't say "NO contact," he said “no INAPPROPIATE contact.”

    i predict 8 years of right-wing spin on everything the man does.)

    December 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Karl

    I'll take a Samuel Adams 🙂

    December 23, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Sabreen60

    CNN – "No doubt" – Now you can read his mind!! WOW !!

    December 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. Ry

    and this is news why ?

    December 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Angel Blaize

    Dear lord please keep on blessing and protecting Dearest Obama and his family .

    December 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Matt in CT

    Alright, give it a break. This story is not anywhere near newsworthy. Name one politician who hasn't bought a round of drinks for someone. And nobody mention Ted Kennedy please!

    December 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Steven Grimes Manchester, NH

    This is a disgrace. Alcohol should be banned forever. Anyone who holds an elected office should be banned from playing recreational sports. Any elected official found to be telling a joke should be removed from office, even if he does not hold that office yet. No elected official should be permitted to spend more than 5 dollars a day when the economy is in recession. No elected official should be permitted outside of his home until he holds the office. Can I stop yet?

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

    Obama Fan – but a bit concerned December 23rd, 2008 9:41 am ET

    I have to agree, I do not think it's smart of Obama to play golf in Hawaii while most of the country is really suffering economically. The guy deserves a vacation, and God knows he needs to be rested when he takes office, but maybe golfing is not the best choice.

    What do you want him to play? Jax?

    December 23, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Kerry

    I didn't vote for him, but he probably needs this vacation. I think it is funny he offerred to buy them a beer. He is getting ready to take on the hardest job in the world, he needs some downtime before that. So what if he is playing golf during a recession? He is basically the President, and the leader of the greatest nation on earth should be able to play a nice golf course.

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