December 26th, 2008
08:03 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama greets military troops, families on Christmas

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President-elect Obama shakes hands with troops having Christmas dinner at a military base in Hawaii."] (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama visited military personnel and their families enjoying Christmas dinner at a Marine Corps base in Hawaii Thursday during his holiday vacation.

Obama went to Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay on Oahu where he mingled with Marines and sailors. Obama and the troops also had a traditional dinner including turkey, roast beef, ham and trimmings.

Obama, dressed casually in a blue polo shirt and dark khaki trousers, chatted casually, shook hands and posed for photos with men and women in the dining hall, which had been decorated with Christmas trees and Santa figurines.

Watch: Obama's holiday message urged Americans to remember the troops

Shortly before Obama entered the room, a Marine shouted to the crowd scattered across 25 tables, "You need to take you seats, the president-elect is going to be coming."

Obama, who spent about an hour at the Marine base, worked his way around the room, table by table.

"Just wanted to say, 'Hi, hey guys,'" Obama said at one point while reporters were allowed in the room.

"Hey guys, Merry Christmas," he said to another group.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. catmom

    Obama haters, get a grip. Did you all complain of all of President's Bush's photo ops? How about when he posed with a fake turkey. Better yet did you all whine when he posed under the MISSION ACOMPLISHED sign?
    billy-bayou, what did you want Obama to do, start a war when he became of age so he could fight ?
    Boston Irish, get over it. Mrs. Obama is just as patriotic as you are. You should tune into someone other than Hannity and Rush.
    Jean, Obama isn't President yet and he has his own income to pay for his travels. Our tax dollars are going to pay for his protection. Unfortunately there are a lot of crazy people out there who don't want to see him become President.. Did you complain as much about the vacations Bush has taken on our tax dollars.

    December 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. AnaB

    I don't see why anyone can find fault with this. It's not something he had to do. He's not the President yet. I think it's great that he did this.

    December 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. JT from Missouri

    Obama caring about our troops is a sign that he will be a great comander in chief for not only the United States, but also the world. He cares about what really goes on overseas, and he wants to help all the troops.
    Willy Brown, that comment you left there is very demeaning and ignorant at the same time. No offense, but the statement that you typed had a 57 IQ written all over it. Next time read the article,and then comment instead of splashing us with your unnecessary attacks. Remember this quote Willy and all the others who type these kind of comments; Divided We Fail, United We Stand. God bless America.

    December 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. AnaB

    Why do people keep saying this vacation is on taxpayer's money? He's not the President yet. He didn't take Air Force One.

    December 26, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Eric C

    How convenient that the cameras and reporters were "allowed" to be there. If he truly wanted the respect of the military, he and his family could have arrived quietly and helped cook and serve the Marine's holiday meal, and respectfully asked the press to not report on it. "Serving" is best represented by quietly and discreetly meeting the needs of others. Shaking hands in front of the cameras is easy. Peeling spuds and washing heavy pots and pans is not. Just because he is the President-Select doesn't negate the aspect of true service, or how he should evidence the same. But here we have yet another liberal coming into office who never wore the uniform, so I guess this shouldn't be that much of a surprise. Shaking hands and writing self-agrandizing autobiographies is, after all, much easier than getting shot at.

    December 26, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Bill, ca

    Republicans are disgusting. Get your party on track and get rid of those crooks.

    Obama will be doin just fine.

    December 26, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. chris s.

    stop your hating you neocon repubs. Come back in 4 years with your worthless words.

    December 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I am really sad to see such negative posts. Obama did not need to go out and "politic" on Christmas. You people are so jaded by 8 years of a president that does nothing, that you fail to recognize a truly caring person. God bless Barack and his wonderful family.

    P.S. He feed the homeless on Thanksgiving too.

    December 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. KJ

    I so, so love it. Secret Service agents in Hawaiian shirts!

    December 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Jean - NY

    It is sad that so many who survived the Jim Jones Kool-Aid debacle have now succumbed to the Obama kool-aid debacle. I wish you all the best of luck under his presidency and hope that when lay-offs continue under Obama's plan to increase taxes on the "wealthy" and the corporations those who voted for him are the first to go – let's see how much you like his message and his change then.

    December 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Richard Rohde

    Mark calls those who don't support Hussein and the liberalcrats bigots. These George Soros Kool Aid drinkers are the meanest, most back, hobnail boot wearing bunch of communists ever. Brook no dissent liberalcrats.

    December 26, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Anna, ATL

    Do we have to argue and point fingers about things that aren't even an issue?

    December 26, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. chris @stl

    By glancing thru the posts, I believe that there are some very sick and potentially dangerous people out there! I hope somebody is watching these posts for precaution. These sickos need to be watched.

    December 26, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Laura, Boston

    @Joe Fattal...I agree with you. It would have meant more to someone who didn't have a choice of ham, turkey or roast beef to eat to meet the President Elect who plans on helping make things better for people like the homeless.

    The troops are important too but how many of the troops in IRAQ or Afganistan would love to be stationed in Hawaii. Heck I would like a job in's cold in Boston this time of year.

    I am not downing Obama just agreeing with Mr. Fattal!

    December 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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