Obama mixes work and pleasure on vacation
December 26th, 2010
09:21 PM ET

Obama mixes work and pleasure on vacation

HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) -  Between a visit to the gym, attending church and a round of golf, President Barack Obama took time away from his Hawaiian vacation Sunday to place a phone call to Saudi Arabia's king and participate in an interagency coordination call and briefing on holiday threats.

Chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan led the call with the president and various agency heads involved with national security. According to a White House statement, they discussed the United States' "continued efforts to stay vigilant throughout the holiday season, and to coordinate with our foreign partners."

In addition to the call, Obama was briefed in person at his Kailua vacation rental by National Security Staff Senior Director for Counterterrorism Nick Rasmussen and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes.

The administration dealt with an attempted terrorist attack just one year ago on Christmas Day, when a Nigerian allegedly tried to detonate an explosive device on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Obama also spoke with Saudi King Abdullah Sunday morning to wish him well as he recovers from successful back surgery in the United States.

The two leaders spoke last month, on November 23, the day before the king underwent surgery. He was released from New York Presbyterian Hospital Tuesday. The king is expected to remain in New York to recuperate and continue physical therapy, according to a statement from the Saudi Embassy.

President Obama started his fourth day of vacation with a one-hour workout at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, just minutes away from his vacation rental in Kailua. He returned to the base later with family and friends to attend a church service at St. Michael's Chapel, which is used for services for several denominations.

Obama spent Sunday afternoon playing a round of golf at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Club, which is also on the base and where he played for five hours with friends on Thursday.

Topics: President Obama • The News

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soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Who is paying for that rental? Does this man own his own home? I know he is accustomed to living off of others, but this is getting ridiculous. At least Michelle didn't decide to go to Spain again. I think the debt rose a couple of billion off of that fiasco.

    December 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Be_Pragmatic

      Dear Jack, do I need to remind you "All work and No Play makes Jack a Dull Boy". Obama deserves a vacation.

      December 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • CTinDC

      Who allowed you to purchase a PC.. your post is so ignorant its hilarious

      December 29, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jerry

      Jack, if you take the time to write a comment, please use your head and stop wasting our time with this stupidity!

      December 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      The First Lady did fly to Hawaii with the dog first. Let them eat cake is her motto.

      December 30, 2010 at 9:19 am |

    Well now, to you clowns who continue to browbeat this president on his use of vacation time, now do you see that anytime this man has ever been on vacation he has had to take his DESK with him! HIS VACATIONS ARE WORKING VACATIONS. I DON'T REMEMBER HIM EVER HAVING BUT ONE WEEK THAT WAS A REAL VACATION! (WITHOUT WORK) When you're on vacation, I'm sure you don't want anyone calling you from your job, asking you anything! You don't even want to think about anything job-related! LEAVE THE MAN ALONE, ALREADY!

    December 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
    • rj0297


      December 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Obama gets his updates at 1:00pm EST. By that time the twin towers had fell. This president is out of touch, palm trees, sand and surf while the rest of us dig out of the worst blizzard in years. He can stay there would be OK with me.

      December 30, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  3. sam

    He has taken more vacations at are expense then bush. Must be nice. Countries broke and he can't wait to jump into socialist air 1 and fly off on his next trip.

    December 28, 2010 at 7:59 am |
    • breaker-08

      some of these posts belong on f*xnews.com

      December 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • James

      The President job is 24/7, he has to be at the country's demand regardless of feeling or station. So any vacation he takes is a working one. This President works very hard for our country and we should be glad that he is getting some time with his family.

      You may not like him as a person, or as president, but at least wish him good health. He is doing nothing that ALL the presidents befores has not done.

      December 29, 2010 at 11:16 am |
    • CTinDC

      This whole socialist kick is getting old and tired. Thats besides the fact that its ignorant.

      December 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  4. James

    Merry Christmas Mr. President. You picked the perfect spot for vacationing...the lovely tropical islands of Hawaii.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  5. NoSurprise

    this is clearly a man who is not up to the job

    December 28, 2010 at 9:26 am |
    • Derrick

      You people are amazingly ignorant!! You have nothing to say of substance....only find fault in everything this President does. This just shows how stupid you are......

      December 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
      • Sebrena

        Derrick, I will have to agree with you. Stupid may be a bit harsh, but there is nothing but criticism laced with buzz words like "socialists" and asking "whose paying for this?" First of all, what type of socialism are we talking about? There are so many definitions and types that the single word is way to broad. What theory or school of thought of socialism are we operating from? Also, it's probably safe to say that the same source of any other presidential expenses that were paid for in the past is the same source used to pay for this president's expenses. Yes, he has to use Air Force 1, every president has since it was built. He didn't commission AF1 when he became president Yes, he went to Hawaii for the Holidays...he's from there. He has family there. I visited home too, just like millions of Americans did this and every other holiday. So what? I am sick of the regurgitated \hubris and bloated comments about our president. Find something else to say....untainted truth.

        December 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        You call him STUPID and then say he has NOTHING of substance to say?

        December 30, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • James

      Hmmm, lets review... he got healthcare passed after a hundred years of others trying; he saved the auto industry and is earning the taxpayers interest from that deal; he reformed banking regulations; he got a consumer protection agency started; he got child nutrition laws passed; he got DADT passed; he got nuclear treaty with Russia passed; he got major tax cut for middleclass passed; he two unemployment extensions passed; he got pay increase for military passed; he got the economy growing again...shall I go on.

      Look at the facts before making such a disrespectful statement. You may not agree with all of his efforts, but you are one BIG LIAR to say, "he's not up to the job".

      December 29, 2010 at 11:29 am |
      • Robert

        Because someone takes action does not mean it is the correct action. Obama has harmed this Country as a whole – unemployment is not his top priority, neither is the housing problems of millions. If they were, I bet something would have been done for those millions out of work and loosing their houses vs doing something that ultimately only helps illegals.

        December 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  6. Markematics

    This is so crazy. I am so happy president Obama was elected. I have been saying it for decades. America is loaded with racism. And what makes it worst is the fact that you are good at covering it up with stuff like politics, Tea party, patriotism etc. The good thing is the world is seeing this country for what it really is now. The English, Russians etc are racist but they don't hide, so we always know what to expect. You can disagree with some decisions that you president makes but you treat this man like he is Hitler. Please don't think you are fooling people on the outside. We all see whats going on here. We are just are just enjoying this.While many countries like China, Singapore and India are using this opportunity to move forward, you guys spend time worrying about the birthplace of your president and other crap like that. You are so full of it. that you allow characters like Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and jokers like them to get popular and rich at your expense. This country is turning out to be comedy central. In 2012, I won't be surprised if you elected Serah Palin as President. We will finally get to see a White House Sex Tape and the inevitable demise of America. You'll are doing all people who dislike your country a huge favor.

    If this country is worth anything, it was because of hard working people. Not government. Stop b**tching and get to work.

    December 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
    • John Peter

      Excellent comment Markematics. When I read the vitriol it makes me wonder these stupid, racist americans don't deserve a president of Obama's stature. They deserve clowns like Sarah Palin as president.

      December 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        World, notice how Liberals / Progressives always refer to other Americans as stupid.

        December 30, 2010 at 9:22 am |

    @James; hmmmm; isn't that the truth. Looks to me like the man has done more in two years, than BUSH did in eight! And most of it was without encouragement, help or support from the RIGHT! He doesn't even get the same 'hopeful' support from the media, shown to other PRESIDENTS, that certain resolutions just MIGHT work! ALL NEGATIVE! What DOES he have to DO for his adversaries to stop their hateful bitching, screaming and whinning? DOES HE HAVE TO TURN WHITE; GO OUT THERE, AND REALLY WALK ON WATER?!?

    December 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      What does he have to do, stay in Hawaii.

      December 30, 2010 at 9:25 am |