President vacationing in paradise - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

President vacationing in paradise

Air Force One Air Force One
President Obama & Family President Obama & Family
Mayor Mufi Hannemann Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Presidential Family's Vacation Compound Presidential Family's Vacation Compound

By Brooks Baehr

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Barack Obama began his Christmas vacation with family and friends in a rented home in Kailua Thursday afternoon.

The first family arrived at Hickam Air Force Base on Air Force One at about 2:40 p.m.

Obama left the White House early Thursday morning Hawaii time after the U.S. Senate passed heath care legislation.

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann greeted the Obama's when they arrived at Hickam.

"The first words he uttered were Mele Kalikimaka. So he's on home ground. He's on home soil and we're very happy to have him here," Hannemann told Hawaii News Now.

Obama was born on Oahu and attended high school at Punahou School in Honolulu.

The first family is expected to stay in Hawaii through New Year's Eve.

The White House has not announced any official appearances during the president's visit.

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