Obama greets Christmas carolers at Lanikai vacation home

(Image: Darlene Mandel)
(Image: Darlene Mandel)

LANIKAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Darlene Mandel wasn't sure what to expect when she and others gathered outside of Barack Obama's vacation home in Lanikai on Christmas to sing carols.

The group, most of whom are members of the Windward ReSisters, certainly hoped to spot Obama.

But, Mandel acknowledged, "it was a crap shoot."

The 20 or so carolers were "singing to the gate" for a time. They belted out "Mele Kalikimaka" and "Jingle Bells," hoping the former president and his party could hear.

"We don't sing very well," Mandel quipped. But it is the thought that counts.

And apparently, Obama agreed.

Mandel shot a video of Obama coming out to greet the carolers, shaking hands and exchanging greetings.

He even sang a few bars himself. "Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year!" Obama sang, before heading back inside.

He added, "I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas."

Mandel and other members of the group said they are staunch Obama supporters and wanted to share a little holiday warmth with him during his Christmas vacation in the islands, his first since his presidency ended.

"It was thrilling. It was exciting," said caroler Kim Osborn Mullen. "He seemed genuinely pleased."

After Obama left, Mandel posted her video to private Facebook group Pantsuit Nation. It's racked up more than 141,000 likes.

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