President-elect Barack Obama lands in Honolulu on Saturday - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

President-elect Barack Obama lands in Honolulu on Saturday

By Diane Ako - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Many are abuzz with news of President-elect Barack Obama's holiday visit to the Islands. Obama's chartered plane landed here Saturday afternoon, so he and his family can enjoy a 13 day Christmas vacation.

Just after 3 p.m., Obama, the future First Lady and their two girls stepped off their chartered 767 plane.

After a 9 hour flight from Chicago, Obama didn't stop to talk with reporters but instead gave a quick wave before being driven off. The President-elect will receive regular intelligence briefings while here.

Obama has no public events on his schedule, but he is going to honor his grandmother, Toot, who died two nights before the election, at a private memorial service early next week. Both of Mr. Obama's grandparents are interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

Obama's maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died in Honolulu at age 86 after a long illness. Dunham was the last remaining relative who had a hand in his upbringing. The public was invited to her memorial service in November.

Obama vacationed here in August, when he went to Hanauma Bay and bodysurfed at Sandy Beach. Obama was born in Hawai'i and graduated from Punahou School.

He has routinely made Christmas visits to the Islands but missed a trip last year because of his campaign schedule.

We're told Mr. Obama will be releasing his internal review of Governor Rod Blagojevich's conversations early next week. On a lighter note, the traveling press corps on the plane with Obama said they didn't see any of the Obama family during the flight, except briefly, when daughter Sasha ran to the back of the plane to see two female secret service agents who she appeared friendly with.

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