Barack Obama Arrives in Kailua

By Roger Mari - bio | email

WINDWARD OAHU (KHNL) - The Obama family will be staying in beach-front rentals in Kailua. For residents and business owners of this small windward Oahu community, the presidential visit is giving them a big boost, in more ways than one.

Last time Barack Obama visited Kailua, he was a presidential candidate. Now, people can boast about the Hawaii native visiting their town as the new leader of our country.

The beach-front rentals in Kailua are where Barack Obama and his family will spend much of their Christmas vacation. It's the same place they stayed at in August. Don Mitchell lives just down the beach and hopes people will respect the family and their privacy.

"It's silly to come down and gawk at him and bother him on the beach when he jogs by and try to get his autograph, it's kind of stupid," says Kailua Resident Don Mitchell.

People are expecting to head out to Kailua to try and get a glimpse of Barack Obama, but for some Kailua residents, it's just another day at the beach.

"I just live right up the street, so it's like I'm always down at the beach either surfing or stand-up paddle surfing, I'm always down here," says Kailua Resident Karl Meinhardt.

Traffic in the area might be a little heavier over the next week, but it could be a good sign for Kailua businesses. During these tough economic times retailers welcome Barack Obama and the visitors he brings with him.

"I think that people that might have otherwise stayed in Waikiki may head over this side of the mountain and see some of the good things Kailua has to offer," says Kailua Retailer Schel Reyes.

"I think it's a really good economic situation for the town of Kailua for restaurants and businesses in general, and it's a great time for the community to rally around him."

It's a parade like atmosphere in Kailua as residents get a look at not just the 44th President of the United States, but a local boy done good.

Anyone wishing to see the Obama family should know that the area has been blocked off about 300 yards down the beach from the rental houses.