Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., stepped off his campaign charter jet yesterday at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in Minneapolis. Obama's Hawaii vacation starts tomorrow, according to campaign officials.
Obama starts isle vacation tomorrow
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Sen. Barack Obama will get his Hawaii vacation after all. The Illinois Democrat is expected to arrive in Honolulu tomorrow for a nine-day vacation.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is expected to be accompanied by his wife and two daughters. The vacation will also feature a campaign fundraiser at the Kahala Hotel & Resort, estimated to pick up more than $1 million.
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Barack Obama's Hawaii vacation starts tomorrow, according to campaign officials.
Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is expected to remain on Oahu and return to the mainland on Aug. 16.
It is not known where he will be staying, but he has a fundraising event planned for Tuesday at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.
Andy Winer, local Obama coordinator, said the 500 available tickets for the $2,300-a-person private event have been sold.
If those figures hold, it would be a take of at least $1.15 million.
During his vacation, Obama is expected to be accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.
In a February interview, Obama told the Star-Bulletin that he hoped for a Hawaii vacation sometime this year.
"We go to the beach, we go to Waimea Falls and the zoo, and we hang out in Kapiolani Park and we watch the fireworks in Ala Moana and hike up to Manoa Falls and spend time with Tutu," Obama said.
Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, lives in Honolulu near Punahou School, which Obama attended.
Obama also recalled during the February interview that in past trips he would take some time for himself.
"Sometimes when I am on my own, I would go out to Sandy Beach and do a little body surfing," Obama said.
When he arrives tomorrow, Obama will be accompanied by a Secret Service contingent, and his movement is expected to be more restrained.
David Wilson, a Honolulu political and public relations adviser who helped with visits by former President Bill Clinton, says major political figures can still get a Hawaii vacation, but it is difficult.
"With Clinton they did manage to do things, but because they are surrounded by Secret Service, it is very controlled," Wilson said. "They check out a place before he goes.
"So for him to stay in a regular place wouldn't be practical. You need a place that can be secured. You need some real estate," Wilson added.
Obama is expected to spend about nine days in Hawaii, according to campaign officials.
He has been back to Hawaii every year for a visit, usually at Christmas, except for last year, when he was wrapped up in the heated Democratic primary.
Obama's trip to Hawaii would be one of the few times that a candidate for president has actually campaigned in Hawaii. Vice President Dick Cheney made a two-hour stop in Hawaii in October 2004 to campaign for President Bush, and Vice President Richard Nixon campaigned in Hawaii after winning the GOP nomination in 1960.