Obama has day full of activity, drama


POSTED: Tuesday, December 29, 2009

President Barack Obama abruptly interrupted a golf outing and sped in his motorcade to his compound in Kailua yesterday after he learned a friend's son was injured while playing on the beach. Members of the first family were fine.

The injury to the boy was described as relatively minor, not requiring stitches as first feared. He was taken by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center, where he was treated and released. The boy's parents, Eric and Cheryl Whitaker, are friends of the Obamas.

The sudden alarm and high-speed motorcade response turned out to be another minor moment of excitement in what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday vacation for the Obama family.

Yesterday alone, Obama addressed the nation about the failed Christmas Day plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, played tennis with wife Michelle, hit the gym and took in a round of golf at Luana Hills Country Club in Maunawili.

In a news conference at the Kaneohe Marine base, Obama said the U.S. will “;keep up the pressure”; on terrorist groups intent on attacking Americans as an al-Qaida group claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attempt to destroy an airliner.

In his first remarks on the attempted terrorist attack, Obama said he ordered reviews of U.S. security screening and intelligence-gathering and vowed to seek out and destroy terrorist networks around the world.

;[Preview]    President addresses terrorism from Kaneohe

President Obama made a speech regarding the recent “;terror”; incidents from Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

Watch ]


He added that the situation required much more than just efforts to “;simply strengthen our defenses.”;

“;The American people should remain vigilant but also be confident,”; Obama said.

“;Those plotting against us seek not only to undermine our security, but also the open society and the values we cherish as Americans,”; the president said, adding that an “;alert and courageous”; citizenry was more resilient than an isolated extremist.

The president began his day with a workout at the base gym.

He then went to the Kailua Racquet Club on Oneawa Street for a game of tennis with the first lady. The club boasts nine courts, a clubhouse, a pro shop and a swimming pool. Club members carried on as normal, taking early-morning lessons.

After making sure that his friend's son was OK, the president returned to Luana Hills, playing golf with friends from Chicago who joined him on his holiday vacation.