December 22nd, 2008
05:20 PM ET

Put the journalists' beer on my tab

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/22/art.edhenry.jpg caption="Ed Henry and producer Becky Brittain working hard on Waikiki Beach."]
Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

Many Republicans already believe President-elect Barack Obama has gotten a free ride from the national media, so they may not be happy to learn the incoming Commander-in-Chief offered to buy a round of drinks for reporters covering his working vacation on the sands of Hawaii's beaches - and the greens of its lush golf courses.

Halfway through a round of golf on Sunday afternoon, Obama rolled up to the snack bar in his golf cart to find a small pool of reporters waiting to get more pictures of him enjoying a leisurely day. No doubt realizing these might not be the best images at a time of recession, Obama suggested the reporters seek some other recreation to pass the time - rather than snapping so many pics.

"Obama then told us we should be in the clubhouse at the bar having some beers," according to a pool report by Jamie Farnsworth of CBS News. "Someone asked if he would pick up the tab and he agreed before driving off to the next hole. Pool is still holding without beer.

In a separate pool report for print journalists, Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times added helpfully: "He chatted for a moment, telling the pool to have a beer and put it on his tab. No one took him up on the offer."

Aha! So the key here is reporters covering the President-elect are having more fun here in Hawaii than we had in Crawford, Texas - and 85 degrees in the middle of the afternoon here is way better than the cold winds blowing through Chicago too. But none of the journalists were corrupted by a wee little free beer - we pay our own tabs.

And just for the record: your faithful correspondent, while enjoying the wonders of Waikiki beach, never drinks - at least not on the job.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Henry • Raw Politics
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Heather,ca

    All I can say is you earned it. Obama seems like a reasonable person. I cant imagine anything could be better than covering him from where you all are, and you are spending the holidays providing us the service of covering him. He knows you miss your family and feels bad. I cant imagine spending the day not enjoying it. Oh and the duty and obligation to your country. Right. Nothing could be better than being on the sands there. If it looked half as good as it did in HD.

    December 23, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  2. Ed

    At least he was decent enough to make an offer. One of the great downsides to holding any elected office is the constant media attention paid to your every waking moment. If the guy take a day off to enjoy himself, the media should do the same.

    December 22, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  3. pati mc., camp hill, pa


    Enjoy the beach, nice to see you relaxing a little. You guys work so hard. Love the surfer shorts! 85 degrees? Color me jealous! It is a frozen wastlenad here in South Central PA. Brrrr...

    Just so you know, I would have never thought diferently of you, Ed. Nice to see that the other reporters played it well also.

    Happy Hawaiian Adventure!!!!

    December 22, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    Its good to know our press can't be bought....even with a beer.

    December 22, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  5. EJ (USA)

    I just got this cheap concord grape wine at Walmart for $4.49. I'm sure the "free drinks" there in Hawaii taste much better. Although this cheap wine isn't bad at all.

    December 22, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  6. EJ (USA)

    You all are having too much fun and its not fair. I'm in Ohio and you get to go to Hawaii – and get free drinks too? Uh.

    December 22, 2008 at 7:54 pm |