Barack Obama ventured from his Hawaii vacation hideaway on Christmas Day to thank Marines and sailors at the nearby military base for their service. He spent more than an hour at the dining hall, posing for pictures between the ham, roast beef, and turkey on the buffet and lingering a few moments at each table. The trip came well after the evening network news programs had aired, allowing him to visit without the suggestion of exploiting the military to get on TV.
"Hey," Obama said as he walked into the mess hall wearing a short-sleeved shirt and slacks. "Just wanted to say 'hi.'" It was one of only a handful of trips Obama and his motorcade have taken on the president-elect's Hawaiian vacation. Obama's family opened presents earlier yesterday and planned their own dinner of turkey and ham. They did not release any other details or a full menu, as George W. Bush famously did. Obama's not president yet, aides say. Next year, full menu.