Obama in Hawaii on vacation

2013-12-21 14:35

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Honolulu - US President Barack Obama was in sunny Hawaii on Saturday for a 16-day vacation after a gruelling year at the White House.

Obama, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha landed in Honolulu around 23:30 on Friday (09:30 GMT on Saturday) and were met on the tarmac by Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of the US Pacific Command, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The Obama family then boarded a motorcade and reached their rental home about 50 minutes later.

Obama began 2013 with a soaring inaugural address laying out an ambitious second term agenda following a successful re-election campaign.

He ended it on Friday in Washington with a ponderous press conference, deflecting dire assessments of his prospects and gingerly testing an optimistic message for 2014: "We are poised to do really good things."

Second term presidencies are always tough, as exhaustion, unmet promises and fading political zeal humble exhausted administrations.

Obama's agenda however is mired in Congressional gridlock, and his approval ratings have plunged to record lows.

"You know, the end of the year is always a good time to reflect and see what can you do better next year," Obama said at the press conference.

"That's how I intend to approach it. I am sure that I will have even better ideas after a couple days of sleep and sun."

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