And both of them are mine.
First, I understand that everyone deserves a vacation. EXCEPT, in my opinion, the President of the United States. I have this picture in my head of Sasha and Malia whining about going to Hawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Yes, they are lovely first children, "children" being the operative word.
I realize it's 2009/10 and the President was most assuredly in minute-by-minute touch with everyone in Washington with whom he needed to be in touch. I get it. Surely a few days in Kailua would have/should have/could have been sufficient. As soon as the crazy guy tried to blow up the plane over Detroit, Mr. Obama should have ordered the crew to fire up ole Air Force One and they should have hele-d on outta here. Or at least he should have. But there were work-outs and golf games and dinner at a fancy Honolulu restaurant (no offense, Alan), and outings to Sea Life Park and the Honolulu Zoo to be reckoned with. According to The New York Times today, the First Lady before departing last night took an unscientific poll of all those flying back with the POTUS saying something like "Who wants to stay? I want to stay. I think I'm plotting a coup." Not funny. Just kinda stupid.
Which brings me to my second view. Even though the First Family spent most of its 11 days within the confines of its beachfront compound, couldn't they have, during one of their sojourns in the outside world, done SOMETHING Hawaiian? And how'bout that press corps? Did anyone see ANYTHING in print or broadcast or blog about Hawaiian culture? They didn't have a lot to do, given the fact that the President's party was mostly confined to the compound. They had time to make fun of aloha shirts and spam musubi and 'ukulele (NEVER pronounced correctly) and to talk, of course, about the weather and spar with their anchors back on the freezing East Coast about the plum assignment they had and the anchors didn't. Everyone talks about how, thanks to President Obama, Hawai'i is finally on the national radar. Not so much. At least not in a dignified, cultural way that would be so maika'i.