Tuesday, January 3, 2012

President Obama returns from Hawaiian vacation, rested and ready

by Nithu..!!!  |  in celebrities at  3:14 AM

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shake hands before departing from Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Jan. 2. | AP Photo
President Barack Obama plans to make his presence felt in Iowa on Tuesday night. | AP Photo
HONOLULU — When President Barack Obama returns to Washington on Tuesday from his 10-day respite in Hawaii, he reenters a charged political universe, one consumed by the Iowa caucuses and the presidential race.
The president will dive right in, speaking publicly twice in the 36 hours after he returns to the mainland — first by video to Democratic supporters in Iowa and then in person in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, a key swing state for his reelection. Enter 2012, when Obama, his White House and his campaign team are gearing up for a relentless 308 days until voters go to the polls to hand him a second term or send him home to Chicago.
lly engaged in the campaign for the first few months of the year — at least until the Republican primary race solidifies — but Obama will make his presence felt in Iowa on Tuesday night. His campaign is using the caucuses to prepare for a nationwide ground game in the general election and will cap the day with a live Web feed of Obama’s remarks and a brief question-and-answer session. Democratic caucus-goers can watch and participate as Obama speaks from the Capital Hilton, just a few blocks from the White House, at 8:15 p.m. ET.
At Shaker Heights High School in Ohio, Obama on Wednesday will deliver an economic speech aimed at differentiating himself from his Republican challengers. He will draw from the themes he laid out in his December speech in Osawatomie, Kan., urging an economic and taxation system that is fair to working and middle-class Americans, and depicting himself as their standard-bearer in 2012.
From there, Obama will kick off an aggressive domestic travel schedule that will include a mix of economic speeches and fundraisers. These will set the stage for the full reemergence of Candidate Obama, the man who regularly drew crowds in the tens of thousands in 2008.
The president is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union speech on Jan. 24. He met with senior advisers in Washington before heading to Hawaii, and during his vacation he spent some time thinking about the speech, aides said. It’s sure to return to the notion of fairness he extolled in Osawatomie, channeling Teddy Roosevelt’s speech there more than a century ago.
Capitalizing on his political victory in the fight to extend the payroll tax cut, Obama also will continue to attack Congress. He will engage with Capitol Hill only on what deputy press secretary Josh Earnest called the “must-do”— approving the tax break extension through the end of the year — and then keep his distance, on the theory that he doesn’t need Congress to achieve his goals.
House Republicans held up Obama’s Hawaii vacation for nearly a week by objecting to the Senate version of payroll tax cut. Once he arrived at a vacation house in Kailua on the windward side of Oahu, Obama mostly relaxed in private, less visible than he’s been on previous vacations.
He spent nearly half of his afternoons on the golf course, including on his first full day here, Christmas Eve. He played golf on Marine Corps Base Hawaii with two White House aides, chef Sam Kass and trip director Marvin Nicholson, plus four longtime friends, including high-school classmate Bobby Titcomb, who was arrested in 2011 for soliciting prostitution along a gritty street in Waikiki. Though Obama played golf with Titcomb, the president didn’t go to his friend’s beachfront home on the North Shore of Oahu for the long party that had become a tradition.


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