President Obama this weekend began his annual holiday vacation in Hawaii with his family, following a bruising year of criticism—chiefly because of the tumultuous rollout of his signature health care law.
He was noticeably relaxed as he walked onto a Honolulu tarmac Friday shortly before midnight, the Washington Post reports. He was joined by first lady Michelle Obama; daughters, Malia and Sasha; his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson; and the family’s Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny.
For the 17-day vacation, the family is scheduled to stay in the upscale oceanfront neighborhood of Kailua. They have rented a private home in Hawaii for the past six years.
They are scheduled to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Hawaii, spending time with extended family and friends. The president, of course, plans to play golf, and he didn’t waste time getting started. On Saturday afternoon, he played at a Marine Corps base in Kaneohe Bay with trip director Marvin Nicholson, White House chef Sam Kass and friend Bobby Titcomb, the report shows.
The trip marks the end of a difficult year that saw the president’s job approval and personal favorability ratings fall to their lowest point ever. He said he plans to use the time to think about how to recover in 2014.
“The end of the year is always a good time to reflect and see what can you do better next year,” Obama told reporters. “That’s how I intend to approach it. I’m sure that I will have even better ideas after a couple days of sleep and sun.”
Read more at the Washington Post.