Sunday, December 28, 2008

Obama Visits Marine Corps Base for Christmas-Greeted by Polite Silence.


President-elect Obama stopped by the Marine Corps base in Hawaii Kaneche Bay where servicemen and -women were eating Christmas dinner in Kailua Thursday evening.

“Just wanted to say hi, hey guys,” Obama said as he walked into the Anderson dining hall which was decked out in Christmas decorations.

The diners represented seven military units -- Marine and Navy -- some of whom were joined by their families for Christmas dinner.

As Obama entered the room, it was absent of the regular fanfare of cheering and clapping. The diners were polite, staying seated at their respective tables and waited for the president-elect to come to them to stand up.

Obama, dressed casually in a blue polo shirt and dark khaki trousers, worked his way around the room -- table by table -- and took pictures with the service members. He slapped them on the back at times, shook hands, and signed some autographs.

“Hey guys, Merry Christmas,” The president-elect said as he walked from table to table.

The servicemen and -women were already seated at their holiday dinner when the president-elect made his impromptu visit. They were dining on salad, candied sweet potato with marshmallow topping, cream of mushroom soup, mashed potatoes, beef, ham, turkey, broccoli and corn.

The president-elect spent about an hour with the troops. Obama transition aides say that Obama did not eat with the uniformed men and women -- he ate at his beach home with his family and friends Christmas night.

- Sunlen Miller

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