Obama Arrives In Hawaii For Christmas Vacation

Published On: Dec 23 2011 09:29:08 PM HST
Updated On: Dec 25 2011 12:10:26 AM HST
HONOLULU -

Air Force One made a graceful landing in Honolulu under the setting sun Friday evening.

President Obama's arrival was delayed nearly a week because of a political impasse in Washington over an extension of the payroll tax cut. The bill to extend the tax cut was passed Friday morning. The president signed it five minutes later and headed to Hawaii for his vacation.

He came off air force one alone. Michelle Obama and their two daughters have been in Kailua since December 17.

The president was met by Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and Admiral Robert Willard. The president bypassed his motorcade and headed over to meet some members of the armed forces.

Master Sgt. Chandra Mark got a photo of herself with Obama.

"My heart is still racing. It was pounding ever since I saw this airplane land. I did my very best to stay calm. I think he saw how nervous I was. Put his hand on my shoulder and said started giggling, like calm down. He let me take a picture. It was amazing," said Mark.

Obama and his family are expected to stay in Hawaii until early January.

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