Power outage darkens Obama's Hawaiian vacation

HONOLULUPresident-elect Barack Obama's Hawaiian vacation has been darkened by a power blackout on the island of Oahu.

Hawaiian Electric Company spokeswoman Jan Loose said the company sent an emergency power generator to Obama's beach house and set it up for him after power to the entire island was knocked out Friday evening leaving 800,000 people in the dark. She said the governor's office and the Marine Corps also pitched in to "keep his communications going and keep him safe."

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann told KSSK radio that Obama is in one of the "most secure places, so he'll be OK."

The mayor said he talked to Obama Friday night, and that Obama said he was fine and planned to sleep through the blackout, The Honolulu Advertiser reported on its Web site.

Obama, wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha are staying in a $9 million single-story oceanfront home in a laid-back neighborhood on a mountain near downtown Honolulu where the president-elect grew up.

The five-bedroom wood frame house sits on almost an acre of land fronting Kailua Beach, a favorite spot for windsurfers, kayakers and dog walkers.

Obama and his family have tried to keep a low profile during the vacation, although the man who becomes president on Jan. 20 is finding that difficult.

He took his daughters and friends to an aquatic center, Sea Life Park, on Friday. One onlooker shouted, "Swim with us and the dolphins!"

Visitors to the aquatic park said the Obamas attended a dolphin show, and some showed reporters snapshots they took with the president-elect. Reporters were not allowed inside the aquatic park during the 90 minutes the Obamas were there.

Later, Malia and Sasha ate shave ice at Kokonuts Shave Ice and Snacks while their dad downed a tuna melt. A few dozen onlookers craned to take pictures.

It was one of only a handful of trips Obama and his motorcade have taken since they arrived Dec. 20. The president-elect and his wife have visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii for daily morning workouts. Twice, Obama and friends have played a round of golf. He also attended a private memorial service for his grandmother on Tuesday and scattered her ashes into the Pacific Ocean.

While he was in a gym a few days ago, a young military member tried to convince an Obama aide that the president-elect should join his buddies for a game of basketball.

Obama was playing golf when a local chef dropped off a three-bean salad and salsa for his family. A neighbor dropped off Christmas gifts for the girls.

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Associated Press writer Shirley Smith contributed to this story.


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