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US-POLITICS-OBAMA

KAILUA, Hawaii – He’s not the commander in chief yet, but was President-elect Barack Obama briefly practicing his salute on Sunday?

On the first morning of his vacation here, Mr. Obama arrived at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii for his daily workout. As he walked out of the Semper Fit Center, his gray T-shirt soaked in sweat, he lifted his right hand and gave a quick salute to two Marines in fatigues who were standing in the distance.

The brief moment was not captured by cameras. Photographs and video were not permitted to be taken on the military base, according to campaign aides.

Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, opened their day with a 45-minute workout inside a large gymnasium at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, which is located on the Mokapu Penninsula on the windward side of Oahu, about 30 minutes outside Honolulu. It is sunny and warm here, a world away, at least in terms of the weather, from Chicago.

The Marine base seemed sleepy when the motorcade rolled through shortly after 7 a.m. Home to the 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Aircraft Group 24 and the 3rd Radio Battalion, the base is located only a few minutes from where the Obamas are staying, a rented home at the end of a series of cul-de-sacs (and security barricades) along Kailuana Place.

Mr. Obama, who arrived to his native Hawaii on Saturday afternoon, is taking a 13-day holiday vacation with his family and a few friends from Chicago. At least some work, though, followed him to Hawaii.

He is receiving his daily national security briefing and his transition team is scheduled on Monday or Tuesday to release an internal review of any contacts between his advisers and the Illinois governor’s office over filling his vacant Senate seat. That is the subject of a corruption case and federal investigation into Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.

Mr. Obama is not expected to address the inquiry, but rather have it released through a written statement from Washington.

The president-elect, after filling his Cabinet in record-setting pace, is taking a break. On tap for the rest of his Sunday? An afternoon tee-time and 18 holes of golf.

Source: Caucus

AP Raw Video: Obamas Hand Out Turkeys

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WASHINGTON — After a school search that set off weeks of frenzied speculation among parents here, President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, announced Friday that their two daughters would attend Sidwell Friends School, the prestigious academy that has educated generations of this city’s elite.

The Quaker-run Sidwell, which was established in 1883, has educated the children of at least three presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. And there was an added bonus: grandchildren of Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who are friendly with the Obama girls, attend Sidwell.

The Obama family had considered two other private institutions, Georgetown Day School and Maret School, for their girls, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

But Sidwell has long been described by some as the Harvard of Washington’s private schools. Its tuition runs as high as $29,442 a year.

“A number of great schools were considered,” said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Obama. “In the end, the Obamas selected the school that was the best fit for what their daughters need right now.”

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington strongly lobbied the Obamas to consider a public school, but that was apparently never an option.

The Obama girls currently attend private school, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where annual tuition runs as high as $21,480, and the family did not tour any public schools on their recent visits.

Since Election Day, guessing which school the Obamas would choose became one of affluent Washington’s most popular parlor games.

Camera crews staked out the schools in hopes of a glimpse of Mrs. Obama (who visited Sidwell and Georgetown Day twice) and the girls (who visited schools once this week). Parents hotly debated the merits of each.

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First lady Laura Bush said today that Michelle Obama did not ask for advice when she visited the White House earlier this week with her two daughters.

Instead they discussed closets.

“We talked about is what any women would talk about as one is moving out of a home and somebody is moving in,” the First Lady told “Nightline.”

The White House she noted, has great closets.

Traveling to Panama for her last solo foreign trip as First Lady, Mrs. Bush gave her only television interview to “Nightline.” In a candid and wide-ranging interview to air Monday night she talked about a range of issues, including her meeting with Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Shasha.

In fact, one of Mrs. Bush’s twin daughters, Barbara, accompanied Mrs. Bush on the trip and also agreed to a rare interview.

“It was great,” said Barbara Bush of the Obama girls visit. “They’re really sweet and they’re excited, but they also have the same concerns that we had when we were 18 when our dad became President.

“I mean, it’s a huge adjustment, and they’re not used to Secret Service, and they’re not — and they’re switching schools, and they have to make new friends. I mean, we felt… people feel like that regardless of how old they are. So it was really fun to get to meet them and to get to see them being excited about their move, and to get to talk to them about the same things that we had to deal with, regardless of age.”

Barbara said she and her sister Jenna showed the Obama girls the bedrooms they occupied as first daughters.

She and Mrs. Bush both said they imagined the Obama girls would select the same rooms that the Bush girls chose for themselves. They were the “obvious” children’s rooms, said Mrs. Bush.

Asked what her advice to the Obama girls would be, Ms. Bush said, “I think my advice to them is just when they move, just make really good friends and surround themselves with people that will protect them because they love them, regardless.”

“We were lucky” she contined. “We had great friends in Texas, and we were talking with them, and Malia has really good friends that are in fifth grade with her and at home, so they’re going to come visit her. I mean, they’ll be fine. They’re really cute, smart girls. ”

Mrs. Bush reflected on her own children’s lives.

“We really wanted Barbara and Jenna to be able to have a totally normal life, to not take advantage of the so-called podium that they might have, because we wanted them to get to be high school, college-age kids, which they were when we moved there,” she said.

“So it’s, you know, it’s really a balance as you work through the whole idea of how your family can accommodate the publicity and the klieg lights that are on the President of the United States.”

Mrs. Bush said if she was asked for advice she would urge anyone occupying the White House with children to ” err on the side of privacy for children. I think it lets children grow up and make childish mistakes, which, of course, they will out of the limelight. And I think that’s really the best.”

Watch Cynthia McFadden’s interview with First Lady Laura Bush Monday on “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m. ET.

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Source: ABC NEWS

In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, Sasha Obama and Malia Obama, the children of President-elect Barack Obama, not pictured, walk to school after their father dropped them off in Chicago. Malia and Sasha are in Washington with their mother checking out new schools. AP

In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, Sasha Obama and Malia Obama, the children of President-elect Barack Obama, not pictured, walk to school after their father dropped them off in Chicago. Malia and Sasha are in Washington with their mother checking out new schools. AP

WASHINGTON — Malia and Sasha Obama are in Washington with their mother checking out prospective new schools.

Michelle Obama brought 7-year-old Sasha and 10-year-old Malia to visit the future first family’s top choices, her spokeswoman Katie McCormick Lelyveld said Tuesday. She would not name the schools.

“She brought the girls to visit choices for their new schools to make sure they find the right fit,” she said. “Their move to Washington is her top priority.”

A small motorcade was parked at the back entrance of Georgetown Day School on Monday afternoon, with a few Secret Service agents standing around. The motorcade left after a group of people emerged, but Michelle Obama was not seen among them.

When asked if Michelle Obama had visited the school that day, some parents and students said they did not know. Other students who appeared to be in middle school said that they were not allowed to answer reporters’ questions.

The Obamas were expected to tour Sidwell Friends on Tuesday. Officials at both schools did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The soon-to-be first lady visited both elite schools last week, without her daughters, when she also toured the White House with first lady Laura Bush.

Georgetown Day, founded in 1945, was an early pioneer in integration and prides itself on its diversity. A report posted on the school’s Web site says about 35 percent of its estimated 1,000 students are of color.

Sidwell Friends is a private Quaker school that Chelsea Clinton attended.

The president-elect’s family has also discussed public school options for the two girls, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said last week.

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