Life's Not Necessarily
A Beach for Press Corps
Obama Reporters Try to Hang Loose
By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 26, 2008; C01
HONOLULU, Dec. 25 -- It's prime time and CNN's Ed Henry is standing on the white sand of Waikiki Beach, reporting live on President-elect Barack Obama's holiday vacation in Hawaii. With the volcanic mountain Diamond Head in the distance, Henry is flanked by palm trees, bikini-clad babes and surfer dudes.
"Ed, are those your producers over your right shoulder, like sunning themselves and deciding what books to read?" anchor Anderson Cooper asks.
"No, my producers are working very hard," Henry replies.
"Okay, yeah, I think you're in board shorts and have a mai tai nearby," Cooper says, prodding the cameraman to zoom out.
And voilà! Below his blue dress shirt, Henry's sporting teal swim trunks with orange stripes.
"I kept my shirt on because I don't have the pecs of either Anderson Cooper or Barack Obama," Henry, the network's self-deprecating senior White House correspondent, said later in an interview.
For the White House press corps, covering Obama's 13-day Hawaiian sojourn is a departure from past holidays hunkered down near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex. They've upgraded their offices from highway hotels in Waco to the Westin Moana Surfrider Resort on Waikiki Beach. They've traded a backdrop of rusted farm equipment and bales of hay for sailboats, longboards and crashing waves.