I love reading the “pool reports” of those hardworking journalists who forfeit their holidays to trail Barack Obama’s every public moment.
The New York Times‘ Jackie Calmes weighs in with this cute story of Barack Obama doing the hang loose, “shaka” thing — with thumb and pinky pointed out. It would be great if President-elect Obama gave the “shaka” sign getting off of Air Force One. That could be as dramatic as Nixon’s famous two-armed, two-handed victory wave.
Pool Report #2, Saturday Dec. 27, 2008 — Kailua
Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett left Semper Fit Center at 8:48 a.m., an hour after they’d entered; the men — President-elect Obama and friends Eric Whitaker and Martin Nesbitt left about 16 minutes later.
Roughly 30 people of all ages had waited to see him, and the earliest arrivals stayed through a brief but feisty rain. The Secret Service agents had subjected all to the weapons-detecting wand. When Obama emerged, his Chicago White Sox cap backwards, he briefly flashed the Hawaiian hand gesture known as the “shaka,” according to a couple residents in the pool van, who say the gesture connotes “hey there,” “hang loose” or “thanks, dude”. Photographers in the pool caught the moment. Obama righted his cap as he walked toward the assembled group in the parking lot and loudly called, “How are you?”
He moved from left to right down the line that was about three deep, saying variously “How are you?,” “Good to see you,” “Nice to see you.” He lofted four babies and posed for pictures with them. After about two minutes he went to the SUV and the motorcade returned to the Kailua neighborhood where he is staying. Holding here now. It’s cloudy but the sun sometimes comes out.
Jackie Calmes, New York Times
— Steve Clemons