Kailua, Hawaii: President Obama did not leave his rented vacation compound the entire day on Saturday, and marked New Year's Eve in private with his family. After dismissing the press pool shortly before 4:00 PM, the White House did not release details of how President Obama bid 2011 farewell. The First Family usually has an impromptu talent show on New Year's Eve, with skits and songs.
Early on Saturday, the President signed the controversial H.R. 1540, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012," having it sent to Hawaii so he could sign it personally rather than by auto pen, according to aides. The President immediately issued a 13-paragraph statement about provisions he objected to, and vowed to "interpret" the measure.
The vacation has been relatively quiet, and included a visit to Pearl Harbor to lay a wreath at the Memorial. There have been two dinner excursions in Honolulu: The President dined at Alan Wong's Restaurant, and at Morimoto restaurant the night he arrived, on Dec. 23. There was an annual pilgrimage to Island Snow for shave ice; four rounds of Presidential golf, daily workouts, and plenty of beach and tourist time for the President and First Family. Christmas was the President's only major 'public' outing; after celebrating with his family, he visited troops and families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Mrs. Obama brought daughters Malia and Sasha to MA'O Organic Farms for a pizza party with Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass and local chef Ed Kenney at the beginning of the vacation.
The President's final weekly address for 2011:
The President is scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 2, 2012.