The Washington Post

Obama family cheers on Oregon State at basketball tournament in Hawaii


President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, their daughters Sasha and Malia, and other family members watch the Oregon State University vs. University of Akron college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu on Dec. 22. Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, is the coach of Oregon State. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual winter holiday vacation. Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

HONOLULU – He entered the arena to loud cheers and made his first appearance on the Jumbotron before tip-off. He sat courtside, just behind the Oregon State bench, and high-fived Beaver fans.

But President Obama’s presence at a college basketball game here on Sunday afternoon was not enough to help the Oregon State University Beavers advance in the Diamond Head Classic, a basketball tournament this week in Hawaii. Oregon State lost to the University of Akron, 83 to 71.

Obama and his family – wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson – interrupted their beachside vacation in Kailua to cheer on Oregon State at Sunday’s game.

Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the Beavers, one of eight teams playing in the tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii. The championship game will be played on Christmas Day.

The Obamas were joined at Sunday’s game by Craig Robinson’s wife and children, as well as Bobby Titcomb, a friend of the president’s; Sam Kass, the White House chef; and Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman.

Obama is in Hawaii for a 17-day vacation he hoped would take him out of Washington’s political bubble. But it was difficult for him to escape politics entirely. During the game, demonstrators including a man dressed in a full polar bear costume protested against the Keystone Pipeline. One woman held a sign that read, “Beavers Hate Pipelines.”

The protesters began dancing in the arena during a time-out in the second half of the game, although it was unclear if the president noticed them.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
New Hampshire primary: What to expect
New Hampshire will hold a traditional primary just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Polling in the Granite state has historically been volatile in the final weeks before the primary. After the Iowa caucuses, many New Hampshire voters cement their opinions.
The Post's Ed O'Keefe says ...
Something has clicked for Bush in New Hampshire in the past few days. What has transpired by no means guarantees him a top-tier finish in Tuesday’s Republican primary here, but the crowds turning out to see him are bigger, his delivery on the stump is crisper and some of his key rivals have stumbled. At the least, the developments have mostly silenced talk of a hasty exit and skittish donors.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.