Obama arrives in home state Hawaii for holiday vacation

Obama and his family are greeted by US Navy Admiral Harry Harris (left) and his wife Bruni Bradley (third left).
Obama and his family are greeted by US Navy Admiral Harry Harris (left) and his wife Bruni Bradley (third left).PHOTO: REUTERS

KAILUA, United States (AFP) - US President Barack Obama and his family arrived early on Saturday in Hawaii where they will spend the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The President, who doffed his coat and tie, emerged from Air Force One with a wave and a smile under a light drizzle.

First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha, in summery attire, followed him as he stepped onto the tarmac at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu.

En route, Obama stopped in San Bernardino, California, where he met with family members and survivors of the mass shooting there.

In a three-hour meeting, he told them they represented "what's good in this country" and praised the relatives for working to promote tolerance.

In Hawaii, the President's motorcade delivered the Obama family to the stunning beachside villa they rent in Kailua.

Obama, who may be on his last Hawaii vacation as president - next year at this time he will be preparing to hand power to his successor - typically spends time there golfing, enjoying the beach with family and tending to official business.