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Jan 032013

Kent Nishimura-Pool/Getty Images(KAILUA, Hawaii) — Over the past two weeks, President Obama has passed his days in Hawaii hitting the gym, golfing with friends and relaxing on the beach with his family.

On Thursday, he enjoyed some father-daughter time, bowling with Malia and Sasha and going out for Hawaiian shaved ice, an annual tradition.

After spending the afternoon at the bowling alley at the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay, Obama and his daughters stopped at Island Snow Shave Ice, a small eatery in a shopping center near their Kailua vacation house.

A long line quickly formed outside as onlookers tried to get a glimpse of the president in what was his first public appearance of his annual holiday vacation in his native state.

After several minutes inside, Malia and Sasha and several other children, presumably family friends, emerged with cool treats in hand. The casually dressed president soon followed, holding a large green and red shaveD ice in an assortment of flavors.

“How are you doing?” he asked folks gathered outside as he began shaking hands.

Then it was back in the motorcade and off to their vacation house, where the Obamas are spending the evening in.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sep 252012

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) — At a forum on education issues in New York City Tuesday, President Obama was asked whether he had ever failed a test in grade school, to which he replied, “Oh, yes.”

“Absolutely,” Obama said. “You know, I would say I was a mediocre student until I got to college. I goofed off way too much.”

Obama first attended school in Indonesia in the early 1970s before he moved to Hawaii, where he attended the prestigious Punahou Academy through high school. He started college at Occidental College in Los Angeles and finished his undergraduate degree at Columbia University in New York City.

The president said Tuesday that his daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, were much better examples of model students. “They are so far ahead of me basically in all respects,” he told the forum.

The girls recently began a new school year at the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. For Malia, it’s the first year of high school.

“At least at the school they’re at they’re getting a lot more homework than I did when I was that age,” Obama said. “They seem to be working deep into the night. You know, I didn’t study that ardently till the night before an exam.”

With the 2012 presidential race dominating headlines, President Obama acknowledged that daughter Malia is likely studying the rival campaigns as part of the ninth-grade civics curriculum.

“She’s pretty dispassionate about it,” he said of presidential politics. “She’s able to kinda separate out Dad, who’s at home, from the debates that are going on out there.”

Obama said he encourages both of his girls to think for themselves and become responsible citizens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 082012

Mandel Ngan//AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Donning their Sunday best, President Barack Obama and his family attended Easter services Sunday morning at St. John’s Church in Washington D.C.

Located a block away from the White House, the protestant Episcopal parish is a frequent visit for Obama and past presidents. A casual stroll through Lafayette Park will bring you to the historic house of worship in minutes.

The president, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Sasha and Malia were seated about six pews back from the pulpit of Rev. Luis Leon, whose sermon reflected on the uncertain state of world affairs as they related to the faith.

Citing a recent New York Times article, the pastor said a new renaissance in Somalia’s capital could be seen as an allegory of rebirth.

“Now you may say, ‘They’re all Muslim.’ But so what? That is evidence of the resurrection,” he said.

Reverend Leon told the congregation the Christian faith was designed for times like these.

“Everything doesn’t get fixed right away,” he said, and implored parishioners not to give up.

As Christians and Jews observe Easter or Passover this weekend, Obama reflected on the meaning of the holidays in his weekly address.

Stating he was committed to the Christian tenet of living through Jesus’ example, the president said Christ’s doctrine of selflessness could be shared by anyone.

“All of us, no matter how or whether we believe, can identify with elements of his story,” he said. “The triumph of hope over despair. Of faith over doubt. The notion that there is something out there that is bigger than ourselves.”

Obama said the religious weekend is a reminder “of the common thread of humanity that connects us all.”

The statement dovetails with a White House prayer breakfast and Seder dinner with friends of the Obama family last week.

Today is the Obama family’s second Easter visit to St. John’s, having attended holiday services there in 2009. In consecutive years the family had visited historically black churches in Washington for the occasion.

President Obama and his family frequently rotate through a number of churches in the District, having never committed membership to a sole congregation.

It was the same for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

At least one predecessor, Richard Nixon, actually held Sunday service in the White House itself.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio