President Barack Obama has caught up with the rest of his family in Hawaii, after staying behind a few extra days to pick up some big wins in a frenzied and productive lame-duck session of Congress.
The president made a beeline to the rented oceanfront home in
Kailua Bay where the rest of the family has been vacationing since
Obama begins his vacation on a high note, having secured
victories on a nuclear arms treaty with Russia and the repeal of
the military's ban on gay service members.
He also struck a deal with Republicans to allow tax cuts for all income earners to continue and unemployment benefits to be extended.
Obama says the lame duck session showed that "we are not doomed to endless gridlock."
The White House says the president plans to remain out of the
spotlight during his vacation.