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Waikiki-gate Sends Reporters On A Hunt For Dolphins And Shave Ice

From CBS News producer Jamie Farnsworth in Kailua, Hawaii:
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It's a panic only a few journalists feel and it hits like a ton of bricks—President-elect Barack Obama is on the move and he is not with his traveling press corps.

Nineteen journalists flew on the Obama-chartered flight from Chicago to Honolulu, a few more flew commercially and met up in Hawaii. A core group of journalists representing each of the major newspapers, wire services and TV networks combine resources and are called the traveling press corps of the president-elect. Their main job is to follow the Obama's every move and report back to their respective news entities.

Usually pool reports cover things like when the president-elect goes to and from the gym, what he is wearing, and what he plans on doing for the day.

But on a sunny Friday afternoon in Hawaii, due to miscommunication, Mr. Obama went to Sea Life Park without his band of press followers.

Were average people going to get pictures of him the press was not able to get?

And, like the old question, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"... What if Mr. Obama says something and no one is around to hear it?

Phone calls and e-mails flew, and after a frantic race through the hills of Hawaii, the press caught up with Mr. Obama, family friends, and daughters Sasha and Malia, an hour after he arrived at the sea-inspired amusement park. A woman told the print pooler that she had, indeed, seen the President-elect inside the park. He shook hands and watched a dolphin show she said. Crisis averted.

Safely back in the motorcade, the yellow short bus reserved for the press bounced down the road to a nearby shopping center where the president-elect and friends ordered lunch before heading over to get shave ice, a Hawaiian specialty.

The pool cameras and reporters were allowed into the store to get pictures of Mr. Obama ordering ice cream and shave ice for his daughters. Sasha stood at the counter, her father behind her with his hands on her shoulders and ordered banana coconut and pina colada shave ice.

"Are you going to eat all that?" Mr. Obama asked her. After banter back and forth, Mr. Obama gave up. "I'm not arguing anymore!"

Mr. Obama has largely ignored his traveling press while enjoying his Hawaiian vacation, but while inside the small store, he looked around and asked if anyone wanted to try the shave ice.

Various "No thank you, sirs," echoed around the room as the president-elect pointed to me and said, "I know you want something." I shook my head and explained my hands were full—I was, after all, carrying a disc, blackberry, and cell phone.

"Alright, you sure?" He asked one last time.

A short time later the traveling press and motorcade arrived back at the Kailua neighborhood where the Obamas are staying, ending the "scandal" the press corps has named "Waikikigate."

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