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President Obama has called Hawaii his refuge, and so it has been throughout his political life. In 2006, Obama used the family Christmas holiday there to decide whether to run for president. For the past two weeks, he has been recharging on Oahu after an unpleasant year in the job. As is usual when on the island, the president has been far from political advisers and hangers-on, and has instead spent time with high school friends.