No aloha: Obama skips out on APEC tradition

November 13, 2011 - 9:20 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — Chinese President Hu Jintao in pastels and plumerias? Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sporting pineapples and palm trees? It didn't happen.

President Barack Obama on Sunday chose not to continue a tradition started by President Bill Clinton nearly two decades ago.

Leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Obama's native Hawaii were photographed together in the customary, stodgy presidential wear — neckties and dark suits. They were not in Hawaiian aloha shirts that many were hoping to see.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stood out with her white jacket.

Heads of states have posed together in the traditional costumes of the host nation each year at APEC. The tradition started in 1993 when Clinton handed out bomber jackets for leaders to wear in their photo in the Seattle area.