Sweet column: The barechested Obama. “Stop looking,” he says.

SHARE Sweet column: The barechested Obama. “Stop looking,” he says.
SHARE Sweet column: The barechested Obama. “Stop looking,” he says.

Some pecs that Obama has. Now stop looking. Thats an order from himself.

Sen. Barack Obama is sensitive about getting kidded for his ears. Now, courtesy of paparazzi staking him out on his recent Hawaii vacation, some of the rest of him is available for public inspection.

The new issue of People the one with Oprah on the cover includes Obama in a spread of celebs in the surf.

A barechested Obama, poised to announce a 2008 presidential run, is wearing black board shorts and shares the Beach Babes pages with a bevy of beautiful people Hugh Jackman, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Obamas Monday included a Capitol press conference with 10 other senators to talk about their plans to toughen limp Senate ethics rules. Before the presser started, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank offered me one of the two copies of People he was toting, trying to bait me to ask Obama to react in front of everyone and provide grist for his column.

As if.

Obamas physique is old news to Chicago Sun-Times readers. Ive worked out several times next to Obama at the East Bank Club, but alas, could not follow him into the locker room. My colleague Neil Steinberg did and reported on Jan. 6, 2006, that the undressed Obama doesnt have enough fat on his body to make a butter pat.

You be the judge in looking at the People photo whether anything has changed in a year. (My blog awaits your comments.)

Milbank seized the moment when a clutch of us reporters followed Obama out of the presser. Senator, Milbank deadpanned, can I read this as a challenge to Chris Dodd? John McCain? He was referring to the Democrat from Connecticut and Republican from Arizona, both potential presidential contenders who are, well, older than Obama.

You know, I really appreciate you toting that around, said Obama. Its embarrassing. You know I had no idea what beach it was taken on, Obama said to my question.

Its paparazzi. Stop looking at it.

Later Monday, Obama added a telling extra event to his schedule. He flew to New York to appear at the Rev. Jesse Jacksons annual Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project. Earlier, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), the 2008 Democratic frontrunner and Obamas chief White House rival, headlined a morning session for Jackson. See the serious story about the Senate ethics proposals on page 18. And then visit blogs.suntimes.com/sweet.

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