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Obama jet-setting: Public display of bad taste
Posted By Jane Chastain On 03/27/2013 @ 7:45 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments
Have they no shame! Another month, another lavish vacation for the Obama clan.
No, I don’t begrudge the first family a little down time, but considering our current economic situation, their choice of venues is just plain tacky.
Obama won the 2008 election, not because he was the most qualified, but because the populous largely believed he cared about them.
It was the same in 2012. Despite a dismal record, Obama was returned to the White House because of his ability to make people believe that he genuinely cares about the average Joe.
Are we blind? Is it mass hypnosis?
There is a huge disconnect between how the Obamas live and the talk they talk.
The latest slap in the face to the poor saps known as taxpayers is the Obama daughters’ spring break at the luxury Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. Mum is the word on Her Highness Michelle, whose taste in vacation locations goes from lavish to extreme lavish.
The Obamas pick up the direct costs of their daughters’ vacations, but that is a pittance compared to the cost of the entourage that must accompany them to these exotic locations.
Thanks to Judicial Watch, we now know that Milia’s spring break to Mexico last year, along with 25 Secret Service agents, cost the taxpayers $115,500.87.
Spring break is seen as a right of passage for well-heeled, college-age kids. Bear in mind, Malia is only 14, and sister, Sasha, is 11 – and this is their third vacation of the year!
The family spent 17 days over Christmas and New Year’s at a rented home in Kailua, Oahu, on a beach that is rated one of “the best in the country.” The Secret Service had to settle for the Moana Surfrider, a posh resort where a modest room is $425 per night. The taxpayer’s tab for this one vacation was a cool $7 million, partly because Obama made – not one – but two round trips to the island aboard Air Force One. That’s $180,000 an hour for the 18 hours it takes for each round trip. The extra trip to Washington was completely unnecessary, largely a photo op to celebrate a deal that averted the fiscal cliff and raised taxes on everyone.
These opulent vacations are bad enough but, to make matters worse, they often travel separately, often just hours apart.
Worse still, they often go their separate ways. In February, Michelle and the girls went skiing in Aspen, Colo., while the prez traveled to Florida to play golf with Tiger Woods. That means twice the advance planning, more Secret Service agents, more lavish hotels and large expense accounts for the entourage that must follow them.
Obama’s minions try to defend these overt displays of extravagance by pointing to the number of days, George W. Bush and Reagan spent away from the White House.
They come up short, way short.
Reagan spent most of his time away from the White House at his modest ranch in a 1,500 sq. ft. home near Santa Barbara where he often entertained heads of state.
Bush 43 went to similar digs in Crawford, Texas. No five-star hotel for the Secret Service detail. They had to rough it. Also, these repeated trips didn’t require a lot of advance planning, so costs were minimal.
Also, Bush spent most of his “vacations” working, often entertaining foreign dignitaries and giving them a taste of his down-home atmosphere with which the “average” American could identify.
Did Laura Bush ever vacation apart from her husband? In her time as first lady, she went on many foreign trips as an ambassador for the U.S., but took only five vacations without her husband. Four were to national parks with her long-time hiking buddies. The fifth was a brief safari with her daughters while on a trip to Africa for the AIDS initiative.
Obama, like most presidents, has a fondness for golf. He played more than 100 rounds in his first four years. Bush, on the other hand played only 24 times in eight years. In 2003, he gave it up because, “It just didn’t seem right during a time of war.”
The Obamas, on the other hand, have shown no such sensitivity. They are behaving like a nouveau riche family that just won the lottery. They are living the gaudy high-life while denying American schoolchildren a chance to tour the White House. Their behavior could be forgiven if the economy were sound and average Americans were not hurting. For now, it must be viewed only one way: a public display of bad taste.
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