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The total cost (based on what is known) for the 17-day vacation roundtrip vacation to Hawaii for the President, his family and staff has climbed to more than $4 million. Here's why. TRAVEL: $3,629,622 The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two. However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
...but what does Air Force One and the rest of a trip for the President *REALLY* cost vs. what the bean counters can come up with for a cost. What I mean is....they are almost certainly including the per hour equivalent of the entire staff and military compliment that rides Air Force One with him, for example. These guys are salary, if that would be the right term for a GS or military pay grade, and draw their pay whether Air Force One flies or is left to collect dust in a hangar.
Originally posted by TheImmaculateD1
reply to post by CREAM
The Hyatt at Exchange Place in Jersey City starts at $700 a night!
Originally posted by TheImmaculateD1
The Beast travels in the decoy Air Force One plane and goes with him everywhere!
WASHINGTON — He does not own a sprawling Texas ranch, a family compound on the coast of Maine or a retreat tucked away in the Santa Ynez Mountains of California.
The latest on President Obama, the new administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.
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President George W. Bush, shown in 2002, preferred to spend vacations clearing brush on his ranch near Crawford, Tex.
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President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, sailing near Martha’s Vineyard in 1998. Like President Obama, the Clintons had no vacation home.
So President Obama, in this regard at least, is much like Bill Clinton: He has no vacation home to call his own.
With the summer getaway season in full swing, the White House is busy arranging the president’s first vacation since taking office. The destination — officially, at least — is classified. Yet it is hardly a secret to the people on Martha’s Vineyard, several business owners and others said, where reservations have been made and preparations are under way for the Obama family’s August arrival.
Still, questions abound on the Massachusetts island.
Will they settle in Oak Bluffs, Chilmark or another town? Will they rent the home of the filmmaker Spike Lee? Will they be there at the same time as the Clintons?
“The rumor mill is rampant because people want to get information and want to flesh out their plans,” said Charles J. Ogletree, a law professor at Harvard, a summer Vineyard resident and a longtime friend of the Obamas. “I hope that people will respect their privacy and need for rest. The best thing we can do is let him recharge his batteries and prepare for the tasks ahead.”
The White House is mum on the dates, duration and precise destination of the trip.
First, advisers said, the administration does not want to distract from the work of Congress, which will spend at least some of the summer grinding away on health care legislation and the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
Second, as the unemployment rate inches ever closer to 10 percent, an oceanfront respite filled with tee times and dinner dates could be seen as out-of-touch with the economic hardship facing many Americans.
And third, the president is really never off duty, so wherever he chooses to vacation — and for how long — sends at least some type of a message and is sure to draw scrutiny.
Last August, when Mr. Obama flew to his native Hawaii, some Washington commentators criticized his vacation choice. Mr. Obama, who also spent time visiting his dying grandmother in Honolulu, told aides he was particularly agitated by a remark from Cokie Roberts of ABC News, who said, “It has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place.” She added, “He should be in Myrtle Beach.”
This year, aides said, a handful of destinations were discussed. (Myrtle Beach was not among them.) But since the Obamas have previously visited Martha’s Vineyard, and the Secret Service is accustomed to protecting presidents there, it became a top choice.
The island, which is 23 miles long and 9 miles wide, has six towns with distinctive traits. The Obamas are likely to stay in or near Oak Bluffs, where upper-class black families have been vacationing for decades.
“Vineyarders allow people to enjoy their time here without bothering them,” said Nancy Gardella, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce. “They pride themselves on kind of ignoring celebrities and let them relax without being hassled or followed.”
That does not mean, of course, that Mr. Obama will not be hassled from afar.
During his Hawaiian trip last summer, the Republican National Committee carefully tracked his itinerary, sending out pictures and news accounts of his whereabouts on Oahu. This year, the themes of criticism could well come from the words of previous Republican presidents.
“Most Americans don’t sit in Martha’s Vineyard, swilling white wine,” George W. Bush once said when asked why he chose to relax in the broiling Texas sun as opposed to the cool Atlantic breezes. And Lyndon B. Johnson disparagingly referred to the Vineyard as the “female island,” upon discovering that his aides chose Martha’s Vineyard for their vacation instead of joining him at his ranch in Texas.
The full-time residents of the island pay little attention to the jokes and are eager to welcome the Obamas to a place that has also felt the sting of the depressed economy.
“Having the Obama family pick us is great for business,” said Susan Goldstein, the owner of the Mansion House hotel, who has lived on the Vineyard for 40 years. “It’s like our own islandwide recovery package.”
In 1993, Ms. Goldstein hung a welcome banner when the Clintons arrived for a 10-day vacation. She said that she planned to do the same for the Obama family, but that she suspected the presidential trips would be entirely different. On one of Mr. Clinton’s summer visits, he attended nine cocktail or dinner parties in 13 nights, captivating the island social scene.
Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, are planning a far more low-key visit, several aides and associates say. A few Chicago friends are expected to join the vacation, as they have trips to Hawaii. And golf outings on any of the island’s five courses — two public, three private — are expected to be with friends, rather than the celebrity partners Mr. Clinton played with.
“It won’t be a constant series of public events, but a genuine opportunity to spend quality time with their daughters and some important time with a group of friends,” Mr. Ogletree said. “I hope and pray this is not a working vacation, where they don’t have any time for themselves, and go back to Washington more exhausted than they came. That would be a tragic and unfortunate intrusion on their time.”
While Mrs. Obama and the couple’s two daughters, Malia and Sasha, are planning to stay longer, aides said Mr. Obama was likely to take only a week of vacation. The Obama administration is intent on avoiding any parallels to Mr. Bush, who spent 27 days at his Texas ranch during the first August vacation of his presidency, which came only days before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But unlike Mr. Bush, who established a Western White House in Crawford and invited members of his cabinet and his senior aides to join him, Mr. Obama intends to be away from most of his team. Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff, is heading to Montana. David Axelrod, a senior adviser, is going to his lakefront house in Michigan. Valerie Jarrett, another senior adviser, will be on the Vineyard but at a house she has rented for years.
With the exception of a few weekend trips to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, Mr. Obama has taken no vacation in his first five months in office. Last year, he waxed aloud about the importance of getting away.
“The most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking,” Mr. Obama said. If not, he said, “you start making mistakes or you lose the big picture.”