The Chicago Tribune carried an article over the week end with a general cost break down for the President’s Campaign stump to Chicago to ‘sell’ his Health Care program. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-air-force-one-15-jun15,0,2483578.story
Thanks to the fly over photo op in NY we are all fairly informed on the cost for using the Nation’s airborne command post. The article mentions the tab for DC to Chicago R/T: about $236k and that isn't including ancillary costs such as protection, secret service, etc.
The Chicago Trib correctly pointed up former President’s Reagan and Bush burned through costs flying to their respective homes. In the same article Chicago Trib dropped the bombshell cost of about a million dollars should the Obama’s decide to spend their vacation in Hawaii again this year.
Most Americans will not begrudge the President and his family their fair share [or should I say 'fare' share?] of rest and relaxation. BUT, when it comes to his endless campaigning for all his pet projects, why not do video conferencing? It’s the next best thing to being there and he can still garner all the adulation that he seems to crave. [Though as it turned out, the AMA crowd was not so adoring.]
Technology today is so outstanding where communications is concerned and for a fraction of the cost of flying the man there he could still be on point with his message while being frugal with the taxpayer’s dollar. This one is a stubborn one! When his photo op debacle produced any number of photo shop renditions of AF 1 flying over a myriad of well known sightseeing destination, there should have been a clear message to the White House to 'get with technology'. Would it not be wise of his advisors to think in terms of lesser expensive means to get his message out? Or like my dear husband recently asked me, “Doesn’t this guy know the election is over? He won? Why is he still campaigning?” At the cost of using national resources like Air Force One, why indeed?
As a suggestion for vacation, it would probably be less expensive to fly his relatives from Honolulu to Chicago, or the White House for vacation than to fly AF 1 to Honolulu. Why not stay in town and visit museums? Just thinking out loud here.
The CHANGE that was promised? Fiscal responsibility? President Obama fires an Inspector General because the President has lost confidence in the man, for? Finding fraud amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars and then arranging for half of it to be repaid to the government? So what? 'Look we have an extra $487,000, thanks to former Inspector General Walpin. Why not burn through those savings by FLYING TO CHICAGO to promote my Health Plan Program that is already dying on the vine?' And why is it dying on the vine? Because the costs to support it has turned up the heat on senate seats up for reelection! Did President Obama not get the Memo? NO MORE SPENDING! That means no more flights to beat a dead horse. Enough already.
FYI, TOTUS and video conferencing are not mutually exclusive.