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Obama’s Speeches Already Costing Over $1.3 Million

by Keith Koffler on July 26, 2013, 8:32 am

President Obama’s speeches are already costing taxpayers well over $1 million – and probably closer to $2 million – as the president jets around the country campaign-style to drum up support for his agenda.

The tally includes a two-stop trip Wednesday that took Obama to Galesburg, Illinois and Warrensburg, Missouri; an excursion Thursday to Jacksonsville, Florida; and a fourth speech planned for Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Further trips are on tap but haven’t been announced.

The bill for Air Force One, which is known to cost about $180,000 per hour to fly, totals close $1.3 million alone based on the travel time already incurred and the estimated travel time Tuesday.

Additional costs include tens of thousands of dollars for a cargo plane that accompanies the president everywhere he flies, spending on the chopper that takes him from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base where he hops aboard Air Force One, staff, motorcades, and logistics on the ground in the places he visits.

The White House says it’s worth it. “Traveling across the country and laying out his vision for how best to accomplish those priorities is an important part of his job,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest Thursday.

Nevertheless, it’s also an expensive part, particularly during a moment when government services are being cut due to the sequester and a budget battle looms for Obama with Republicans in Congress.

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Car in July 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

But, Obama gives such good speeches.

Just ask him.

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Playrighter July 26, 2013 at 11:13 am

At least Earnhardt is willing to admit White House priorities. For them, campaigning and speechifying to hand-picked adoring (and occasionally fainting) crowds IS an important part of his job.

If only “running the country” was as high on his priorities list.

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Marta M. Hunt July 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm

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Robin H July 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

It’s not necessary at all. He can tape it in the Oval Office like all of the past presiedents did and preempt every TV stations programming. The problem is he has nothing to do in the office and it makes it look like he’s working sooooo hard. It’s a farce and I hope more people begin to realize it. If he keeps this up, he’ll only be able to draw enough crowds to fill someone’s living room.

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Playrighter July 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

But then he couldn’t hand pick his audience

http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4875

(Paid Tea Party members barred from speech)

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Rich (in Name Only) in Reno July 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Like Bush the Recently Rehabilitated did?

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Laurence Glavin July 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

There have been several occasions when broadcast networks declined to broadcast a speech from the Oval Office. They wanted to preserve starting times for prime time shows and the late-night chat shows.

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Michael July 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

Sequester? That was just a club meant to bash Republicans with.

The sequester was never intended to impact any of the president’s discretionary spending. Look at all the rock star parties, vacations, golf outings, and other unnecessary stuff that hasn’t been curtailed one bit. Only the African safari was cancelled, but that was probably made up for 10 times over with some other extravagent spending.

And don’t forget that lots of fundraisers are paid for by some bogus “government business” that’s thrown into the trip….like Michelle’s and the girls’ trip to Chicago last week to see Beyonce.

So don’t expect Obama to be watching his pennies (or millions) and cut the endless spending for his personal entertainment and other goals. Ain’t gonna happen.

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Girly1 July 26, 2013 at 9:12 am

OFA should pay for every trip he takes on AF! – they’re all campaign trips. The PINO (President in Name Only) is a fake and a fraud. Take away the TOTUS and TV cameras and what do you get? A PINO. Yuck!

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DeniseVB July 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

I agree, his perpetual campaign for Oceans of Tommorrow are tedious and empty.

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Julie Brueckheimer July 26, 2013 at 10:25 am

Oceans of tomorrow is a phrase worthy of a sophomore in high school.

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Playrighter July 26, 2013 at 11:15 am

Those are the ones he’ll actually be able to control (as promised years ago) — someday forward in the future.

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Julie Brueckheimer July 26, 2013 at 10:26 am

PINO, I like it! It has a wiff of Pinocchio about it too.

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Julie Brueckheimer July 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

whlff

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BB July 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

The real cost will be if some of his ideas get enacted. It may be cheaper to have him fly around giving speeches instead of actually getting something accomplished.

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Mandy Manners July 26, 2013 at 10:02 am

You could buy a lot of fruit for school lunches with $1,300,000.00.

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Personette July 26, 2013 at 11:51 am

I wonder how many mortgages could be paid off with the money wasted thus far.

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Calming Influence July 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm

“You could buy a lot of fruit for school lunches with $1,300,000.00.”

Indeed you could. You could buy also buy a lot more, in fact an unbelievably large ass-load of fruit for school lunches with $8 billion in shrink-wrapped pallets of hundred dollar bills, but unfortunately those all went missing in Iraq. But I quibble, because the president isn’t using YouTube for speeches and bicycling around the country.

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Robin H July 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Since you think it was okay for him to fly out and make this speech please tell me what the point of it was. There was nothing new in it, there was nothing in it about what he’s going to actually DO to get anything done. I’m not being sarcastic, I’m really curious as to the whole point of it.

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Otis Driftwood July 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

well he could save some $$$ by taking the bus. He has 2 of them just sitting around. But then that would mean more than a day trip, and he is such a busy man. He could take one of the smaller planes, cheaper by 150K per hour. I think the bus would be more fun. Maybe they would even let him drive!!!

So it’s family day at Camp David. I bet everyone had to drive up but BO & family. Am surprised he even knows where it is. And MO is probably pouting because she hates the place.

But I also know VarJar will not be there, she’s up here in WI with SS in tow to attend a wedding. So am sure there is some $$$ for the “official” plane for her to make the trip. I wonder how much we spend on her anyway.

Nothing like spending $$$$

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Star July 26, 2013 at 10:55 am

Camp David is like camping–only with butlers and five-star chefs. You just can’t get past the knotty pine.

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OldTimer July 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

What I don’t understand about this is he keeps giving the same old tired worn out speech over and over again. Can’t his speech writers come up with something fresh?

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Girly1 July 26, 2013 at 11:51 am

I admire you for continuing to listen to the redux, OldTimer. After the first 4 years, I’m done. However, I have discovered that watching him without the audio is a hoot – especially when he takes his bows afterwards. He stands on the stage soaking up the thundering applause as though he has just won the Olympic Triathalon. He milks it for all it’s worth – as the imaginary Gold Medal is placed aroud his neck. He reluctantly exits the stage – wishing that this glorious moment in history would never end. VENI, VIDI, VICI!!!
It’s hilarious!!!!

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Otis Driftwood July 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

he’s good at bowing..

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Star July 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

The only guy more annoying than Gosh Earnest is that Pfeiffer drone.
Also think of the time off work or school, valuable learning time, gas to drive to these mundane events, mental stress (us) of having to think up new insults…good heavens, this is a money and sanity sink. If he is really telegraphing some sinister coup plan or master scenario to rule by exec order, so far it’s pretty subtle–unlike anything else about the guy.

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Danceswithtruth July 26, 2013 at 11:31 am

The White House says it’s worth it. “Traveling across the country and laying out his vision for how best to accomplish those priorities is an important part of his job,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest Thursday.

According to the Polls, his vision and priorities are in direct collusion with the people’s wishes. Ah well……pander on. Tickling the ears of his adoring fans is one thing he seems to excel at. Kudos PINO.

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gracepmc July 26, 2013 at 11:57 am

Isn’t there some virtual tour of the WH available to us — peons now? I believe that was offered up around the time of La Grand Tour Afrique. How about virtual Obama speeches. NSA and Comcast can just work out a deal to have him pop up on everyone’s TV at 6pm. And good luck turning that sucker off.

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gracepmc July 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

OH yeah, I forgot. “The poor”. The poor people in America probably don’t have adequate televisions. Guess everyone with an obamaphone or two laying about will be getting their new sets ASAP.

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Girly1 July 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I’m hoping he will join Soledad O’Brien and defect to Al Jazeera.

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Geoff Caldwell July 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Sadly, the damage being done to the Constitution and the rule of law cannot be measured in dollars.

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MarjoJimbo July 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Amen to that.

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Cee July 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

It makes my heart hurt.

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Darkangel July 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm

If President Narcissus absolutely has to have an adulation fix, he should do it in DC. Just put TOTUS out on The Mall, jack up the volume, and get on down with your bad self, Stretch.

If his sycophants really do care so much about him, they’ll come to him, spending a ridiculous amount of private money along the way. THAT might actually be a bigger economic stimulus than the next Solyndra.

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kindness July 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

How much did we pay for all bush43′s vacations jetting around?
Honestly you conservatives need to dig your heads outta your asses once in a while.

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Darkangel July 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Again with that trite canard? Honestly, you need to get your head out of the Kool-Aid bowl, you goddamn pinko.

See, I can make just as vacuous an argument, profanity and all.

But then I get to break out the facts.

President Bush had a much better economy until 2008; gas prices were a lot lower; his idea of a “vacation” was Crawford, Texas, and not Martha’s Vineyard or The Floridian; and he played less golf in 8 years than your manchild is on pace to play this year alone.

There were only 12 terror attacks on Bush’s watch after 9/11–a list which includes the Beltway Sniper and an ELF arson. Since Obama took office, we’ve seen 9 attacks already, and he’s got 3 and a half years to go. If I were you, I wouldn’t bet money that your little tin messiah will only see 3 terror attacks in the US for the rest of his term.

As for failed attacks, it’s 7 apiece, and your Dhimmi in Chief still has a long, long way to go.

As for proven plots, Bush only presided over 18 after 9/11. Obama’s at 27 AND COUNTING. The bad guys know your boy is a lightweight, and Americans are going to be paying in blood for the next three years and change.

But you go right ahead thinking Bush was worse. If that’s what you need to get through your sorry existence, then don’t let me talk you out of your delusions.

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Sig July 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

“President Bush had a much better economy until 2008.” Bush presided over the collapse of the US economy.

“There were only 12 terror attacks on Bush’s watch after 9/11.” Yeah, but 9/11 happened on his watch.

By your logic, you could argue that Hitler had excellent race relations right up until the gates of Belsen opened.

Fatuous.

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sanford sklansky July 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Like Bush, Reagan etc did not use Air Force one a lot. Give me a break

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Senyordave July 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Could you please cite some backup data on this?

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DrBB July 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

W’s vacation days–1020 of ‘em, one of the most vacationed president in history–almost all involved AF1 trips to get him to his goat-roping prop-ranch in Crawford. I don’t recall anyone complaining about that. Not to mention commandeering the odd aircraft carrier so he could have fun pretending to land a jet on it and proclaim “Mission Accomplished.” I believe that little jaunt cost in the neighborhood of $1M all by itself.

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Darkangel July 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

But by your own admission, almost all of his vacations were in Crawford, not exactly the ritziest of destinations. It was his personal home, too, not some swank 5-star spa resort. When President Bush wanted to get away, he went to his personal residence. When Obama wants to get away, anything less than 4 stars won’t do.

Compare Crawford to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, New York City, Atlantic City, the Spanish Riviera, Aspen, Vail, and all the rest. President Bush may, in all fairness, have used Air Force One like a commuter jet to take him back home. But by the same token, Obama is using Air Force One like an all-expenses paid travel voucher to hang with the glitterati and feed his adulation addiction.

“Bush went to Texas too much” was a weak-sauce argument even when he was in office. Given how much globetrotting Obama’s doing, it’s no longer just weak-sauce: it’s the argument of someone who knows he has no argument on this point.

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Robin H July 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm

And don’t forget that when Obama goes off to all these locations he has to take the Beast and all of the support vehicles to parade from the airport to his rental palace and then out for ice cream. At least Bush stayed put when he went home.

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Girly1 July 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

The Beast? Oh, you mean the armoured limo. I thought maybe the Mooch had a new nickname..

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Girly1 July 26, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Personal expenditures for the Obamas have been estimated at $1.4 BILLION! Twenty-one countries in his FIRST year – unprecedented. $100M jaunt to India, Indonesia in his second year. Three vacays to Africa. Other trips are too numerous to list.

The Bushes vacationed at Camp David, Kennebunkport and Crawford – never at 5 Star hotels or $50/week rentals.
The Crawford trips were also working ‘vacations’. His advisors always traveled to Crawford with him. He entertained heads of State with inexpensive barbeques – not lavish $2M State dinners. He rarely entertained at the WH – preferring to be in bed at 10:00 and in the office every day at 7:00 a.m. The Bushes were also cosiderate of the WH staff – staying at Camp David so the staff could spend holidays with their families. The Bushes were not exhibitionists, unlike the Obamas. They were not ‘star-struck’, unlike the Obamas. They came from old money, unlike Obama. They respected the People’s House and the Office of the Presidency, unlike the Obamas. And they never closed the WH to the public tours!

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Girly1 July 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Sorry…this comment is in response to DrBB @4:57 (below)

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chrisanthemama July 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Who does he think he is, President?

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DrBB July 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Dear god! The president gives speeches! And travels! This is unheard of! Impeach him!

And in other news: rightwing scientist outraged to discover water is wet. “How has this been allowed! Arrest all the liberals!”

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Megan Williams July 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

You’re a White House Reporter? Maybe THAT explains why you would write such a stupid post. The President is not suppose to interact with the PEOPLE anymore? It’s just a SPEECH? You really are a fool.

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DrBB July 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

“President Bush took 149 trips to Camp David, 77 visits to his Crawford ranch, and 11 trips to his father’s Kennebunkport mansion. Since Air Force One reportedly cost $56,800 per hour to operate in 2004 (which Bush used to get to Crawford), and the plane can travel up to 630 miles per hour, it cost at least $259,657 to get the 2,880 miles to Crawford and back, each time Bush went, or roughly $20 million dollars just for taking the plane on the Crawford trips alone.”

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2010/08/05/tantaros-thinks-obama-should-model-bushs-vacati/168835

There are certainly legitimate things to criticize Obama for. This isn’t one of them.

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Bill July 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm

What is the annual travel tab for the US House and Senate, I wonder?

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Darkangel July 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Congressional travel is a slightly different animal, though. Congresscritters are required by the Constitution to be inhabitants of the states they represent (see Article I, Section 2, for the House, and Article I, Section 3, for the Senate.)

So some of the more far-flung states would naturally run up a bit of a tab, what with district work periods and what have you.

Now, if it came out that someone from, say, Maryland, was spending more on travel than someone from, say, Nebraska, then maybe you’d have something that might need looking at. But Congresscritters, to be fair, have GOT to travel between DC and their home states, so some of them are going to run up a travel tab.

That does NOT, however, in any way excuse President Ahab’s jet-setting and adulation-seeking on the taxpayers’ dime.

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Seriously? July 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Oh, FFS.

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ImNoDhimmi July 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Keith, I suspect someone sent a troll brigade to your site today.

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Otis Driftwood July 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm

it’s ok.. we have blown most of their comments out of the water months ago with real facts also. All it takes is a bit more research

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Otis Driftwood July 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

oh and, I think Keith has struck a nerve somewhere to the left.. hehe

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Mandy Manners July 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

I thought I heard the pitter-patter of the paws of Media Matters’ minions.

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Wendell Hurst July 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

He doesn’t even have a plan. He has no understanding of the economy, so is not capable of making a plan. All this money to talk about nothing. Yet there are still people who are taken in by it, because they don’t understand the economy (or basic math) either.

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John Hall July 27, 2013 at 4:59 am

Yeah, I guess he should just sit around and not do a f***ing thing. Then we can complain how he’s just sitting around not doing a f***ing thing. Did you people ever complain about other presidents going around doing speeches and suggest that it costs too much and they should instead just sit around and not do a f***ing thing? Of course you didn’t. You are bored! Which is why you gave us this article. Because it beat just sitting around not doing a f***ing thing. Am I right?

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Mandy Manners July 27, 2013 at 7:07 am
Mandy Manners July 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

What other presidents have maneuvered us into sequestration?

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Cee July 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

How many hot meals would that have paid for for our troops?

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Mandy Manners July 27, 2013 at 10:59 am

If an army marches on its stomach, this has to be one of the most demoralizing things that’s happened since FCMABBHO took office.

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succotash July 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I have been questioning this for awhile.Where is the outrage? It should be coming from those in congress who are SUPPOSED to be representing “we the people”. I guess they are too busy trying to sort out all of the “phony scandals” and distractions.A pox on all of them.

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Mandy Manners July 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

It is the job of our representatives to look into Benghazi, the IRS and the other issues he’s labeled “phony”.

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Warlow Jeffers July 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

You are sooo right! My daddy always told me back then that colored people were bad with money, and I guess it’s still true!

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