As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Ninety Percent of Obama Travel at Least Partly Politics

Nearly 90 percent of President Obama’s domestic travel in the first six months of this year has been either partially or entirely political, and almost all the costs are borne by taxpayers, according to a White House Dossier Analysis.

Since returning from vacation in Hawaii Jan. 4, Obama has embarked on 25 domestic trips involving use of Air Force One. Of the total, 22 have involved either a fundraiser, travel to a presidential battleground state, or both.

Only three times has the president traveled for purely non-political purposes: a trip to visit flooding victims in Tennessee; a visit to New York City to meet with 9/11 families and lay a wreath; and a trip to Albany, New York to speak about the economy.

Obama in the briefing room
Obama in the briefing room yesterday. Photo by Keith Koffler

Obama has traveled to 2012 campaign battleground states 16 times, hitting key states like Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Michgan and Wisconsin and landing multiple times in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, electoral vote-rich states he needs to win.

Of the 11 excursions Obama has made that included a fundraiser, nine have also featured an “official” event, which helps the Obama campaign stick more of the bill to taxpayers. While it is impossible to prove that the official events were solely created to defray campaign travel costs, it is widely assumed  that this White House and those that preceded it map official travel at least in part to mitigate the cost of jetting around the country to raise money and campaign.

The most egregious of these kinds of voyages appears to have occurred on April 27, when Obama and the first lady jetted to Chicago to tape the Oprah Winfrey show, and then the president flew on to New York for fundraisers. Mrs. Obama flew directly back to Washington, creating an expense for taxpayers instead of for Mrs. Winfrey, who presumably could have flown to the White House to tape the interview.

Six of Obama’s trips included both a fundraiser and a stop in a political battleground state.

These practices are not unique to Obama. George W. Bush also scheduled heavy travel for political purposes at taxpayer expense in the first half of 2003, as he prepared to run for reelection.

But Bush traveled a handful of times less frequently than Obama and only held four fundraisers outside Washington. He also made more purely non-political journeys than Obama, including trips to then-relatively safe GOP states like Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and flight to Illinois, a state he could not have hoped to win.

189 Responses to Ninety Percent of Obama Travel at Least Partly Politics

  1. Lemme get this straight: this is the guy who is ranting on private jet owners/users? The one with the biggest privatest jet of them all?

  2. What makes the many campaign trips (and the vacations) on AF1 such a big concern is that it’s not 2003. In the 8 years since MrBush made his campaign trips, umpty-jillions of iPhones, Blackberrys and wi-fi equipment that all connect to the internet where news is available from sources around the country, and the world, all the time.
    We just didn’t know that MrBush went here, MrsBush went there, like we know exactly where our Obamas are and what they’re doing.
    We didn’t know what MrsBush I&II or MrsClinton was wearing because we never saw photos of them in our newspapers or on the TV news. We didn’t know where they went or even if they went anywhere, because…it wasn’t reported.
    Today, the Prez is everywhere, speaking all the time and we’re just sick of listening to his choppy cadence mouthing cliches. We’re sick of MrsO and her many lavish vacations and visits to locations that provide her with a chance to prove that she loves the military, but not fat people.

  3. the guy is an empty suit committed socialist …he doesn’t have a clue on how this country works and what needs to be done to fix it…..he is an excellent campaigner though

    • Oh yes, this guy is a political creature/hack who can talk but not lead.
      He & his fat wife are only interested in the perks the office provides.
      His forte is campaigning, which is about all he has done while in office…
      I take that back.. he’s done lots of golfing too..

      • If you listen to him when he talks (vs. reads his teleprompter), he can’t even talk. It’s more “uh, um, er” and then he rambles on but many times doesn’t say anything. When he reads his teleprompter, it’s the constant head moving and his irritating cadence. I can’t even listn to this hack anymore.

      • You sir surely exaggerate, and please have some respect for the FLOTUS. Her largess is in her tastes.
        It’s only her butt that’s fat.

  4. It seems we have an Emperor or King now who — like all autocrats — is not accountable to the people or the laws of the land. That’s fine, since only a small percentage of people seem to care one way or another, or are so deluded and brainwashed that they think this government functions as that of a free people. All that I ask is that we admit what we have become as a nation by tearing up our Constitution and dropping the pretense that our voices matter. In Obama we have George Bush Junior on sterioids.

  5. I guess this president and his wife really are historic…and not in a good way. How about putting some presidential skin in the game and reimburse the taxpayers with his own wealth or DNC funds. Since they know they will get cover from the mainstream media outlets they don’t even try to hide their obvious looting of our hard-earned tax dollars.

  6. It’s time for all of us, including our representatives, to demand that the DNC repay every dime that these political trips have cost the taxpayers. Better yet, establish a law which prohibits this sort of travel by a president and make it law that, should it be violated, the DNC can have their entire funds frozen and confiscated for failure to comply.

    • I’m for the outright banning of political parties as a financial and campaigning institution in all federal elections. I’m also for the banning of campaign contributions made without an associated social security number, thats right, no corporations, no lobbying groups, no foreigners.
      If a politician wants to raise funds, it has to come from each individual citizen and be registered to their SSN for possible tax purposes. Instead of being in charge of doing whatever they want with our monetary system, devaluing it at their whim, the Federal Reserve can be the depository and register for all federal campaign funds. A glorified bookkeeper, nothing more. They have proven themselves unfit for little more than that.

      Those two things would solve a great deal of the issues we have in our political system today and return power and influence to its rightful place.

    • No thanks, he has done enough damage. No amount of talk can undo it. Let him BS himself right out of office the next 2 years, and hopefully he will have less time to swing his constitutional, economic, and social wrecking ball “ideas”.

  7. And insult to injury: when he flies in for these political events, all major roads are shut down causing huge traffic backups inconvencing everyone. For instance, last Thursday his flight to Philly landed around 4:15pm causing I-95 to shut down during rush hour.
    Obviously any President should get that kind of security, but shutting down a major road for an hour during rush hour just to attend a political fundraiser is inconsiderate & unacceptable.

  8. Why should this surprise anyone! Everything he does is geared toward getting re-elected! He cares nothing for the country and simply wants the position and perks. I believe that both Democrats and Republicans would like to see him out of office in 2012!

  9. Excellent article Keith. You put pen to paper what most of us have been seeing for some time now. The trip to lay the wreath and meet with the families of 9/11 victims was made immediately after he and the seals took down Osama, so I wouldn’t consider that strictly non-political. Before taking his victory lap, he had no interest in marking the anniversary of 9/11 in New York.

    Srdem is so right. We weren’t so technologically wired as we are now. That is why there is more of a spotlight on the first family’s activities. I also think Bush should not be setting the bar for his actions. Obama said he was going to be different. Of course that was just another lie too. He’s been carrying on every single Bush program… Iraq, Afghanistan, Project Gunrunner, surrendering State’s rights to the UN with the Texas execution of an illegal alien, Patriot Act, etc.

  10. Wish I could readjust my “trips” to be all tax writeoffs. Then I could be traveling at taxpayers’ expense. Who cares anymore? Obama promised so much and has failed to deliver. Will he care when he leaves office? Not no, but he l l no. Maybe he’ll donate all the money he makes on the speaking circuit, book circuit, and all the other ways he will increase his millions, to the coffers of the government. ALL OF IT. After all, he worries constantly about all of us peons out here, and I am sure he does want to be one of the filthy rich who don’t give all their money to everyone else!!! Yuck. All he is worried about is giving Michelle 4 more years of free vacation travel AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE.

  11. Thank You for telling it like it is…. Obama continues to vacation and spend taxpayers money on Staff Raises unlike anything anyone has ever seen, and this at a time when the economy is under a microscope. He continues to spend billions on trips with his campaign backers, family, and friends, and tells us to buy smaller cars and wants to raise taxes (we don’t need higher taxes we need more tax payers). The first family continues to make a mockery of the Presidency – White House and what it stands for

  12. You know very well

    As everyelse does,
    that in presidential visits anywhere…which include some campaigning…
    a ratio as to time spent is paid by the campaign.
    True for the fetid little Bush and certainly for Reagan (on whose campaignI worked) and Clindon and for every other president.

    In other words, you deliberately lie, your swiggle words aside.
    Your stuff is juvenile and stupid.

    • Hee, hee. I love it when the Obots admit their guy is doing wrong by saying, “Yeah, well, Bush did it, too.” Why don’t they ever say, “Oh, no! Must change this! We want our man to do better than Bush!” Why do they always excuse The One for doing exactly what The Other did?

      • They have never matured. Hence, they think money grows on trees and wouldn’t know a hard day’s work unless it slapped them upside the head.

        These are the people who will be screaming for help when the next shoe drops on this country.

  13. The sad and remarkable thing is that the three instances you cite of non-political trips are all entirely political as well. Let’s face it, the Presidency has become a position dominated by politics, especially under the control of liberal Democrats. Clinton never uttered a word that wasn’t driven by political calculus, except when on the stand, under oath.

    Obama has no job skills or knowledge on anything other than “how do I get stupid people to vote for me?” machinations. He is unemployable outside of the political realm. He is educated as a lawyer, but never practiced law. He held a law school teaching position as a lecturer but never published legal opinions or subjected himself to peer review. He is not, was not, and never will be a law professor — and lacks the basic qualifications to become one.

    He is an ideologue and egomaniac who lacks the proper temperament to govern effectively, and he holds the same political viewpoints and policies as functionally retarded leftists, even if he himself is a cut above that.

    In the end, I believe him to be a fraud and a liar.

  14. Let’s not forget all of Michelle’s vacations. Oh wait – she’s not on vacation. She’s just interacting with girls in Africa. Hey Michelle – we have girls in America you could “engage” with – for nothing.

  15. John Madden (of NFL football fame) once said, “the game is 90% half mental” … and the same seems to be true of politics (more so than people realize).

  16. I don’t know how the Democrats in Chicago and around the country could be happy with this man as President. He has done nothing to help this country to her best times. He is either playing golf,flying to a foreign country to kiss the ring of our enemys and flying around the country for fund raisers and going on vacations and not doing what he was elected to do. I don’t think he has a clue on what this job requires and is inept. If you look at the country and who voted for him,we wonder will these people do it again? God,I hope they have had enough of Barack Obama as I have?

    • He’s a Democrat and he’s “historic” because of his race and muslim links and life abroad. so that pleases them. The race factor has a big impact with many people, unfortunately.

  17. The only thing that still amazes me about Obama is that anyone still supports him – other than denizens of the Democrat Plantation, which is where Democrats subjugate minorities, unions, supporters of illegal immigration, and other powerful special interest groups.

  18. Seems like this is not equal provision under law. Obama as a candidate can use taxpayer money to prop his campaign costs through paying for flights and hotel stay. However, a rival not in a government position or one with as much authority, has to pay for his airfare and stay out of the campaign contributions (or out of pocket).

    This should be addressed.

  19. Wasn’t he supposed to be PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? Looks to me like he is only PRESIDENT OF THE DEMOCRATS AND THOSE WHO GIVE HIM LOTS OF MONEY. All caps not shouting here, but used as a headline, or commercial ad. He is not of America, for America, or by America, so why does he get to spend all of our money any way he wants to? That Air Force One is partly mine, but do I get to travel in it? Nooooooooo. Enough is Enough, Mr. Obama. Sit down and be quiet, and get your hand out of my wallet.

  20. So exactly why do we taxpayers have to pay for these Democrat political trips or fund raisers? Are we stupid? Why doesn’t the Democratic party have to reinburse the Federal government for its use of government assets?

  21. And what’s the purpose for the other 90% of his travels? A mixture of vacations, golf and partying? I hope people are seeing this narcissist for what he is – useless; no, worse than useless!

  22. Osama Obama Biden Bin Laden, NO COINCIDENCE

    Obama is not the president, he’s the acting president.

    He disappeared for 2 weeks after his election win only to reappear looking exhausted sitting next to John McCain, with a bad poker face, for a press photo shoot. He has been turned into a Pentagon puppet ever since. A great number of stories in the news are completely fabricated to generate chatter for the feds. They have the majority of comments on many news sites and are actively involved in the moderation of sites since the “death” of Osama Bin Laden.

    A military Coup took place with the introduction of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate.

    Osama Bin Laden is a code. It appears he was created by the New World Order. The New World Order consists of some of the richest people in the world with the goal of overthrowing the US government, some from inside our own government. They are also trying to collapse our currency and are behind all of the “buy gold” hype, not to mention thousands of money making opportunities online and late night infomercials. They are positioned to make billions by collapsing our economy.

    The attacks on 9/11 appear to be attacks on capitalism. The people that make up the New World Order are media moguls, CEO’s and many others. There’s also a reason why all the CEOs who ran in the last midterm didn’t get elected either.

    You will not read about this in the media since most of the media has been forced to cooperate or has been paid to cooperate.

    What you’re about to learn is true and not embellished in anyway. Here’s what Obama, Osama, Biden, Bin Laden, the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, and Sarah Palin have to do with the last election and the military’s overthrow of our government.

    Do not hesitate to call the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI and all branches of the federal government and tell them who they work for. Obama doesn’t need to be signing anymore things into law. Enough is enough!

  23. Bush: Working vacations with dignitaries from all over the world flying to meet him at his ranch.

    Liberal Mob: OMG WTF 100% VACATION TIME

    Obama: Constant golfing trips, might maybe see a politician in passing as his family lives the high life on the tax payers dime

    Liberal Mob: 90% WORK! WHAT A SAINT

    You people are insane!

      • But wait…

        Bush: “…internets…”
        Liberal mob: “What an absolute dumbass!!”, heads spin around, screaching, foam at the mouth…

        Obama: “…internets…”
        Liberal mob: ” “

    • obama’s travel costs : ………………. millions
      1st. moocher’s travel costs…………. millions

      Cost to boot them out of the White House & end this nightmare?
      Priceless !

  24. With polls showing Bama’s ideas tanking, policies failing,his views of energy, taxes, spending, regs, blowing apart, why would Pubs cave into this absurd debt ceiling deal>??? America now has 9.2% and nearly 17’% underemployment. Why should Congress raise taxes? If they do, the Pubs are through. The TEAConserv will be the party I will support. Bama is a tyrant and if the Pubs cave into him, they are not only the Stupid Party, they are liars to the 2010 electorate. Whether Bama travels or not, the only deal the Pubs should make is to raise the ceiling WITHOUT TAXES, REVENUE ENHANCEMENTS.

    • an invented deadline, after seven such “deadlines” went through without question, under the previous president. but but but, they’re different!! No, they’re not, both parties voted for the budgets, and now one pretends it can’t deal with the balance sheet!!

      This House is the most party-first congressional body ever.
      yes, stick it to america’s credit, stick it to this president at the cost of this country’s financial health.

      this republican party is shameful

      • This House is the first conservative congressional body since 1994, and they have only been the majority for 6 months. Yes, they all contributed to the deficit, but your Democrat party kicked it into overdrive in 2007 when Pelosi and Reid ruled the roost. To add insult to injury they haven’t passed one single budget. Obama has increased the deficit over $3 trillion dollars in the few short years he’s been in office (although it feels like an eternity). How can you dispute these known facts?

        Liberalism truly is a mental disorder.

  25. obummer’s always touting how up-to-date on ‘technology’ with blackberry, cell phones, twitter, facebook, “internetS” [sic], etc. etc.; howabout he STAY in the White House that HE wanted sooo bad and that WE have already paid for and use video conferencing (AND that way no one would have to SEE his teleprompters) thereby saving over a TRILLION dollars with ALL the trips that family has made on OUR dime! NO more vacations or traveling at all for the first family (they can use the White House or Camp David down the road)…Raising the debt ceiling??? How about LOWERING it EASILY: Bring home ALL of our troops from the SIX: Afghanastan and Iraq (wars we are currently in, 4 he himself has us in WITHOUT Congressional approval (an IMMPEACHABLE offense (he himself said it was while he was a senator): Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and most recently bombing Somalia, (why isn’t this BLARING in the news and where are all the leftist war protesters?????) ANYWAY, bring home ALL our military to guard our own borders now, kick OUT ALL illegals AND muslim brotherhood groups, (don’t worry about them bringing it to our shores, because with them all out, they start coming over by sea, blast them out of the water….come by land, shoot ask questions later, air (restrict air access for all those that are not CLEARLY eligible to come and that way get rid of the TSA here as there will be no need and travel will increase thereby bringing down the rates as well), STOP funding (todays news) DC abortions!, get rid of ASAP ALL duplicative jobs, stop ALL gvt travel UNLESS meets STRICT EMERGENCY travel (do the rest via electronic means, won’t have to go ‘politic’ as we will then SEE them doing what we hired them to do and IF they do a GOOD job then they’ll get relected…. stop ALL rediculous “studies” of various animals, sex, stupid ideas, etc…, go on AUSTERITY budget NOT spending ONE CENT that is not 100% necessesary in ALL gvt offices, hiring freezes, wage freezes (for real, not saying they have and this week in the news we find out different), give back ALL the UNSPENT TARP, stimulus, etc. etc. funds that are being ‘saved’ to use right before the next election! QUIT wasting congressional time on proclamations of the day, week, month, year, awards, etc. etc. you are there to do WORK! QUIT wasting OUR time/money! CUT taxes, get rid of deals where everything is made OUTSIDE this country and return jobs to THIS country done by LEGAL U.S. workers. You do all the above you can CUT TRILLIONS, which will LOWER the debt, interest, etc. which in turn will help get the economy moving and maybe then we might have a chance to get this country back in the right direction!!!!!

  26. what would one expect from the guy who says “everyone must have some skin in the game”……oh, except for him….
    and Michelle who had all of we, the bamboozled, pay 800K for her Great African Vacation.

  27. The Dem’s know how to stick it to you (the bill for there self serving exploits), same as unions. I had to pay my dues and the union gave it to the Dem’s so they could take the rest of my pay check through taxes.
    I have an idea. If the dems what everyone’s money, why not declare your political affiliation. If you are Republican, pay 10%? If you are democratic keep $30,000 and give the rest to the IRS. Tax payers are to determine the total value of their assets and deed it over to the IRS. Why not Nero did it, but after he got all of the wealthiest assets, he executed them. Maybe then they may convert over to Republicans. The population of Democrats would definitely decrease, maybe a good thing.

  28. It is well past the time for a special counsel to investigate the outrageous personal spending by this POTUS and FLOTUS. The people should be reimbursed for all this political and ‘vacation’ spending, including the Africa trip.