In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Carney Dodges Questions on Michelle’s Hawaii Flight

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Friday declined to answer questions about whether it is appropriate that First Lady Michelle Obama is travelling separately from the president to her Hawaii vacation, forcing taxpayers to pay for two flights to get the family out there.

Obama had to delay his vacation while Congress wraps up its business. Michelle left anyway.

The price tag for the first lady’s separate travel is likely in excess of $100,000, and quite possibly a lot more.

Carney declined to comment on the wisdom of billing taxpayers for an extra trip. Making matters worse for the West Wing – the first lady’s offices are in the East Wing – Obama only recently issued a directive urging agencies to cut down on miscellaneous costs like travel.

Carney appeared to be obliquely criticizing my story earlier this week on Michelle’s travel, calling the piece “interesting” but not detailing any specific objections.

If anything, I’ve been conservative in my estimate, since the one-way cost of the Air Force jet that ferried her there is in excess of $60,000, and the plane presumably has to be flown back to the mainland. And then there’s security, logistics, and a possible cargo plane flight that often accompanies first ladies on such trips.

Here’s the exchange between Carney and a reporter.

Q    Yes.  The First Lady is going to be leaving in a few hours for Hawaii.  Obviously she isn’t able to go with the President.  But I wanted to ask, isn’t it quite an extravagance — four people to go in two jets to Hawaii — particularly given the state of the economy, the state of the budget, and also given the directive that was just put out about limiting air travel by the administration?

MR. CARNEY:  Two things, Mike.  First of all, I think you ought to check your sourcing on that.  I think the original story was an interesting one.  But the First Lady and their daughters —

Q    — another story, but —

MR. CARNEY:  The First Lady and their daughters will be traveling today, as originally planned, for their annual holiday trip to visit their family in the President’s home state of Hawaii.  As previous First Ladies have done, they will travel on a military aircraft.

Q    But, I mean, couldn’t they wait, everybody go on one — so there’s one jet instead of two.

MR. CARNEY:  Well, I think it was that —

Q    I mean, Air Force One is $185,000 an hour to operate, and that’s a long flight.

MR. CARNEY:  Again, as previous First Ladies have done, they will travel on a military aircraft.  As previous First Ladies have done, they will travel separate from the President on a — and that has been a practice in previous administrations.  As you know, the President has made clear for a long time now that he will stay to ensure that Congress gets its work done.

It also seems Carney is trying to suggest that the first lady’s separate travel was routine and pre-planned.

If it was scheduled as a separate flight, this would still be due to the threat of her having to miss a few days of vacation, since the plan in the past has been that they go together. The Obamas traveled to Hawaii together in 2009 and were supposed to in 2010, when Obama was also delayed and she decided to leave on time on a separate flight – also at a cost of tens of thousands to taxpayers.

117 thoughts on “Carney Dodges Questions on Michelle’s Hawaii Flight”

  1. You sir are getting under their skin. A BIG Texas atta boy to you.
    I like this posting and sooner or later the poop’s gonna hit the fan.

      1. Well, she’s front page on AOL–thanks to that Huffington creature. Michelle’s best fashion looks of the last yr. I didn’t click on it–but how could it be more than 10 words long?

    1. If you ask me FARTUS er FLOATUS looks like an NBA Basket Ball Goon with those lanky Arms and Shoulders except the mop of hair under her arms is bigger and sweatier most times…

  2. *Interesting* Carney paused before he said the word but you know what he really wanted to say. Who was Mike who asked the question? He was sitting in the back so wasn’t high in the pecking order.

    Will someone ask Monday about the estimated cost to the taxpayers of the entire trip as reported by the Hawaii Reporter as $4,135,038?

          1. I can’t wait until we can play the song the liberal weenies chanted on Inauguration Day 2009. All day, Inauguration Day, 2013, I will be singing:

            Na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye
            Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

  3. Keith,

    Any confirmation if the FLOTUS has actually arrived in HI?

    I’ve been looking around AP, StarAdvertiser, etc. and I can’t find any mention of Michelle and family arriving. Checked the FAA site as well for any TFRs for HI and nothing listed there either.

    Just curious.

    1. You are correct–have looked on HI news sites and no mention of their arrival–wonder if maybe they stopped in OR first to visit her brother? Remember she went off on a “private, family trip to meet with her brother and his family” back in August of this year? She probably figures, who would notice if she took a side trip first (and it’s not like she’d care about any added expenses if in fact that’s where she is).

    2. They arrive at a military base. No press allowed. That and the secret service give them protection from the photags and prying eyes.

      They are staying in a new mansion this year. Probably the old winter White House was too small and not ritzy enough.

      Yes, they are there and having a great time on your dime.

      1. Not sure about that Janice/Granny Jan.

        In the past years there’s always been at least a some news report of the First Family’s arrival to the islands. So far nothing. They would likely be arriving at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and traveling by motorcade via H3 to Kailua. Pretty hard to keep that concealed from the media.

        Even if they landed at MCBH they would still have to travel off base by motorcade to their private residence. Something doesn’t seem quite right here.

        1. Maybe they arrived under the cover of darkness. I think we willl be getting very few photo-ops and candids except for hugging the troops and church on Christmas. Certainly none on the golf course.

          No one even knows where they are staying, yet. The protection umbrella around them isn’t entirely for security but for political protection, too. The two overlap.

          1. Not sure about their specific location in Kailua this year.

            However based on the USCG security zone information provided to the media, it would appear that the Obama’s will either be in the same residence as before, or pretty close to it.

            Coast Guard to set up security zone in Kailua:

            It’s 20:30 HST (12/17) and I’ve yet to see any confirmation of the First Family’s arrival or pending arrival to the state. From all appearances they’re not here.

            @ GotFreedom
            OR seems like a pretty good bet. Although no TFR is listed by the FAA. Not sure if they close off airspace for the FLOTUS or not though.

          1. I’m game can we work in a tin foil hat? We have tin hats and we vote…guess who for in 2012? They already think we are wingnuts I have been called a rightwing wingnut a badge of honor:)

      2. I’ve looked in all the usual papers and I also can’t find any mention of their arrival in Hawaii yet. I’m pretty sure that I usually see at least a mention that they arrived at a certain time, with the motorcade being spotted traveling to the house.

        I always think they travel separately because she picks up family and friends on the way, and they don’t want anyone to be aware of that.

        1. So have I and can’t find anything anywhere.
          Someone said maybe she made stops to pick up friends and family and then came in under cover of darkness.
          A disgrace to the office.

  4. Stay after them! They act as if a few extra hundred thousand dollars spent on their personal comforts is no big deal, but that’s because they see themselves as the King and Queen, not as elected public servants. I so look forward to the last flight they take from D.C., presumably together, at their own expense.

  5. Ask Mr. Carney to justify her separate travel in light of her husband’s own Executive Order #13589–Promoting Efficient Spending?


    Section 1. Policy: . . .As they serve taxpayers, executive departments and agencies (agencies) also must act in a fiscally responsible manner, including by minimizing their costs, in order to perform these mission critical functions in the most efficient, cost effective way.(doesn’t she fall under the classification of “executive departments” and how is her traveling separate from the President “fiscally responsible” as instructed in this EO?)

    Section 3. Travel: (a) Agency travel is important to the effective functioning of Government and certain activities can be performed only by traveling to a different location. However, to ensure efficient travel spending, agencies are encouraged to devise strategic alternatives to Government travel, including local or technological alternatives, such as teleconferencing and video conferencing. Agencies should make all appropriate efforts to conduct business and host or sponsor conferences in space controlled by the Federal Government, wherever practicable and cost effective. Lastly, each agency should review its policies associated with domestic civilian permanent change of duty station travel (relocations), including eligibility rules, to identify ways to reduce costs and ensure appropriate controls are in place. (Her early travel to HI is not “important to the effective functioning of Government” therefore, how is it/the excessive cost justified?)

    (b) Each agency, agency component, and office of inspector general should designate a senior level official to be responsible for developing and implementing policies and controls to ensure efficient spending on travel and conference related activities, consistent with subsection (a) of this section. (If each department “should designate a senior level official to be responsible for developing and implementing policies and controls to ensure efficient spending on travel”, who’s responsible for overseeing the FLOTUS/POTUS efficient spending on travel–being the FLOTUS and POTUS, shouldn’t they themselves be responsible for controlling their travel expenditures? Seems to us that since they can’t control their travel expenditures, they should be treated like children on an allowance).

    Once again, it’s obvious that her traveling in advance of BHO is not “efficient travel spending” and not “reduce(ing) costs” as directed in this Executive Order but that’s par for this administration as they continually operate under the guise of “do as I say, not as I do”! Hypocrites!

  6. As previous First Ladies have done, they will travel separate from the President on a — and that has been a practice in previous administrations.

    If he’s trying to say any previous president was so extravagant as to waste taxpayer money by allowing his wife to take separate planes on their vacation jaunts, he is a bald-faced liar. I wish “Mike” would have asked the little weasel to pony up some facts to support that assertion.

    1. Agreed. Also, doesn’t it sound a bit childish, this constant ‘as previous administrations’ excuse? Holder did it also when he was questioned about releasing e-mails, etc. It reminds me of the kids saying, ‘But Mom, (insert name of sibling) did it! Why can’t I?’

      I tend to be an optimistic person but I am getting really scared that these people may be re-elected.

  7. In a perverse way I kind of feel sorry for Carney being left to answer for Obama’s arrogance and indifference. It must be quite a burden day in and day out trying to invent new excuses or rationales for the Annointed One and his courts behavior. Carney is an inventive toady and I’m confident he will again come up with perfectly good reasons why Mooch, the girls and assorted hangers-on should not have waited. Who cares about a few bucks here or there, agency travel directives, or what the public might think. This is the Obamas, America’s ruling elite. How dare you peons question us!

    Thanks Keith for holding their feet to the fire and making them accountable.

    1. If you were paid $173,000.00 a year, plus perks, would you get up and stand in front of the public and lie your butt off? Carney won’t go down w/Homey and Mooooochelle, so why not?

  8. What is wrong with the White House press corps, Keith?

    Why doesn’t every single one of them hammer on the same point until CarneyBarker barfs up the truth or runs out of the room crying?

    What is WRONG with these reporters? They have a chance to put their names into the history books as PATRIOTS who persisted until they GOT THE TRUTH and told it to the citizenry?

    They seem to want to hunker down and cry, “He likes me! He likes me!” to prove their worth.

    1. Well Said!
      That is why I call it the “White House propaganda corps” = NO REAL reporting by “journalists”… just some half-thought out questions to get their face time on their news services to prove they are doing something (re: “Obama daily schedule”) to justify their job.
      I think WE the readers of WhiteHouseDossier can think of 100+ better, more in-depth & challenging questions to ask that dope Carney than the so-called elite “White House press corps”

    2. This is a very passive group. Even the Clinton people got much tougher questioning.

      There are all kinds of unwritten rules of conduct and subtle pressures, and I’m not trying to be nice by agreeing with Langley Barfly that you all could come up with much better questions.

      You’re not bound by the sense of politeness that rules. So often in the briefing room everyone’s kind of beating around the bush and implying things without saying them. I’ve seen it many times that a president gets a direct question from people at a “town hall” or something, a question that so obviously should be asked but never would in Washington.

      And of course there’s the little matter that most reporters basically sympathize with the Obama administration. I don’t think they overtly try to help the White House, but their bias definitely affects the kinds of questions they come up, the aggressiveness of the inquiry, and stories they write.

      1. Seems to me it’s an opportunity to shine, Keith. Imagine the outpouring of admiration a ruthlessly sharp and witty reporter would receive if he/she put on some big girl panties.

        1. Yes, I agree. If someone wants to be worshipped like Lowell Thomas, or Woodward & Bernstein, or any of the other muckrakers who REORIENTED national history through their hard work and revelations — this is the time. This is the President and carney barker who need some good swift questions that demand answers.

          How dare Carney Barker pretend that there is an equivalent between MoochMORE”s working of the perks and the behavior of First Ladies for, say, the past century?

          MoochMORE Obama, the unelected entitlement spouse, she may be first, but she’ll never be a lady.

  9. Just read that the last troops have left Iraq. Perhaps this is the reason Obama
    stayed behind. Now he can bask in the glow of ending the bad war can’t you
    just see it now? Then he will go to Hawaii and add a couple extra days.
    A real leader would be there to welcome them home but this is not his style.

  10. Something I’ve been wondering about is how often did the Obama family spend Christmas in Hawaii before his coronation? Now that his grandmother is deceased, does he actually have *any* family left there to spend the holidays with? Or does he take his sister, her husband, and their kids along?

    My theory is that the luxury vacations are Moochelle’s way of getting “paid” for the inconvenience of her FLOTUS duties. It was rumored that she was mighty unhappy to discover after Barry’s election that her “position” didn’t come with a paycheck.

    1. I’m pretty sure his sister and her family live there in Hawaii. That’s how they get to call it “going to his home state of Hawaii to see his family for Christmas”, rather than what it is – a luxurious vacation in Hawaii.

      As far as the years prior to 2008, I looked around many times and can find nothing that ever says they spent Christmas in Hawaii, and that was when his grandmother was still alive. I doubt Moochelle wanted to go there and visit his grandparents for Christmas. But, now? Hey, it’s a totally different story for her. Lap of luxury with all their friends, and her family.

      I did find articles from 2007 that mentioned that BHO was leaving the campaign trail to join his family in CHICAGO for Christmas (NOT Hawaii). Here’s one:

      Saturday, December 22 2007, 7:51 PM

      PLEASANTVILLE, Iowa – A day before he will fly back to Chicago to spend Christmas with his family, a voter asked Barack Obama

      Read more:


      I never did find anything about Christmas 2006, 2005, and so on. But we know in 2007, he was in CHICAGO for Christmas. Only in 2008, as President-elect, did Christmas in Hawaii become a “family tradition”.

    2. Remember all the articles that suddenly appeared in the MSM after The One was elected? The articles that discussed how much work a First Lady does and what a shame it is that she isn’t getting paid?

      Remember when a little girl at one of MoochMORE’s kid gatherings said that she wanted to be First Lady when she grew up and MoochMORE answered, “It doesn’t pay much”?

      Yes, our mighty Mooch can’t stand that she gets no paycheck for something that isn’t a job, wasn’t the result of her being elected. I think she’s getting all her vaycays in partly for reparations to “her people,” but also it’s her way of digging a salary’s worth of money out of the federal government. Considering how much she spends it’s clear that she feels her “services” are worth a pretty penny.

  11. Excellent Keith. You dig into these facts that tell so much about this White House. Like Knothead writes, you are getting under their skin, their very thin skin. Thank you for doing it.

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  13. With the way you are starting to piss off Carney et al, I have an extra bullet resistant (they really aren’t bullet proof) vest if you need one.

    I’m sure the WH press office is stocking up on asbestos fire suits for all the hell they are going to pay if and when everything finally does come to light.

    1. Ha, I wasn’t quite going that far in my thinking, but I was thinking that Keith better make sure he has a very good accountant because he might just find himself getting audited by the IRS. Isn’t that how the Clintons dealt with their enemies?

      1. Maybe the Obama regime is compiling a dossier on Keith. I remember when it was discovered that Hillary had over 900 FBI files on Republican opponents stashed at the White House. Wouldn’t put it past this bunch to do something much worse. They can always come back and say “that has been a practice in previous administrations”.

          1. That’s what I think, Langley. Or maybe we have delusions of gadflyness–I remember back in the demo days, we all thought we had FBI files but most of us didn’t. Poo.

          2. Love the dreds and the doobie Janice ;-)
            Wear it as a badge of honor. Your videos are getting lots of attention, so not surprised the twerps on the Obama team are checking you out.

        1. …. Missus Cli’ton had over 900 FBI files stashed ….

          She still has — but way more than 900.

          Thousands way more.

          Which is why in large part she and her recidivist, treasonous, perjurious, perjury-suborning, civil-rights-denying, convicted, impeached, dis-barred, fined, lying, looting, thieving, mass-murdering, co-serial-rapist “spouse” were never prosecuted, were somewhat rehabilitated and have been allowed to rejoin the East-Coast oligarchy.

  14. Pingback: Obama’s $4 Million Hawaii Vacation

  15. Pingback: Obama’s $4 Million Hawaii Vacation | The Conservative Papers

  16. In years past, they had gobs and gobs of media attention regarding the Obama Hawaii vacation. Go ahead and google it now. suddenly there is hardly any interest.

    weird, huh?

    1. No interest because even the MSM if embarrassed by the no-let-up grifters.

      Past years they could feel good about splashing “personal” information about the joys experienced by the Obamas, even if it was only a set of photo ops that allowed the peasants to vicariously enjoy their personally voted in 1% at play.

      Now the MSM has figured out that people don’t like the extravance of BO&MO and, still being in the tank for their re-election, the MSM passes quietly over their costly personal circuses.

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  18. Whenever the MOOCH travels to Hawaii or the Vineyard there is a shroud of secrecy! The aircraft is hidden away and all exits are blocked from public view. No photos allowed. What is she hiding….and who is piling out of the back end of that plane??? What is she ashamed of???

    The duplicity of the Obamas knows no bounds!!! They are thieves!

  19. I think we are at a point now where they both are just rubbing it in our faces.
    No pressure from the media but. Few brave souls. Like the first family photo in
    2 years, the tree lighting and preaching the gospel. They especially Michelle
    feel entitled and that they are owed all this. But all these overt actions to woo
    the right have fallen flat so they just say screw that it’s all about us after all.

  20. Where is she? Not one report nor picture of her. Being the publicity w*ore that she is, there is something strange about this. Whats going on Keith

  21. You know I’ve only recently discovered this little gem of a website.

    I really like the journalism. Well written and concise.

    But most of all, I love the comments. Heh heh…, I’m sure this place will just grow and grow.

    Keep it up.

  22. Pingback: Obama’s $4 Million Hawaii Vacation | Cobloggers

  23. I am discusted with the waste of my tax paying dollars.
    That is a travesty….a lot o people do not have jobs.
    That is irresponsible behavior and I am very distrubed by the loose spending of tax payer money. Why should I work hard and be accused of not paying enough. I NEVER even get a vacation for more than a few days.

  24. I am discusted with the waste of my tax paying dollars. That is a travesty….a lot o people do not have jobs. That is irresponsible behavior. I have never taken a lavish vacation like that and I can’t wait until they get out of the white house. They have made a mess and have behaved wrecklessly with my money.

  25. That the pathologically-narcissistic Fascissocialist-Psychosis-suffering sanctimoniously-solipsistic 0=Zeroes should afford themselves the style of Saudi oil simians and/or similar hideously repugnant and unintelligent vulgar bogans, surely surprises not at all?

    And why, I wonder, when commendably endeavoring to calculate the cost of transporting these career junketeers, do none of those so engaged factor in the cost of amortizing the Multi-Billion Dollar fleet of serving-no-good-purpose spiv-kites sitting around at Michelle-Antoinette et al’s pleasure?

    Especially now they’re trying to replace the fleet, including – with Billion Dollar per each plus modified B-747-8s – the presidential Boeing VC-25s usually identified as “Air Force One.”


    But closer to a Million Dollars per hour than to the Air-Force-stated $190K. At zero interest and at a cost of arond a Half Billion 2011 Dollars apiece, the two B-747-200/VC-25 aircraft cost about $260,000.00 per day.

    Just sitting there!

  26. I guess you folks just don’t get it. The Obamas are our King and Queen. We should be immensely grateful that they even allow us to be graced by their majesty. Americans are truly the chosen privileged people to be fortunate enough to have these two supreme beings, Sir Barack and Lady Michelle, be served, by us, the American serfdom.

  27. I shared this story with a young adult. This person said that it made them “sick at my stomach.” This young person – a single parent – had just told their child that there “wouldn’t be much Christmas this year.” The child’s response…”I don’t care – I have you.” Just thought that needed to be shared…

    1. I like that one…told my “kid”–she’s 30–the same. It’s OK–we just sort of blob along anyhow. My favorite uncle also passed day before yesterday…why always at the holidays?

      1. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, star. 16 years ago I lost my Dad at Christmas. You never get over it.

        Do find comfort in that the one thing he takes with him is your love: it’s the only thing we take beyond the veil – the love we cultivated in the hearts of our friends and family. In this my Dad was the wealthiest of men, and I am sure your uncle was, too. God bless your family this Christmas Season.

        1. Thanks, bettyann…very much. My cousin and I emailed a lot this last week–she was at the bedside…Four of the five of my mother’s family lived to be more than 92…sadly, their cognizance did not keep pace. I do apprec your kind words. I think he knew he was loved.

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  30. Typical Washington, Practically impossible to get a straight answer out of any of them. The rest of us have to pay for our vacations so why isn;t the president billed for his vacation expenses. Bet that would slow them down.

  31. Keith, Love your work. A couple of things I would love to see before the election.
    Comparison of how many days the Obamas have spent in luxurious vacation spots vs other presidents. Crawford Tx and family compounds in Kennebunkport ot Hyannisport don’t count.
    How much it has cost the taxpayers to fly Mrs O to her various vacations vs other FLOTUSs
    How much time the Os have spent at Camp David vs other Presidents – presuming that Camp David is a cheap, gov’t owned retreat for busy Presidents – with a golf course.

  32. If you ask me FARTUS er FLOATUS looks like an NBA Basket Ball Goon with those lanky Arms and Shoulders except the mop of hair under her arms is bigger and sweatier most times…

  33. What does she care what it costs? She ain’t paying….and she has to bring a bunch of cronies too, and Aunt Zungifungi and Unkle Guzzletts….or he stayed home to drink and drive. Dreams of my fathers outlined the plan to spend as much as possible, and to play as much poor golf as possible. It is best to fly a Jumbo Jet, and bring an 18 vehicle convoy to islands. NYC or Maui are best seen by motorcade and helicopters….and fuel is cheap so whats the big deal? The first dog gets a smaller jet which saves a few shekels.

  34. Michelle, sweetheart. It will only take 1,333,333 of your suggested $3 donations to pay for the Hawaii vacation you currently enjoy. If you had taken the same plane as your husband, it would have been considerably less.

  35. Quit picking on the Royal Family , King Barack and Queen Michelle and the two young princesses. Along with the Royal mother-in-law and other hangers on. God save the King ! !

  36. Mr. Koffler, what is it that you dislike about President Obama.
    Bush has gone to his ranch far more times than obama has taken a vacation.
    How could the President leave DC when you know darn well the payroll tax and unemploy tax legislation had not been finished?
    So his Family is not allowed to go on christmas vacation?
    Yes we the Nation pay for his security, the logistics of moving him and his family and the President and his wife pay for their expenses, but you omit that in your blog notes. Didn’t HIllary take Chelsea all over the World, did Bush’s Wife take their daughters to Africa and all over the World you seem to have a double standard?
    What is it about this President that you disdain?
    Boehner flies on more private corporate jets than any other speaker in US History, he plays more golf at Ritz Carlton Courses than any other Speaker, yet all you know how to do is nickel and dime the president and his wife.
    SO what if she sent out a contribution call for $3 HE IS RUNNING for re election, what’s the problem?
    As a Jewish Boy from NYC who just turned 60 either you need a woman in your life, or you are just plain miserable with your life.
    Try putting on some George Benson to mellow you or as a former CBS Man Chip Reid says ” Put on The Allman Bros and rock out” but do something besides posting such childish nonsense.
    Does mitt have you on his payroll already.

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