Obama's Vineyard Vacation Will Cost Taxpayers Millions

wetone123 wetone123
I found this to be interesting and thought you would also... I am eager to find out what everyone on Eden thinks of this...

Obama's Vineyard Vacation Will Cost Taxpayers Millions

At a time when many more cash-strapped Americans are stuck at home instead of vacationing at the beach, President Obama next week will lead an entourage of several dozens to exclusive Martha's Vineyard island at a cost of millions to taxpayers.

While technically he is paying for his estimated $50,000 a week rental of the 28-acre beachfront Blue Heron Farm in woodsy Chilmark, the dozens of U.S. Secret Service agents, communications officials, top aides, drivers, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel with him will be covered by taxpayers as with every other presidential vacation.

His 11-day stay will require the Coast Guard to keep ships floating near Obama's farm, a presidential helicopter and jet at the ready and security agents on 24-hour duty. Armored SUVs dubbed "war wagons" have been flown in to carry the presidential family around the island. It was the same way when former President George H.W. Bush visited Kennebunkport, Maine and Bill Clinton visited Martha's Vineyard during their presidencies.

Typically, say former White House officials, the collection of aides is smaller for a summer vacation than for an official trip. And the motorcade is cut in half, to about 20 cars. What's more, the press corps will be smaller, though they largely pay for themselves.

Obama's vacation comes at an awkward time because of the economic turmoil roiling the nation and Wall Street. Surveys show that a growing number of Americans can't afford even small vacations.

But former Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry says that every president needs a break from the confines of the White House.

"We do need to let these guys have vacations and do some reading and thinking outside the box," he said.

What's more, keeping a sizeable crew of aides nearby is critical, he said. "Remember Clinton's trip to Martha's Vineyard in August 1998 when we ended up trying to decapitate bin Laden with a cruise missile strike? That's why the 'entourage' has to accommodate all aspects of the presidency, even on vacation. You never know what might happen. August always produces the unexpected."

And he dismissed the criticism of vacationing presidents. "I think all this 'Why is he taking a vacation?' stuff is ginned up by the media," he said. "I don't think any American will fault him for getting away, especially if he comes back with some fresh ideas on how to create jobs."

Obama will certainly have a lot of space to brainstorm. The $20 million farm on Cobbs Hill Road features four dwellings, a swimming pool and a basketball court. Google Earth shows that there is also a single hole golf area with two bunkers. The president, his wife and two daughters can also go to private Squibnocket Beach or Great Pond. There is an apple orchard, and flower and vegetable gardens.

The local Vineyard Gazette reports that the Secret Service is already setting up camp and areas for the media are also being set aside. "Suddenly cell phone service in Chilmark, usually spotty to nonexistent, was crystal clear, another sign that the president is coming," reported the paper's Peter Brannen.

Finding enough housing for staff and security isn't easy. Brannen reported that at the recent town meeting, "Selectman Walter Vail announced that he would be taking a vacation from August 16 to 28 to accommodate Secret Service members who were renting his house."
08/15/2011
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Ansley Ansley
So? As it is pointed out in the article, the entourage of SS and other officials in tow to make sure he is safe is smaller than what would be required on an official trip and would be around in his day to day life at the White House anyway. I don't see what the big deal is with the President taking a vacation. At least he isn't jet-setting every six weeks like Bush did. He's a human being and deserves some breathing room. And I guarantee you he is going on this vacation to consider his re-election bid.
08/15/2011
Annemarie Annemarie
The press also complained about Michellle Obama wearing clothing more than once. The only decision they can make up their mind about is being anti-everything.

Honestly? The man needs a vacay.
08/16/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
For me, the key words here are: ...as with every other presidential vacation.

I'm not bothered. Over here, our Prime Minister has been on a few holidays in the last three months, and a lot of people have been criticising him for doing so - but, to be honest, if I could - I would! So I can't fault him for taking holidays. I'm not even a fan of his (I'm for the other, opposing political party) and I'm saying that. Though I suppose I could fault him for his PR. The Prime Minister getting coach? Pfft.
08/16/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Annemarie
The press also complained about Michellle Obama wearing clothing more than once. The only decision they can make up their mind about is being anti-everything.

Honestly? The man needs a vacay.
I can't believe a person would be ridiculed for wearing the same clothing more than once. She's saving money by not getting a new outfit for each function yes? And she looks great in her outfits yes? Then I'm not seeing a difference between that and me wearing my favorite T-shirt. The press is ridiculous, and everybody needs the opportunity to unwind every now and then. Even the President. We're all just human, and working constantly without a break in a stressful job most certainly doesn't lead to productive results.
08/16/2011
alliegator alliegator
I think the statement "Obama's Vineyard Vacation Will Cost Taxpayers Millions" sounds like an alarmist headline meant to get people upset. There are only two dollar amounts actually mentioned: $50,000 est rental price, and a $20 mil est property value. Neither the estimated amount of public funds that will be spent during that week or the amount or the estimated amount of public funds spent during a normal week (when the President is in residence, say). Without a relevant comparison, this doesn't qualify as "news", but mindless gossip.
08/17/2011
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Unique posters: 6