Too Easy To Predict: Cost Of Obama Vacation Riles Conservatives

The ultra-conservative Washington Examiner blares the headline: “President and family on multi-million dollar Christmas vacation in Hawaii.”  It links to a story in another conservative publication, the Hawaii Reporter, that details expenses.

* Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)

* Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)

* Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800

* Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs

* Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)

The story explains other expenses, which are all par for the course when a president takes a vacation. Of course, these prices are not real dollars, since they aren’t actually paid in every case. And. of course, the purpose of these stories is to get people furious with the Obama for daring to take a vacation, forgetting that every president takes one, and there are always lodging, staff, and security expenses. But this is Obama, and different rules apply.

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