Supporters of Barack Obama tout his dedication to the responsibilities of the presidency by noting that he had taken 96 days of vacation at the point in his term that President George W. Bush had taken a reported 335.
But they admit that 51 of Bush’s trips were to his Texas ranch, while records show that Obama’s destinations have ranged from exotic European and African locales to pricey digs to Hawaii, where he’s sometimes traveled separately from his family, effectively doubling transportation costs for taxpayers.
The records released are partial, meaning no firm travel-expense total can be assembled. But individual cases are revealing.
For example, the Washington Post in June revealed the Obama family’s African vacation was slated to cost between $60 million-$100 million, according to a “confidential internal planning document.”
Part of the expense the purchase of nearly 4,000 “room-nights” for one stop in Johannesburg and close to $2 million for car rentals.
The cost of trips that are purely personal, such as daughter Malia Obama’s 2012 spring break trip to Mexico that took $115,500 from the U.S. Treasury, are not always fully disclosed.
And the Obama family has made many trips that are a hybrid of personal and business.
While it seems that members of the media are not generally asking pertinent questions about such travel and expenses, the administration also has provided information on an inconsistent basis.
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