Presidents on Vacation – Obamas Break New Ground

Posted on August 6, 2010

Countless binary bits have been expended on the Obama vacations this summer.  Considering it has been the hottest summer on record for decades and that Washington is known for its oppressive summers in the best of times, you could almost forgive any President of any party who does something to escape that a few weekends or even a week or two during the summer.

What gets the press is not just the number of outings but the how and the what of them.  Execution is everything. In 1997, Bill and Hillary stopped in Spain and were the guests of the King of Spain at Majorica (Michelle will head there to see them as well) but they were on their way to a conference.  The economic times then were good.

If Michelle had opted to go somewhere in the US to promote tourism in the US, that would have been half the PR battle won for her.  But when the hotel industry and air travel have been hit hard by the depression and she jets to Spain, that is insensitive to the needs of her own countrymen.

Things got hot for Michelle when her vacation began to look like a Carnival Cruise tour arranged by the Pelosi Travel Bureau over on Capitol Hill.  Procedures for Pelosi begin with commandeering as large an aircraft from the military fleet as you can manage and in inviting a mob of people sufficient to fill it.  For the record, Pelosi went overboard when she flew children and grand-children on military aircraft back and forth to California when she was not on board. [American Thinker]

Michelle has, as far as we know, ushered in the era of the Presidential private  junket. Whereas Pelosi takes government officials and their wives, it is usually to a destination involving business.   Michelle, on the other hand, has taken 60 of her friends to a vacation destination.  the questions raised here are therefore reasonable:

  • Is it appropriate for civilians to  fly aboard government aircraft piloted by the military?  Military rules prohibit civilians from traveling on government aircraft.  All aircraft the President uses are military aircraft – including Air Force 1.
  • Who is responsible for civilians who become injured while on board military aircraft?
  • Should the Secret Service be involved in protecting up to 60 friends of the Obamas?  Again, if they are injured while under government care, who is responsible?  Also, it increases the number of agents assigned to the Obama party if there are so many of them.

However, the pictures coming out the Obama in Spain trip are shots of Alambra in Granada, the luxury hotel and the beach area – beautiful tourist icons.  On the plus side of the ledger, Michelle and her friends are all paying for their hotel acommodations and meals. There should be some discounts for them since they are a group and a famous one at that.

The value of the public relations coup for Spainish Tourism cannot be underestimated; an opportunity to do a good turn for an important ally is always welcome.  The value of the Spanish PR should benefit candidate Barack Obama in 2010 with his Latino voters.

Then there are scaled down leadership vacations that also raise eyebrows. At least we are not being treated to pictures that may bear some explanation such as those that came out of the 2009 Putin tour of Southern Siberia – alone yet.

Putin Exposed 2009

Don’t everyone run for the exits at once.  Any more complaints about the Obama vacations?  Good. Meeting adjourned.  Now back to Obama’s bad policies.