Political Radar

Flight expenses

March 26th, 2014

President Barack Obama’s 2013 Africa trip and Honolulu vacation cost taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses, according to Air Force documents obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Travel time during the Obama family’s annual holiday trip to Honolulu cost $210,877 per hour, according to the group. At 36.9 travel hours, the cost of the vacation travel wound up being $7,781,361.30 — up $3,695,006.10 from their 2012-2013 trip to the isles, the group said.

Last summer, the president visited Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania from June 27 to July 3. His flights to, from and around Africa cost a total of $8,104,224, or $228,288 an hour for 35.5 hours, according to the group.

Judicial Watch announced its findings in a news release Wednesday, a week after it obtained the records from the Air Force through a Freedom of Information Act request.

- Sarah Zoellick

17 Responses to “Flight expenses”

  1. Kolea:

    Really? Since when has a responsible reporter treated Judicial Watch as a credible source for information?

    Here's a clue on how treat this report responsibly: Search for other times they have attacked the Obama White House for travel expenses and see if their charges on those occasions were credible or exaggerated. Look to see how many times they criticized trips taken by President Bush and find out how much those trips cost, so we can have a comparison.

    Not sure if this was written by Derrick DePledge, which is what the byline says, or by Sarah Zoelilick, the name at the bottom. But whoever wrote it, I assume you remember when right wing groups were claiming the Obama trip to India cost something like $200 million and numerous news sources carried that info as if it were factual, only to have egg on their face once it was shown to be bogus? Given THAT history, please assure me you took at least minimal steps to verify this info before rushing it into print?

  2. Guido Sarducci:

    Kolea is right. Nobody should be allowed to publish anything from a rightwing source ever. Anybody who violates this Law should be immediately sentenced without trial to Multicultural Diversity Training. Thank you Kolea for speaking up on behalf of Political Correctness. Some speech is so intolerable that the tolerant cannot tolerate it.

  3. sue:

    I guess it's so expensive for president to travel because so many right wingnuts and racists trying to assassinate him daily. And where do all these millions go? Did this create jobs jobs jobs? Who pocketed all that money?

  4. Hawaiino:

    You can mock Kolea, sarcasm is easy. However, the point Kolea makes remains intact. Unless and until the "facts" in this release are substantiated they should be treated as political cant. Judicial Watch has been discredited a number of times, most recently for intentionally misleading the public with a gross misstatement of the DOJ's involvement in the Trayvon Martin case.
    They have low, to no, credibility. Not because they are a "rightwing source" as you put it. It's because they do not practice, as their Mission Statement states "...high standards of ethics and morality in America's public life..."

  5. Especially Incognito:

    For me How I know is no Chauncy Gardner...Perhaps a simpleton but no universal wisdoms gleanable.

    How is a mockingbird credible? Freedom of Speech?

  6. Especially Incognito:

    "facts" just assumptions and approximations...Two cent opinion

  7. Auto de Fe:

    The source on this story is not Judicial Watch, it is the FOIA released documents from USAF. Hello? Hello??

  8. Kolea:

    Auto de Fe,

    That is like saying the Star-Advertiser is "the source" of information when the Hawaii Free Press takes one of their stories and attaches their hard right spin to it.Like the Hawaii Free Press, Judicial Watch is a very partisan, often dishonest group, dedicated to undermining Obama as they did Clinton.

    There is nothing in this post which suggests the writer got the information directly from the documents, free from the interpretation of Judicial Watch. Look closely at the language. In reporting the costs, the post specifically writes: "according to the group."

    So why would it be wrong to accept at face value the claims of a group like Judicial Watch? Because they have cherrypicked and distorted exactly these sort of "facts" before regarding travel expenses of Democrats. But, oddly, not Republicans? They did this with a trip by Pelosi and a previous trip by Michelle Obama and her kids.


    It is disappointing to see this blog report as facts stories a Google search will show are mostly being reported on Fax News NewsMax and other biased sources. I expect more.

  9. Kolea:

    Here is a fact check on Judicial Watch allegations about flights of congressional delegations led by Pelosi. The bias of Judicial Watch and their unreliability regarding travel expenses, is laid clear:


  10. Especially Incognito:

    go for it rant paul...Plagiarist

  11. Especially Incognito:

    and conservatives find fox media, informational and factual..
    They contradict themselves right..

  12. Guido Sarducci:

    Hawaiino: You're right. It IS easy to mock Kolea.

  13. Hawaiino:

    Your namesake's dry sense of humour, and his gift for self-mockery, would suggest an acute awareness on your part for the different forms of humour. Sarcasm has been described as the lowest form of wit. I beg to differ, it's the 2nd lowest. Punning is the lowest. Still, it leaves practicioners in the cheap seats. Nothing to crow about, even if you dress in black. Try to move to Irony, this blog attracts enough active minds who no doubt appreciate subtler forms of humour.
    As long as I'm opining on humour on this blog I'll continue with a cautionary note. There are some contributors who are so subtle (uhh, obscure) one has to wonder if they have a point at all. No matter, they don't seem to care about their (lack of) relevancy. And we don't either.
    On the other hand Kolea always seems relevant to the topic at hand, regardless of your point of view. Presumably, again given your namesake, you have a catholic perspective.

  14. Especially Incognito:

    How you know?

  15. Especially Incognito:

    Seems the bird has a Buddhistic perspective..

  16. demokay:

    some people need to learn to travel light :/

  17. Especially Incognito:

    Who made you queen of the blog, Hawaiiano?

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