President Obama's Lavish Vacations Are Under Scrutiny Again
By Tara Dodrill
Yahoo! Contributor Network – Sun, Apr 15, 2012
President Barack Obama is very adept at side-stepping questions and diverting the conversation from real issues to partisan rhetoric. Earlier this week Obama sat down with ABC News St. Louis anchorman Larry Conners to discuss the "Buffett Rule" and again proved how out of touch he is with the American people. Once the interview turned to the topic excessive and expensive vacations taken by the first family, Obama's entire demeanor changed as he evaded the question, according to videos clips on The Blaze.
A president deserves to take a vacation with his family. White House travel is always heavily scrutinized and publicized. The frequent trips create an image of opulence at the expense of the taxpayers. President Obama's family vacations and state business trips should not also be a part of his campaign schedule. Perception is reality in the political arena. Every time the first family is photographed stepping off Air Force One, the trip is typically viewed as leisure travel by voters.
Instead of addressing the question posed in a forthright manner, Obama just stated that he feels the American people realize how hard he is working for them and that he is raising a family. Millions of adults also work hard and will have to eliminate or shorter family vacation plans this year. It is understandable that the president must travel on Air Force One with a full security force everywhere he goes. Security costs vastly increase when a president travels to public locations for vacations multiple times throughout the year.
When American families are cutting back on travel due to rising gas and food prices, President Obama should be considerate of the sacrifices millions of citizens are forced to make and adjust his travel plans accordingly. Statistics published by The Blaze note the Obama vacation to Hawaii last year cost approximately $14 million. Before the family trip to Hawaii, the Obama's had already spent $20 million dollars of taxpayer money traveling to Vail, Colo.; Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and Spain.
The anchorman's viewer-prompted questions concerning President Obama's vacations were valid and deserved far more than a brush-off response. Obama appeared to be more concerned about how many viewers had voiced concerns than the question which had also been posed by a many journalists during his term in office.
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