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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Obamas, ‘Regular People Like Us,’ Readying for 17-Day Vacation



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Julianna Smoot, deputy campaign manager for Obama for America, e-mailed supporters last night:

Beyond the titles, it’s easy to forget sometimes that our President and First Lady are, when it comes down to it, regular people like us.

Yup! Regular people, just like all American families, preparing for their $4 million, 17-day Christmas vacation.

President Barack Obama’s security team is preparing for the first family to arrive in the small beachside community as early as Friday night for what is expected to be a 17-day vacation.

The President and his family are traveling separately to Hawaii because he wants resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington — and his wife does not want to wait.

But the advanced trip and the cost that comes with it — as much as $100,000 (flight and security) — adds to an already expensive vacation for the taxpayers.

Hawaii Reporter research shows the total cost for the President’s visit for taxpayers far exceeded $1.5 million in 2010 — but is even more costly this year because he extended his vacation by three days and the cost for Air Force One travel has jumped since last assessed in 2000. In addition, Hawaii Reporter was able to obtain more specifics about the executive expenditures.

The total cost (based on what is known) for the 17-day vacation roundtrip vacation to Hawaii for the President, his family and staff has climbed to more than $4 million.

Anyway, Smoot’s e-mail continues:

So I’d encourage you right now to enter our contest to do what few people will ever get to do — not just have dinner with the President and First Lady of the United States, but have dinner with Barack and Michelle Obama.

This dinner isn’t just some sweepstakes — it’s also a way to help build this campaign just days before our Republican opponents start competing in primaries and caucuses, and inevitably step up their attacks on the President and our campaign.So make sure to enter before the deadline, and to spread the word to a friend or two — if someone you tell about this opportunity ends up winning, I’d guess you’d be at the top of their guest list.

Of course, to enter the contest . . . you must donate to the reelection campaign.

UPDATE: Sharp-eyed reader George notices you can enter the sweepstakes without contributing here.


Tags: Barack Obama


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