June 14 2013
Forget the Imperial Presidency. How about the Royal Presidency?
I don’t want to be ungenerous, but has President Obama thought about using the telephone to talk to Sub-Saharan leaders instead of making this trip:
President Obama will travel to sub-Saharan Africa and the price tag for the trip clocks in between $60 million to $100 million….
Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.
At least the safari was cancelled:
The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document.
But officials said Thursday that the safari had been canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner.
The Washington Post, which obtained a memo on trip preparations, says that this is in line with what previous presidents have spent on travel. “This is what you need to support the American presidency,” one official told the Washington Post, “regardless of who the president is.”
I’m thinking maybe we should ask our presidents to stay at home more, regardless of who the president is.