Saturday, October 23, 2010

Obama’s 12-day, post-election vacation. How will Democrats take it? (Updated)

Scroll down for the update, please.

Commenter Julie Weathers poses an interesting question in response to the Gallup plus Five Thirty Eight post.

She writes:

I'm curious as to how America will react to the thought of the Obama 12-day vacation after the election. Will the idea of them booking every room, restaurant and banquet facility in the Taj raise the ire against irresponsible spending? That number doesn't include the other 215 rooms booked in other luxury hotels in Mumbai. I noticed the Taj is completely booked all week, not just the two days O will be there so I assume the taxpayers are picking up that tab also.

It's unfortunate for some democrats I think really don't deserve to be voted out as they had tried to be a voice of reason. I think the party is going to take a tremendous hit for the arrogance of the WH.

That’s a great question and an interesting dilemma for Democrats, especially the fiscally and socially conservative Democrats who are most at risk in this election.  Safe Democrats (if there is such an animal in this election cycle) won’t be affected by controversy surrounding El Presidente’s trip.  They’re entrenched elitists and for many of them, this is how they want to spend their vacations when they grow up.

But for Democrats in purplish states and Congressional Districts, this kind of stuff is what makes conservative Democrats turn Republican.  Imagine your party being handed a historic electoral defeat, despite your rank and file having laid their political careers on the line to support the party standard bearer’s legislative agenda.

Instead of helping the party pick up some pieces and figure out the way forward, the standard bearer goes on a two-week, lavish vacation to the eastern hemisphere, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars.  Do reasonable Democrats shrug it off, or do they see it as an iconic display of Obama’s arrogance and aloofness?

The weeks following the election will be interesting.

BTW, if you aren’t following Julie on Twitter, shame on ya. The lady is a gifted writer and a keen political observer.

10/25/10 UPDATE: Here’s a story that hit Fox News this morning. Fox News is either reading this blog, or is following Julie on Twitter.

Timing is everything, indeed:

Just days after the Democratic Party is expected to suffer some level of defeat in the midterm elections, President Obama will leave Washington and head overseas. The White House has scheduled one of the longest trips of the presidency so far, with a 10-day multi-country tour that commences just two days after votes have been cast.

The trip, which has been planned for quite some time, includes a stop in Japan at the end of the itinerary for the annual Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting which is scheduled for November 13 -14th.

But it's the departure date that some have said shows the president rushing off after the November 2nd elections.

One conservative critic called it the "Elvis has left the building" technique which enables the president to dodge inconvenient encounters. Ernest Istook, a former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma and a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation calls the president's absence ill-timed saying, "aside from the elections, he's making himself unavailable to prepare for the major issues in the lame duck session of Congress that starts November 15th."

The reaction from conservatives is predictable—this is no time to be gallivanting around the globe, bowing to heads of state and staying in ritzy resorts. But the real key is how moderate and conservative Democrats will take it.

For the most part, it’s the moderates who’s scalps will be taken on November 2. Having the leader of the party essentially abandon the Capital before the dust even settles has to be insult added to injury.


Julie Weathers said...

I don't have the time or energy to look it all up, but just the cost of the "cheap" rooms at the Taj will near $500,000 for the week. It's safe to say just the rooms will be well over a million dollars. Add to that the lost revenue the hotel will suffer because the royal party also booked all of the restaurants, there are eleven, the banquet and ball rooms.

Then add in the hotel rooms at the other luxury hotels.

How does someone pay for a week for two days of vacation? I assume their RH need security in there five days early to assure they are safe and won't be disturbed by having to share the hotel with anyone else.

If this is happening in one stop, you can bet the game plan is the same for all stops.

There will, of course, be a meeting with the heads of state, so this is a "business" trip and the taxpayers pick up the tab.

The cost for the first two days alone is in the millions and there are still ten days to follow of the business of America.

That business is usually apologizing for us being such bastards while we pay for the royals to suffer the pain of living in the White House. Fortunately, they can take a few hundred of their closest friends to the finest hotels and spas in the world to soothe their agony.

Remember the Spain vacation? Since HRH met with the Spanish leaders, that can technically be a "business" trip also. I'm willing to bet money that nuance was not lost on our leadership.

Since America is broke and operating on borrowed money from China, primarily, that means this lavish vacation, er business trip, will be financed on the China Express credit card, so we need to add in the interest, but who's counting thousands as long as our royalty is happy?

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