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Sunday, May 31, 2009

President Takes Wife To NYC On Tax-Payer's Dime

Remember that little speech the President made in Elkhart Indiana in February. The one where he said:
But, you know, you are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back. You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility, and that’s something that I intend to impose as president of the United States.
This afternoon that same President took his wife on the "Corporate" Jet (Airforce One)  and Helicopter, along with the Secret Service, his "corporately paid body guards" and flew to New York for dinner and a Broadway Play.
Politics Can Wait: The President Has a Date

The Obamas escaped Washington on Saturday in search of a quintessential New York evening — dinner and a Broadway show.

They found it at Blue Hill, a low-key Greenwich Village restaurant, and at the Belasco Theater near Times Square for a performance of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” the Tony-nominated August Wilson play.

It was the Obamas’ first joint visit to the city as the first couple. And even cooler-than-thou New York allowed itself a bit of excitement over their arrival.

“I thought I was dreaming,” said Kecia McCowen, a 45-year-old utility worker and student from Brooklyn; she bought tickets for the show three days ago, but found out that the Obamas would be there only after she arrived. “I was like, stop playing!”

Along Avenue of the Americas, pedestrians stopped to wave, snap pictures and press against metal barricades as the Obamas’ motorcade zipped by.

Times Square was even more frenetic than usual, as throngs of pedestrians — certainly including many tourists — lined several blocks waiting to catch a glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Obama. The presidential date night began with a late-afternoon flight from Andrews Air Force Base, with Mr. Obama wearing a dark blue suit (no tie), and Mrs. Obama a black cocktail dress and a sleek updo, holding a turquoise clutch.

They landed at Kennedy International Airport at 4:45 p.m. and after taking a quick helicopter ride to Lower Manhattan, the presidential motorcade snaked its way up to Blue Hill, a restaurant off Washington Square Park that specializes in cuisine from the Hudson Valley. (It sounded like the choice of Mrs. Obama, who favors local food.)

Hours before the show began, the Secret Service cordoned off the entire block of 44th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Broadway, where the Belasco is located. Outside the theater, as the actors in the play began to trickle in, one of them, Chad L. Coleman, signed autographs and spoke with reporters, wearing a broad smile and an Obama cap.

“There are no words for it,” he said. “I told people I got two in one: a Broadway debut and the president attending.”

Ernie Hudson, one of the show’s stars, insisted that the cast did not have butterflies.

“We’re all very excited,” he said. “You really can’t do anything differently. You always do your best show possible.”

The Obamas arrived at the theater in a black stretch limousine just before 8 p.m., but lines at the metal detectors delayed the show more than 45 minutes.

When the Obamas walked down the aisle to take their seats, “it was utter pandemonium,” said Tim Johnson, who was in the audience, and described a scene of shouting, clapping and a long standing ovation.

Meryl Streep sat a few rows in front of the Obamas, said Mr. Johnson, 52. “No one seemed to notice,” he said.

While the Obamas’ visit to New York was considered private, there was some very public criticism of the trip. In a press release that was issued on Saturday afternoon with the headline “Putting on a Show,” the Republican National Committee suggested that the outing was inappropriate and that Mr. Obama was out of touch, especially given the looming bankruptcy of General Motors.

Shortly afterward, a White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, quickly relayed a message to reporters from Mr. Obama.

“I am taking my wife to New York City,” the president said in the statement, “because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.”
Now whether you agree with the President or not, you can't argue with the fact that the guy has a very high pressure job, and should have a night off to take his wife out. But  his little junket to see a Broadway play with Michelle is no different that those corporate Junkets to the Super Bowl or Vegas.

Hell,I can't afford to take my wife to a dinner in NYC and a show on Broadway, why the heck do I have to pay taxes for him to take HIS wife?


Allison said...

Honestly know I love you...but they wanted a trip to NYC, they can afford the Broadway tickets and the dinner and perhaps even generated some revenue for NYC that we desperately need. The ONLY way for the President to pull off a trip to the city is if he has the proper security. It's not even up to him, it's the Secret Service's rules and protocal so I can't begrudge them a trip to New York and then bitch about the cost of travel and security...I think above all else the President should be kept safe.

It's not like Nancy Pelosi constantly cancelling her flights back and forth to Cali and costing us money every weekend. The Obama's deserve to be kept safe and to have a night out.

Carol_Herman said...


So what?

My dad used to say every time a man calls his wife 'honey' ... all it means is that he's afraid he'd call out his girlfriend's name, instead.

You see a happy marriage? This guy could be so henpecked he's got to keep tossing his "strong armed wife" into the limelight. Or he'd have hell to pay.

So, how can she be brought into the limelight? Unlike Nancy Reagan, who got her reputation for really being there for Ronnie; you must might be seeing a HOAX.

No. I don't know. But I also don't trust Obama. As to his "night out" why not? The job he's got comes with cars and planes at his disposal.

You'll also note Michelle Obama thought it was beneath her to meet Sara, Bibi's wife. You think I care?

I think Obama is a dangerous guy. And, among the places where he's very, very dangerous, Israel is not in the top slot. Hey, North Korea just showed ya that words don't prevent Obama from changing his mind. He still thinks North Korea is in China's sphere of influence. And, NO Americans will be sent in to fight them. FAILED BACK IN THE 1950's.

Don't assume just because America supplies its military with lots of goodies; supplies out the ying yang; that these guys intend to fight.

Heck, a better president, Lincoln, spent 4 years worrying what to do with his generals. Who loved to "dig in" and parade around. As far as the US military is concerned? It's a business, made big, on the taxpayers' dimes.

Oh, by the way, just from American history, the south, which finally got whipped in the ending months of 1864. Plus, the early months of 1865. Reached the end of the road; but secession? They pulled those stunts with the 7th President, Andrew Jackson. And, he was the first president to threaten the south with military action. The years 1828 to 1832.

You don't get to Lincoln until 1860.

And, that's how cancers grow.

If Obama has a "changed country," where "new minorities" are taking hold, it just means the "old country is gonna die away."

What will be left? Spheres of influence. Between China, Russia, and the USA. No outcomes are guaranteed. Because no one knows what the future brings.

Obama's just exposed a terrible problem that's been in the works, since the europeans HATED the birth of the State of Israel. Do you know what they wanted? They wanted the Jews to remain refugees.

As to what Sadat wanted? He wanted reparations for the oil the Israelis took out of the ground when Israel won. And, Egypt lost the Sinai. Oh, and in America? When they talk of Jerusalem? It's been decades, but Jimmy Carter thought all Israel needed to keep were 3 rocks in the Western Wall. I kid you not.

Time marches on.

In the future the problem will reach a head. Oh, and America's big fleet? Top heavy. Just like the Spanish Aramada that lost its ships in 3 weeks worth of sea battles with England. (And, all Queen Elizabeth the First had were "row boats." The Aramada couldn't touch them. Because their canons shot up too high. When the damage got counted? Spain's fleet was at the bottom of the sea. And, Queen Elizabeth the First cemented her reign. One outcome pushed the Catholic Church up onto the ropes.

But history doesn't provide lessons, as much as it provides insights.

Obama's big Egyptian speech? Timed to coincide with Israel's victory back in 1967.

LBJ, thereby, lost his ability to run again, in 1968.

Of course, Lincoln was successful! That's why he was killed. John Wilkes Booth was even at Lincoln's second inaugural, where he announced that the Union was now slave free.

At the time of the Civil War? There had been 33 States in the nation, and 15 of them held slaves.

As much as man goes forward, it takes time to see how it all stacks up.