I posted on Barack and Michelle's trip (separate planes!) to Copenhagen yesterday, and pinned the cost at approximately $2 million. I was off, apparently by an order of magnitude.
It is well over $10 mil if it is a dime... Presidential trips require both 747s, as one is a backup. However, the costs soar when you realize that from the moment a POTUS indicates he wants to go somewhere, dozens, if not hundreds of people start preparing every detail. These details include security, communications, protocol, logistics that boggle the mind and transportation that most people never see. Several Air Force cargo planes of equipment are loaded and flown to the destination with armored limos, security personnel from the Secret Service and the relevant military branches, fuels specialists, etc. A National Airborne Operations Command Post 747 from Offutt AFB, NE will accompany him to keep POTUS in constant communications in case of national or word emergency... We are now up to three 747s, multiple cargo planes and costs for personnel who fly commercial ahead of POTUS.
If FLOTUS flies separately, add a C-32 (757) for her and her staff, entourage, hangers-on etc, with attendant security, logistics, etc. Add a few more million dollars, though many personnel in Denmark will cover preparations for both POTUS and FLOTUS.
$10 million for what, exactly? Some believe that the IOC has already picked Chicago, and Obama wants to fly out there to show how his charm and wit can bring tourist dollars to the big-city Democratic trough. Or perhaps Chicago has already lost, and Barack doesn't want to get blamed for failing to show up and plead the city's case.
In either case, for a nation in economic turmoil, the spending of $10 million to send the First Couple to Denmark seems a bit "rich", especially as I can't get the idea of the flowing champagne and caviar out of my head.
But doesn't this guy have any interest in governing, instead of travelling the world on someone else's tit (in this case, the taxpayers) to campaign? How about, oh, I don't know - speaking to your commanding General in Afghanistan (it's only been 70 days), working on sanctions against the Iranian regime, or getting involved in some of that controversial legislation running through Congress these days, at your behest?
No. Our president would rather fly to Copenhagen with his wife, talk about Chicago for a while, then head on back to the States for another TV appearance, all while sticking the taxpayers with the bill.
We've elected a very unserious man to the world's most serious job. But if you are reading this, you knew that already...