Blaming Obama for the night on Broadway?

posted at 11:00 am on May 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Date Night at the Morrissey residence tends towards the modest.  When the First Mate and I go out on the town, we usually have a quiet dinner and a movie in the local suburbs.  Occasionally, we’ll go into the city to see a show and try a more expensive restaurant as a treat, but when we do, we usually just drive ourselves and don’t take three Gulfstream jets to go there.  Our nation’s First Couple have a different style:

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama landed in New York Saturday afternoon, and after taking a helicopter from JFK into Manhattan, drove up the West Side Highway, where the northbound lanes were shut down by police for their visit, past Ground Zero, into the Village for dinner at the Village’s Blue Hill restaurant. From there, they went north to Times Square, where they went to to see a production of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Belasco Theater on West 44 Street.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest read a statement from Obama: “I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.”

Asked about the cost of the trip, which Republicans have criticized as indulgent, coming just ahead of the expected announcement of GM’s bankruptcy filing on Monday, Josh Earnest told pool reporter Dave Michaels of the Dallas Morning News, that he “didn’t anticipate being able to provide a cost estimate tonight.” …

The president traveled in a smaller, Gulfstream-type plane rather than the larger planes typically used as Air Force One. Two other planes carried staff and reporters.

Sounds like a great night out on the town, Mr. President.  Glad we could pick up the tab for it. I guess the FM and I will have to skip a few Date Nights for ourselves to pay for all of that.

Presidents do go on vacation, of course, to get away from the pressures of the Beltway.  They go out for nights on the town, too.  Jazz Shaw, calling this Date Night a “dim move,” reminds us that Bush liked to move DC west every August:

If you didn’t complain – and do so loudly and often – about President Bush shattering all previous records for presidential vacation time in the midst of two wars that he began and various other crises, you should know how you look if you complain now. All those trips to Crawford and other destinations were on the public dime, involving Air Force One, staffers, supporting crew, etc. And they cost a fortune. If you take to the streets in manufactured outrage over this evening out, you are hypocrites, and there’s really no other way to put it.

Now, for the rest of our friends, if you were critical of President Bush for his vacationing ways, will you really just shrug your shoulders and say this is “no big deal” since it’s Obama going out on the town? The trip still involved three Gulfstream Jets, a large staff and press corps following, blocking off traffic for hours across several blocks in Manhattan on a Saturday afternoon and evening and a total taxpayer bill which the White House couldn’t even estimate for us. And it took place not only in the midst of two hot wars, but on the eve of GM likely going bankrupt and a rising unemployment rate where millions of Americans are wondering if they’ll be able to afford all their groceries next month. Could the optics of this Broadway fiasco possibly be any worse?

Why use Gulfstream planes at all?  Why not just use Air Force One, which would likely have kept at least one of the other planes on the ground, instead?  Perhaps the White House wanted to emphasize the non-official nature of the visit; I suspect they didn’t want AF1 to return to New York City’s skies so soon after the Scare Force One fiasco.  However, AF1 is built to keep the President in close touch with the government in times of crisis.  It exists for precisely that reason, and is meticulously maintained to ensure the safest possible flight.

But the real foolishness was the Gulfstream and helicopters for the media.  Are we to believe that the national news media has no reporters in New York City?  The BIg Apple isn’t exactly the Badlands of the Dakotas, or the remote peaks of the Rockies, in terms of media saturation.  It looks like Obama wanted to make this a media event and didn’t mind using three planeloads of taxpayer money to stage it.

And can anyone calculate the carbon footprint of three Gulfstream jets, three helicopters, and all the stalled traffic in New York City?  I’d say that it reaches Goracle-like levels.

As Gail Gitcho of the RNC asked, why not take Michelle out for a night at the Kennedy Center instead, where the President has a reserved seat and only needs to travel across DC?  I know he promised her a Broadway play, but I’m pretty sure he’d still have her vote in 2012.


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Comment pages: 1 7 8 9

800+ comments. Wow. Eyes sure are on the ball.

Dave Rywall on May 31, 2009 at 10:32 PM

It wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t flying all over the country every other day campaigning, but this is getting really old really fast.

Laura in Maryland on May 31, 2009 at 10:52 PM

Dave Rywall on May 31, 2009 at 10:32 PM

You have to read them all. To say that it is off topic would be a major understatement. But it’s lovely to see you.

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:02 PM

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:02 PM

You see? That’s exactly what I mean. Women can be really scary!

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:05 PM

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 9:37 PM

She can’t help it, she takes that California karma crap and the feminist movement really really seriously.

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:05 PM

I like Mr. Rywall. I don’t think he has ever been right about anything political but we liked the same old scary movie at Halloween. I answered you post on the Tiller thread and it was there for a few minutes then allow got rid of everything after his cut off.

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Yes. I saw your reply before it went to the great blog up in the sky.

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:15 PM

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:15 PM

Excellent. Again, glad your back. I might play on the GM thread for a bit but 5:30 comes pretty early.

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Cindy, I always feel like I have to sit up straight in my chair when you’re on the threat too. :-)

I wish I could remain as polite as you and had your grace.

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:27 PM

I wish I could remain as polite as you and had your grace.

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:27 PM

I didn’t know Cindy had a daughter named Grace.

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM

I love puns but…

Groan!

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Groan!

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:32 PM

So, I hear Grace is with you now!

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:34 PM

From a poster at TMZ:

This was written by someone who wrote about what happened to them:

I was at Blockbusters on Saturday renting videos, and I was going along the wall and there was a video called “Obama”. I told the men next to me that I wouldn’t waste my time. We talked about Obama. These guys were Arabs and I asked them why they thought Michele Obama headed home following her visit in France instead of traveling on to Saudi Arabia and Turkey with her husband. They said she couldn’t go to Saudi Arabia , Turkey or Iraq . I said “Laura Bush went to Saudia Arabia, Turkey , Dubai .”

They said that Obama is a Muslim and by Muslim law he would not be allowed to bring his wife into the countries that accept Sharia Law. Just thought it was interesting that the Arabs at Blockbuster’s accept the idea that we’re being led by a Muslim who follows the Islamic creed. They also said that’s the reason he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia . It was a signal to the Muslim world. Just thought you would like to know.

Posted at 1:02PM on May 31st 2009 by observer

ProudPalinFan on May 31, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Why didn’t he take her in Dec or Jan before he was sworn in. I’d guess because then he’d have to pay for it.

Rbastid on May 31, 2009 at 11:47 PM

Right the President isn’t a human being and never take trips up to NY or any place else, because his security costs too much…
PresidenToor on May 31, 2009 at 9:43 PM

I’m a human being, and I never take one-night pleasure trips to NYC (or anywhere outside of driving distance)because I can’t afford that kind of air travel expenditure. I’m not rich, and I have no ability to tax the citizenry for my amenities. Most Americans are in that boat, now more than ever. For Obama to use our tax dollars to indulge in such extravagances, which have nothing to do with his job performance, and I can assure you are not vital to his sense of personal well-being, is the height of arrogance. If he’s going to tell America to suck it up, he needs to lead by example. Instead, he’s just behaving like a pissant, noueau riche celebrity.

Face it–your man got caught acting like an elitist jerk. Cross your fingers and pray he learns from that mistake. He’ll still be an elitist jerk, but he might at least learn to better mask the fact. I for one, doubt he can manage even that.

Your other crap about racist “right-wingers” wanting to kill him is quite a revealing tell. So far as I know, Obama is under no greater Secret Service protection than any other president–including George Bush, who suffered no shortage of death threats–many of them public–from the left. Obama’s no martyr. He’s just an economic disaster with an attitude.

Blacklake on May 31, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Awesome comment!

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Loxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM
Awesome comment!

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Blacklake on May 31, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Tragic cut and paste accident. The “awesome comment” was meant for yours.

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:53 PM

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:52 PM

I have every confidence that if you keep on looking, someday you’ll get the lay of the land.

ps: When I’m on a roll, I don’t give up that easily. So, you’ll just have to ignore me, or out innuendo me.

Loxodonta on June 1, 2009 at 12:00 AM

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:27 PM</blockquotLoxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Alright you two, I don’t understand the comment about my daughter named Grace.

Have pity on AnneofCa she is a???? what’s the opposite of a misogynist?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2009 at 12:09 AM

President Bush shattering all previous records for presidential vacation time in the midst of two wars that he began

I’m sure that this has already been pointed out in 800+ comments, but how exactly did Bush “begin” the war with Al Qadea? Did this writer never hear of 9/11/01? Hint: they fired the first shot.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on June 1, 2009 at 12:19 AM

ProudPalinFan on May 31, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Yikes!!

califcon on June 1, 2009 at 12:23 AM

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 11:27 PM</blockquotLoxodonta on May 31, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Alright you two, I don’t understand the comment about my daughter named Grace.

Have pity on AnneofCa she is a???? what’s the opposite of a misogynist?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2009 at 12:09 AM

Yes, Miss Format. That post was a winner.

You weren’t supposed to get my comment to hawkdriver. I’m going to have start including Cindy Yes and Cindy No tags, aren’t I?

The opposite of a misogynist is a misandrist.

Personally, I’m a mismisist.

That is, I hate people who hate.

And, as we all know:

People…

People who hate people…

are the luckiest people in the world!

Loxodonta on June 1, 2009 at 12:41 AM

Why use Gulfstream planes at all? Why not just use Air Force One, which would likely have kept at least one of the other planes on the ground, instead?

Yes and no.
Anytime the President travels in Air Force One, the identical backup 747 also travels with the President. It serves as both a backup and decoy.

“And can anyone calculate the carbon footprint of three Gulfstream jets, three helicopters, and all the stalled traffic in New York City?”

No, but here’s some info on it

Presidents Gulfstream jets Aka C-37A or Gulfstream V
Here’s a pic of it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:C-37.jpg

DSchoen on June 1, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Loxodonta on June 1, 2009 at 12:41 AM

No you don’t have to tag your posts, people have “saved” me from my curiosity before, it’s appreciated. People who hate are missing everything.

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2009 at 6:24 AM

What are we still talking about Bush going on vacation in Texas. For one thing, going to Texas is not a vacation. He worked there the same as he did in DC. He just got away from the Beltway. I think it is fair to say that the Obamas were not working when they did the Broadway thing. They were playing and partying on my dime….Meanwhile they lecture bad rich people about not caring enough for the little folk.

I can not believe how idiots still yammer about Bush on vacation in Texas, have they ever been there? Do they think there is no communications in Texas? No TV, no internet, no telephone service?

And Bush did not start two wars either. AlQaida declared war on the US when Bill Clinton was still president and
Saddam had been in violation of the cease fire for years. Hence we had never really left the region.

Terrye on June 1, 2009 at 6:53 AM

Who gives a flying Watuzi dancer WHAT he promised his wife? Especially if someone else was meant to pay for it!

tree hugging sister on June 1, 2009 at 7:35 AM

Hey, at least we have found one constutuency that Obama hasn’t broken his campaign promises to.

Huckabye-Romney on June 1, 2009 at 8:13 AM

constutuency = constituency

Huckabye-Romney on June 1, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Hoodwinker and Bamboozler in Chief.

BillaryMcBush on June 1, 2009 at 8:14 AM

Are we to believe that the national news media has no reporters in New York City?

Hello, why on earth would the O’s want reporters along on “date night”. Isn’t “date night” alone time with your spouse or significant other?

katablog.com on June 1, 2009 at 8:37 AM

Just another photo op to give the fawning media over the Obamas.

Wonder what else Obama promised Michelle during the campaign??

SmallGovtGuy on June 1, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Barry promised me a unicorn ride over the magic rainbow. I’m still waiting.

T J Green on June 1, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest read a statement from Obama: “I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.”

Isn’t that like 4-8 years from now? This guy has no sense of the commitment required for the job he’s taken on

Gwillie on June 1, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Two other planes carried staff and reporters.

First, what kind of intimate night out is it if they take staff and reporters? Why not the guy with the football, if barry hasn’t just told them to put that in a closet somewhere, and his secret service detail on duty?

Second, are we paying for abc, nbc, npr and cbs reporters to get flown to ny for a night on the town?

peacenprosperity on June 1, 2009 at 10:25 AM

I know he promised her a Broadway play

Unlike most of HIS promises, some he keeps.

Sir Napsalot on June 1, 2009 at 10:42 AM

when a CEO of an auto companies uses a company jet to fly to DC to conduct business it’s seen as out of touch and openly ridiculed by the administration and the obedient media. When the O’s use multiple private jets to go out on a date after creating record breaking debt, admitting we are “out of money,” and urging “shared sacrifice” it’s no big deal and the media simply sweeps it under the rug. Now I don’t see how these two reactions jive. Maybe I’m missing something. I think it’s the JOB of the media to ask the President why it’s OK for him to behave like this. If I’m wrong and it’s no big deal he should be given the opportunity to explain. If I’m right and it’s BLATANT HYPOCRISY (something the left only finds abhorrent when it involves a conservative evidently) then he should be called out and held accountable. It’s that simple isn’t it?

Media? media….?

Bueller…….?

Ampersand on June 1, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Thanks, Ed. Now I have that Bee Gees song stuck in my head. ;-)

itzWicks on June 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM

I feel this photo op was two fold…In O’s ongoing sneer fest (due to his father), the beautiful and handsome Prince Harry was hoggin’ the media.

Obama must have his love, and he must be the most loved royalty.

Wish his lover Spielberg would just give him a three picture deal, and get him out of the political business.

nondhimmie on June 1, 2009 at 11:40 AM

What Michelle wants….Michelle gets!!!

Screw us mean Americans.

capejasmine on June 1, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Just wondering: has Borat Insane D’ohbama come close yet with his lavish spending of the Taxpayers’ dime as Sarah Palin spent on her election wardrope that caused a weeks-long media firestorm?

One guess is he routinely exceeds Sarah’s toxic wardrobe budget just about daily as the fawning media yawns…

I know, I know…”Nothing to see here, just run along”.

Sweet_Thang on June 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM

ability to tax the citizenry for my amenities

You clearly didn’t read the part of my comment where I said Obama pays for much of these “amenitites.”

Or is the President’s security an amenity?

Face it–your man got caught acting like an elitist jerk. Cross your fingers and pray he learns from that mistake. He’ll still be an elitist jerk, but he might at least learn to better mask the fact. I for one, doubt he can manage even that.

Right there your argument fails by making a personal attack and doesn’t use facts.

Your other crap about racist “right-wingers” wanting to kill him is quite a revealing tell. So far as I know, Obama is under no greater Secret Service protection than any other president–including George Bush, who suffered no shortage of death threats–many of them public–from the left. Obama’s no martyr. He’s just an economic disaster with an attitude.

Blacklake on May 31, 2009 at 11:49 PM

The crap you’ve just written also forgets to mention the fact that I also wrote in my comment about the left-wing nutjobs who would also like to take action against Obama for “failing” on his campaign promises.

But you and hawkdriver can continue to make retarted arguments that attack people personally instead of use facts to support your sentiments.

PresidenToor on June 1, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Arrogant, phoney royalty with everyone from the media on their knees in front of him. It makes me sick.

I was reading the Domesbury cartoon in the Stars and Stripes today and Gary Trudeau is perplexed because he can’t think of an icon to represent him like he does for Republicans.

Hints Gary…

1. Ears.
2. Teleprompter.
3. A Koran.
4. A middle finger.

Anyone else?

hawkdriver on May 31, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Nose in the air!

Susanboo on May 31, 2009 at 9:59 PM

girly-like pursed lips!

tigerlily on May 31, 2009 at 10:06 PM

a mirror?

ladyingray on May 31, 2009 at 10:10 PM

a daffodil, aka narcissus.

AnotherOpinion on June 1, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I’m a big Obama critic, but this one doesn’t put me off at all. The reason is that being POTUS shouldn’t have to mean that your life ends. If the POTUS wants to take the FLOTUS out for dinner and a show, he should be able to do that. Now, I would expect that Obama should have to purchase dinner and tickets to the show himself, with his own money, but the apparatus that surrounds him is mandated by We the People to keep him safe. In other words, all the Secret Security, the Gulfstreams, etc., are part of the office and that’s just the price. If he was clearly abusing that with free trips to Paris to go shopping every week, that would be one thing, but IMO taking Michelle out to dinner and a show is not over the line at all.

Nothing to see here, move along. If you want to hammer Obama, do it for driving the economy into the ground.

PersonalLiberty on June 1, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Those scandals of the last few weeks in UK and Spain about use and abuse of state resources look very silly comperes to the Obama’s trips.

Falz on June 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Believe me, I’m as right-wing as they come, but really, this is just BS. Who gives a flying fart if Obama (arguably the most powerful man on earth) took his wife out on the town on the tax payers’ dime? Do you really think that the (wild liberal guesstimate here) $500k spent means anything in the big scheme or our $60T debt?

I’m much more concerned about Obama spending our money on government bureaucracies and nationalizing anything that moves than going out and buying dresses, getting haircuts, buying burgers for NBC reporters, or any other such nonsense. Would this even register if it were a popular conservative president? I know the MSM would have coniption fits about soup lines and unemployment, but we know that’s just crap…right?

Geministorm on June 1, 2009 at 5:38 PM

and today we get another speech about sacrifice…. WTF?

Ampersand on June 1, 2009 at 5:50 PM

These two fake, radical freaks make me want to puke. The arrogance and dishonesty is sickening.

marklmail on June 1, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Folks:

There are thousands of military spouses who would love to be able to spend a simple night at home with their loved one who happens to be serving overseas, in harms way, in the service of their country.

President and Mrs. Obama, in the midst of two wars, with the largest bankruptcy in US history occurring, and jobs being lost at a furios pace–decide to leave town, on our dime.

I have no problem with the President traveling as is his prerogative to do whatever functions he would like to/want to do with AF1. However, to jet away for an evening with all of their flunkies in tow, is appalling. It is most appalling to those who would love to just sit and hold the hand of their spouse, sitting on their own couch.

Mr. President–take a stroll down the street and call it a night. DC has plenty of great American history to see, I guess, if you’re into that sort of thing like some of us are….

ted c on June 1, 2009 at 9:37 PM

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