Confirmed: President Obama campaigns on the taxpayers’ dime more than previous presidents

posted at 8:55 pm on November 28, 2011 by Tina Korbe

The White House dismisses the data, but, according to a study by Brendan Doherty, a U.S. naval academy assistant professor and expert on presidential travel, President Barack Obama has visited swing states “on official business” more times in a shorter span than either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 17 of his third year in office, Bill Clinton held 40 events over 24 days in the battlegrounds of his time, according to data compiled by Brendan Doherty, a U.S. Naval Academy assistant professor who is widely viewed among political scientists as an expert on presidential travel. Over that same stretch, George W. Bush held 49 events in 34 days, drawing complaints from Democrats.

Mr. Obama has surpassed his predecessors in both categories; as of Nov. 17, he attended 54 events in 11 battleground states over 42 days. “Obama has certainly ramped up the volume,” said Mr. Doherty, author of a forthcoming book called “The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign.”

To me, numbers are incontrovertible, but, to an Obama staffer, such figures are easily explained away. In 2008, Obama “expanded the political map dramatically.” That is, he captured states like Virginia that were once considered staunchly Republican, effectively converting them into swing states.

That argument might have some merit — but it doesn’t change the general political tenor of all the administration’s most recent actions, from announcing unilateral actions on the economy (mortgage refinancing! student loan reform! no more swag!) to delaying a final decision on the Keystone Pipeline (although it must be said that delaying a decision was still a decision). It’s not a particularly difficult mental exercise to come up with political motivations for these moves.

Better, I think, for politicians — and particularly the president — to begin to be transparent about the ways the desire for reelection shapes their decisions. No shame in that, really; everybody wants to retain a job they like — and who wouldn’t like a job as a member of Congress?

The question of how to prevent taxpayer dollars from going to events like Obama’s jobs tour is trickier. On some level, taxpayers just have to accept that a president does have access to taxpayer dollars in a way an unelected candidate does not. But the president can’t have it both ways: He can insist on spending our taxpayer dollars irresponsibly, but he can’t insist that we approve of it and reward it the way he wants. From that perspective, combining official business and campaigning just might backfire on him.


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Every dollar this guy spends has to be audited.

Speakup on November 28, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Claude is shocked

darwin-t on November 28, 2011 at 8:59 PM

combining official business and campaigning just might backfire on him

…if people know about it.
How about it, media?
*cricket chirps*

itsnotaboutme on November 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Sounds…ACORNish!!

canopfor on November 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM

From that perspective, combining official business and campaigning just might backfire on him.

You seem to live in a world that doesn’t know that the outcome of the next presidential election has been decided.

darwin-t on November 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM

So? it’s going to be the best kept secret outside of conservative blogs and talk radio, just like Jeremiah Right, Rezco, Fast and Furios, Solyndra, …

neuquenguy on November 28, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Well,duh…he’s got 7 more states to cover. And he just made a trip to Asia last week!!

You think flying that far’s cheap???

BigWyo on November 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Every dollar this guy spends has to be audited.

Speakup on November 28, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Whatever happened to those millions in fishy contributions from outside the country in 2008?

neuquenguy on November 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Every dollar this guy spends has to be audited.

Speakup on November 28, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Every dollar this guys spends has 5 more behind it buying of the right people to make sure that never..ever happens.

BigWyo on November 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

The Checks from Solyndra and many other “green” companies that just happened to be supporters must have got held up in one of the lander transfers so the seven other companies to make it clean money to give directly to the campaign in small $100 donations ten thousand times.

tjexcite on November 28, 2011 at 9:11 PM

2012 Presidential Candidate Fundraising Summary
************************************************

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/index.php
===========================================

Barack Obama (D)
2012 Bundlers
**************

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/bundlers.php?id=N00009638
===========================================================

Top States Funding 2012 Presidential Candidates
***********************************************
Click on a state to see contributions from that state to each candidate, as well as money isolated by metropolitan area and top ZIP codes.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/pres_stateAll.php?cycle=2012

canopfor on November 28, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Tina, a small issue but the “n” and “a” should be capitalized as in the US Naval Academy

ted c on November 28, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Barack Obama (D)
2012 Bundlers
**************

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/bundlers.php?id=N00009638
===========================================================

canopfor on November 28, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Man, financial sector at the top. Wait until the OWL folks get a hold of this…

neuquenguy on November 28, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Every dollar this guy spends has to be audited.

Speakup on November 28, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Why? It doesn’t matter because nothing will happen to him. Bill Clinton proved that “impeachment” is just a silly word. We all know that crime in government is rampant, but it doesn’t matter because there is no enforcement mechanism.

CrazyGene on November 28, 2011 at 9:22 PM

As long as we fly his a$$ back to Chicago come Jan after next, I am perfectly willing to bide my time…

golfmann on November 28, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Hey…the brother has to have his bling bling, no?

As well as his main biotch….never sen a woman dress as a table cloth before. Interesting what passes for fashion on the bling crowd. At least he’s not wearing a 10 pound star and crescent around his neck. Yet!

Twana on November 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Hey…the brother has to have his bling bling, no?

As well as his main biotch….never seen a woman dress as a table cloth before. Interesting what passes for fashion on the bling crowd. At least he’s not wearing a 10 pound star and crescent around his neck. Yet!

Twana on November 28, 2011 at 9:42 PM

The whole concept of a serving president traveling around and campaigning has always been odd and ludicrous to me. I thought the president was elected to serve and run the country, not go around making speeches to get himself re-elected.

Every minute the president spends campaigning on his own behalf is a minute that he’s not spending running the country and making decisions that need to be made.

Allowing the serving president to spend his publicly elected time to campaign on his own behalf also created a huge advantage for the president, the incumbent, against any challenger. There’s no doubt this has contributed to the fact that most presidents have been re-elected – many times when they shouldn’t have been.

As a serving president, you already have an inherent advantage over your challengers, because you’ve been allowed to demonstrate your abilities in the job you seek to continue. We shouldn’t allow any extra advantages in addition to that, as they only serve to cement power with power.

Now on a practical level, the president must obviously be allowed to make a case for his own re-election at some point, in some way. But as things are now, there don’t seem to be any real rules or guidelines on how much or how often the president uses his time for campaigning.

If it were up to me, I think the president should not be allowed to do any campaigning on his own behalf until October directly before the election takes place. The president’s party can do as much campaigning on his behalf as they like, that should more than suffice.

We need to move to a system where the incumbent must, against all odds, prove that he should keep his job – not the current system where the deck is stacked in the incumbent’s favor.

Seixon on November 28, 2011 at 9:43 PM

People, your not allowed to complain about this President because he has black skin. Get with the program.

Hummer53 on November 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Wouldn’t it be great to have a cost approximation for all this taxpayer-funded campaigning President Complainer-in-Chief does? That would be one Pavlovian bell for people who pay taxes to fund the Federal excesses and for people who are in the Progressive crosshairs for tax increases.
.
Why would the administration want to be less than transparent on this issue since just asserting the probability that Ø is campaigning on the taxpayer dime makes the Progressive handlers have to explain something that is patently obvious? More dogs barking means the threat is more obvious, right?

ExpressoBold on November 28, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Barry can only do that which he does well. Campaign.

Hell, you didn’t really expect a “leader”, did you?

GarandFan on November 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Has he ever stopped campaigning since this gawd-awful administration took office?

Wyznowski on November 28, 2011 at 10:52 PM

What a surprise — the deadbeat community organizer became a deadbeat political candidate and he’s now a deadbeat President.

Once a sleazeball, always a sleazeball.

Jaibones on November 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM

One wonders what the Obama Boogie Vans will fetch when they are traded in.

unclesmrgol on November 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM

I imagine this guy has been on some form of public assistance his entire life.

esnap on November 28, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Anybody run the numbers for Joe Biden and Michelle? What states do they go to?

albill on November 29, 2011 at 5:13 AM

Everyone knows the WSJ is right-wing fish wrap. All the rest of the media (Fox News excepted) are scrupulously fair and open-minded. Go back to sleep. We’ll wake you in time for Lord Obama’s second inauguration.

Extrafishy on November 29, 2011 at 7:01 AM

I wonder if he spent more on clothes than the GOP spent on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe in 2008? I’m sure the MSM will be all over it.

the_souse on November 29, 2011 at 8:28 AM

BHO will be in Manhattan Wednesday evening, just as the rush hour starts and the night the tree @ Rockefeller Center will be lit.

The reason? A fundraiser.

Fxxx him, it will take me three hours to get home tomorrow.

patch on November 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM