Obamateurism of the Day

How does a deficit hawk make the case for fiscal responsibility? As Barack Obama demonstrated this weekend, much in the same manner as global-warming alarmists make the case for energy conservation — by spending big money on travel. Obama paid Ohio a short visit, Andrew Malcolm reports, to extol the virtues of his program, and it cost us over $500 bucks a word:

Obviously, as part of his administration’s plan to reduce spending to address the ginormous deficit, President Obama flew on Air Force One the other day from Washington all the way out to Columbus, Ohio, and back. About a four-hour round-trip flight.

He was on the ground in the Buckeye State for a total of 70 minutes. By another count, he was on Ohio soil barely 58 minutes, touting more what he sees as an economic recovery. (Obama had tickets to an evening White Sox baseball game back in Washington.) …

With the cost of Air Force One put at around $100,000 per hour, plus the other planes carrying Secret Service, vehicles, Marine One etc., CBS’ amazing Mark Knoller estimates that the trip cost American taxpayers between $500,000 and $1 million.

That’s as much as $100,000 per minute of speaking time.

In his brief appearance, the president uttered 1,990 words at the microphone (he had tickets for a Washington Nationals baseball game to make that night).

That works out to $502 per word and $32,258 per paragraph.

So what did he have to say?  Obama bragged about saving and creating jobs through Porkulus, which carried its own special sense of irony:

Of those, say, 70 minutes in Ohio, a grand total of 10 were spent speaking in the middle of a closed street, a presidential photo opportunity designed to highlight construction jobs allegedly created by the $787- billion stimulus spending bill he signed in early 2009. Workers on the next-door construction site were unhappy because they were told to stay away from work for the president’s visit — and get an involuntary unpaid day off because of the president’s 600-second appearance.

Hey, it could have been worse.  Obama could have spoken for 1200 seconds.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!