The Most Lavish Presidential Vacations in History

By Rachel Alexander Published on March 16, 2015

Defenders of Obama’s vacations like to point out that compared to other presidents, he’s taken fewer vacation days. But this claim relies on a tortured, cherry-picked analysis. Nor does it take into account that Obama has taken the most lavish vacations of any president. George W. Bush was known for retreating to his ranch in Texas to clear away brush, and he logged significant work hours while there. Bush officials called the Crawford ranch the “Western White House.”

The cherry-picked numbers also fail to take into account vacations Obama claimed were official trips due to a small amount of official business that also took place on them. The National Taxpayer Union Foundation got to the bottom of it and found that Obama has achieved records for vacation travel expenses paid for by taxpayers. As of last summer, the Obamas had spent a gargantuan $44,351,777.12 in taxpayer cash on travel expenses. Even this is just a fraction of the total cost, since it doesn’t include costs usually not disclosed to public records requests, such as “the costs of housing the first family and staff, costs of prepositioning the Secret Service and their equipment, and other travel expenses such as meals and beverages.”

Consequently, Obama is rightly being called “the most well-traveled, expensive” president in our nation’s history. “The Obamas are the modern-day aristocrats against which our Founders rebelled,” says the Tea Party News Network. “The opulent lifestyle of the Obamas is enough to make King Louis XVI look modest by comparison.” The pricey vacations and international jaunts have gotten so out of control under Obama that Judicial Watch has compiled an entire page dedicated to articles about each one.

Even the normally fawning New York Times reported, “In 2010, Obama flew aboard Air Force One 172 times, nearly every other day. Just the cost of flying aboard Air Force One to Obama’s hometown of Chicago reportedly hovers around $180,000 per hour.”

Second only to his skill in getting elected is the Obama ability to take vacations disguised as official business trips. One of the “official” trips included Michelle Obama’s visit to China, where she and her entourage stayed at an $8,350 per night suite hotel. The Daily Mail reported that it was a disaster, according to BizPac Review.

Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, has been “barking at staff” since the family’s arrival Thursday and the hotel workers are “fed up.” “We can’t wait for this to be over, to tell you the truth,” one staff told the Mail in a phone interview. “We entertain many important people here, but this has been, I think, very different.” The Washington Times reported, “the whole road show works out to about 70 people getting taxpayer-funded trips to the Far East so Michelle could get her mom out of the White House for a few days.”

In 2013, the Obamas and their children toured Africa, claiming it was for official business.  The trip to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania cost taxpayers over $100 million when everything was factored in. According to The Washington Times, that included “military cargo planes airlifting 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines, and three trucks to carry bulletproof glass to cover the windows where the president and his family will stay.”

The cost of his vacations and trips needlessly increase when he travels separately from the rest of his family. Last week, he and Michelle took separate flights to tape two different television shows that took place on the same day. That meant double the security costs.

Then, too, there is the timing of Obama’s vacations. According to The Washington Post, immediately after Obama announced the new bombing campaign in Iraq last year, he boarded Marine One for a two-week trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Within half an hour after arriving at his vacation home, he was already on his way to a golf course. (By August 12 of last year, Obama had played 186 rounds of golf as president. Bush only played 24 rounds throughout both of his terms.)

Obama leisurely continued his family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard last summer as multiple major events continued to unfold. They included the Ferguson riots, the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by Islamic militants, the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa, and the funeral of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the only general officer killed in Afghanistan.

Of course, by the time the president leaves office, the federal deficit may exceed $19 trillion. That means the debt will have swelled almost as much under President Obama as under all other presidents combined, so maybe he needs the king-of-the-world vacations. All that spending must be hard work.

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