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While Barack Obama's away, White House workers can, well, work

Democrat president Barack Obama's Hawaii vacation enables White House workers to clean the Oval Office of dread pine needles 12-30-09

Many presidents in recent times have stayed at the White House or Camp David during year-end holidays to minimize costs and disruptions to staff and Secret Service and their long-suffering families.

Barack and Michelle Obama chose to spend the holidays almost as far away from the harsh political-toned place he vowed to change as possible and still be in the United States -- Hawaii.

As The Ticket dutifully reported the other day, Democrat Vice President Joe Biden is also offshore -- in the Virgin Islands.

And so, it turns out, is the No. 3 person in line to the presidency, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's also ensconced in Hawaii. (Where, btw, Republican author Sarah Palin was with her family last week, as her favorable poll ratings climbed into the 40's).

So who's in charge back home?

Well, the good news is the big shots' vacation absence from the big house not only cuts down on the number of officious motorcades, but allows regular humans an opportunity for cleaning.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Chuck Kennedy / White House
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I may never vote for another Democrat.

it would be interesting to note what was the cost of airforce one to fly to hawaii? who paid for it?
Did pelosi use her airforce jet to fly to hawaii also? if so what did that cost and how manywere aboard?
If biden is in the virgin islands did he too fly there on a airforce plane and what did that cost?
funny how it was not ok for corp execs to fly this way but its ok for the privileged govt officers?

Most presidents have spent the Christmas holidays in DC. That allows their staff to be with their families over the holidays.... THEN they'll leave for some other place after the new year.

Then again, it's all about Obama, all the time... he couldn't care less about his staff. He is a King, no?

Any chance we can bar the doors at all the airports in the lower 48, and KEEP them out? We'd save billions if not trillions...

As President Barack Obama vacations in three private rented homes in Kailua, Oahu, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also on vacation on another main Hawaiian island – the Big Island of Hawaii.

In response to Hawaii Reporter’s inquiry as to whether she is here for business, or pleasure, whether she will have any public events or meetings, and whether she took a private government charter or traveled commercial, Drew Hammill in her office sent this reply:

“The Speaker traveled to Hawaii at her own expense on commercial air.”

As with the president’s visit, Pelosi is being escorted by local police officers.

The county of Hawaii would not release the number of police officers escorting Pelosi, how many hours they are dedicating to Pelosi’s security detail, the cost to local taxpayers or whether they were being pulled from other duties.

Hawaii Reporter’s media inquiry was directed by the county police to the U.S. Capitol Police and Pelosi’s office.

Pelosi’ office also refused to provide the answers to these questions: “For security reasons, I cannot disclose information regarding her travel dates and any security arrangements mandated by the House Sergeant at Arms,” Hammill writes.

Chris Loo, media specialist for the Hawaii Police Department, writes: “After the visit is pau, you may send a written request to the chief to seek information about any costs incurred by the county.”

Meanwhile on Oahu, though the Honolulu Police Department would not release the details of the police detail or the number of officers working for security reasons, the cost for Obama’s police escorts are expected to exceed last year’s $107,000, because last year, he was the president elect and not the president.

The $107,000 for police escorts was not reimbursed by the federal government, nor will it be during this year’s visit, a Honolulu Police Department spokesperson told Hawaii Reporter.

The Honolulu Police Department has no plans to ask the county council for emergency funding to cover either this visit or the past visit, both unexpected expenses. But since Obama has expressed interest in returning to Hawaii during future holidays, a police spokesperson says they may budget for his visits in future budget requests.

The visits by both Pelosi and Obama are coming at a time when county mayors and their departments are looking for ways to cut back on expenses and considering tax hikes because of shrinking tax revenues and the proposed plan by Gov. Linda Lingle to take all four county’s share of the visitor tax to balance the state budget.

Palace for Pelosi

West Hawaii Today reports today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is vacationing in luxury for a whopping $10,000 a day on the Big Island:

"...House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slumming reportedly in the Presidential Suite at the Hualalai resort for what is said to be a rate of $10,000 nightly or more -- hopefully on her dime, rather than a corporate credit card. Her staff steadfastly said she refuses interviews during her stay in Kona; can't interrupt that vacation break."

See the full column here:

See Hawaii Reporter's story published yesterday about her visit: "Heightened Security Detail Costs for Speaker Pelosi and President Obama Will Fall on Local Taxpayers"

Obama and his friends are currently paying $4,000 a day to stay in their three Kailua beachfront homes over 10 days.

Who says crime doesn't pay?

A famous tabloid has just come out with a shocker . The vacuum lady shown
above is non other than Sheila Lewinsky...the niece of the infamous Monika.
Will she be answering theese 3 am phone calls to the whitehouse while the boss
is away ?

Before you get so hysterical about Obama & Biden's costs, note that the memorial service for the late pop singer Michael Jackson cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles umpty millions of dollars for security. The City, which should never have okayed this obscene deal, is still trying to get reimbursement from SOMEBODY other than the poor taxpayers!

Wonder if Sheila Lewinsky can vacuum as thoroughly as her aunt ?

you're gonna run over the cord, lady

See the photo ID hanging around the housekeeper's neck as she vacuums the Oval Office? That indicates she has undergone a very thorough background check, probably at the Top Secret level or even beyond.

With his record of close association with unrepentant domestic terrorists, Barack Hussein Obama unquestionably would have been denied such a clearance prior to November 2008.

We now have a President whose connections with the worst kind of America-hating killers would not have allowed him to empty his own wastebaskets a year ago. Think about the implications of that, and pray for our country.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
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