Guess How Much Obama's Hawaii Vacation Costs
Price of flying Air Force One has gone up since last estimate
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 19, 2011 2:27 PM CST
Updated Dec 24, 2011 4:19 PM CST
Part of a security details keeps watch behind a house overlooking the beach at Kailua Bay not far from where first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are staying in Kailua, Hawaii, Dec. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – Barack Obama has officially arrived in Hawaii for his family’s annual Christmas getaway to the state, and what a pricey trip it is: The Hawaiian Reporter estimated the cost of the vacation at more than $4 million. The exact cost of the trip is unknown, but based on the military’s most recent estimate that Air Force One costs $181,757 per hour to operate, the paper estimates the cost of the flight alone at $3,271,622, plus another $100,000 or so for Michelle Obama’s early flight down.

The trip will be more expensive than past vacations, the paper said, because Obama extended it by three days, and because the price of running Air Force One has jumped. The piece has garnered criticism on conservative sites, and even prompted one reporter to ask Jay Carney if Michelle Obama’s early trip “isn’t quite an extravagance,” according to Politico. Carney said she was traveling alone via military aircraft “as previous first ladies have done."

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Dec 28, 2011 1:52 AM CST
It seem as though scary perry can travel on the tax payers dime
Dec 27, 2011 6:05 AM CST
"He (Gingrich) said, 'You know and I know that she's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a president,' " A handful of young voters, a handful of other than white voters, a handful of women voters (quit feeling them up, Newt!) and a lot of OLD white men..... I dunno, you think he can win the White house with just the old white man vote? Helluva book tour though. I'd buy a book just to stand in line and throw dog crap on him, making a dog crap on dog crap sandwich. We can call it the "Gingrich."
Dec 26, 2011 1:21 PM CST
Hey, maybe this guy would be better - Newly recovered court files cast doubt on Gingrich version of first divorce Newt Gingrich claims that it was his first wife, not Gingrich himself, who wanted their divorce in 1980, but court documents obtained by CNN appear to show otherwise. Questions about his past -- and what that past tells voters about his personal behavior -- have re-emerged as he has returned to the political scene 13 years after he resigned as speaker of the House. On the "Answering the attacks" page of his campaign website,, which "(Sets) the Record Straight: Newt's Positions on the Issues and His Record," the campaign discusses Gingrich's first divorce. "It was (Jackie Gingrich) that requested the divorce, not Newt," the campaign website said, referring readers to an online column written by Gingrich's youngest daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, last May. Cushman, 13 when her parents separated in 1980, was rebutting persistent rumors that her father served divorce papers on her mother the day after cancer surgery. In the column, Cushman writes that papers were never served in the hospital, and that her mother did not actually have cancer. "My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested," Cushman wrote. The documents, and interviews with people close to the couple at the time, contradict the Gingrich claim about who wanted the divorce. Newt Gingrich filed a divorce complaint on July 14, 1980, in Carroll County, saying that "the marriage of the parties is irretriebably (sic) broken." Jackie Battley Gingrich, the congressman's wife and the mother of Jackie Gingrich Cushman, responded by asking the judge to reject her husband's filing. "Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time," her petition said. Jackie Gingrich, who has rarely spoken to the media about the divorce, declined CNN's request for an interview. A friend said that Jackie Gingrich did not want to comment out of concern for her daughters and grandchildren. In a brief interview in 1985, she told the Washington Post: "He can say that we had been talking about it for 10 years, but the truth is that it came as a complete surprise." Leonard H. "Kip" Carter, a former close Gingrich friend, backed the contention that it was Newt Gingrich who wanted the divorce. "He (Gingrich) said, 'You know and I know that she's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a president,' " Carter, who now lives in South Carolina, told CNN recently, relating the conversation he had with Gingrich the day Gingrich revealed he was filing for divorce. Carter served as treasurer of Gingrich's first congressional campaigns. When Gingrich filed for divorce, he was already seeing a 28-year-old congressional aide, whom he married six months after his divorce was final in 1981. Gingrich divorced Marianne Gingrich 19 years later, after an affair with a younger congressional aide whom he married soon after his divorce. The third wife, Callista Bisek Gingrich, is now a major figure in his presidential campaign.