President Obama’s not having a great week with his critics: first, he got accused of looking like Satan, and now he’s getting flak from a familiar critic, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, for leading an excessively luxurious lifestyle that weighs on the backs of America’s most hard-working, penny-thrifting citizens...or something like that.
Here’s her quote from the Conservative Political Action Conference, where she spoke on Saturday:
“A new book is out talking about the perks and the excess of the $1.4-billion-a-year presidency that we’re paying for. And this is a lifestyle that is one of excess. Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater. They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be readily available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button? We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president’s dog, paying for someone to walk the president’s dog? Now, why are we doing that when we can’t even get a disabled veteran into the White House for a White House tour? That isn’t caring!”
Glenn Kessler, the “Fact Checker” columnist for the Washington Post, quickly dismantled Bachmann’s claims: the $1.4 billion number, touted in two books recently published by a conservative authors (The 1.4 Billion Dollar Man was written by a Republican lobbyist) would have to incorporate the costs of the White House’s entire policy staff, as well as the entire budget of the Secret Service, which accounts for more than half of the expenses directly linked to the President. Indeed, I think we can agree that it’s an excessive, uncalled for “perk” for the President to want to make it through his day-to-day without getting shanked on the White House lawn.