PRESIDENT OBAMA: ALOHA UNTIL JAN. 3
It’s travel time for both President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump this weekend, but for widely different reasons. Mr. Obama departs Friday for his Christmas vacation in Hawaii, the last while he is in office. Judicial Watch recently revealed that, to date, the first family’s personal travel expenses have totaled more than $85 million. Last year’s jaunt to Hawaii cost $4.8 million, according to the watchdog, which bases the estimates on information from Freedom of Information Act requests and factors such as the cost of aircraft fuel, among other things. Well. Let’s just say aloha here, ’tis the season. Enjoy Hawaii. Mr. Obama returns to the nation’s capital Jan. 3.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump so far has met with 90 prospective Cabinet members in his New York City offices, this according to his transition team. But he has not forgotten his “USA thank you tour,” meant to recognize steadfast voters who never deserted him during a particularly grueling campaign. On Friday, Mr. Trump journeys to Orlando, Florida, for a jumbo rally, accompanied by Vice Presidentelect Mike Pence. Saturday finds Mr. Trump solo in Mobile, Alabama, for a midafternoon event in a stadium. It is evident that he relishes these jubilant voter visits — very local and authentically down home in nature. They also worked for him.
A few numbers to remember: Mr. Trump won 306 electoral votes, the most for a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. He carried nine of 13 battleground states. He won more than 2,600 counties nationwide, the most since President Reagan in 1984. Additionally, he won 62 million votes in the popular vote, the highest all-time for a Republican nominee — this tally from incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
And speaking of Mr. Priebus, he has been re-examining the current culture of the White House press corps and may have an overhaul in mind. In an interview with talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mr. Priebus advised that such practices as reserved seating for select reporters in the press room may be on the way out.
“I think it’s time to revisit a lot of these things that have been done in the White House, and I can assure you that change is going to happen,” said Mr. Priebus.
President Obama and the first family’s personal travel expenses have totaled more than $85 million, according to Judicial Watch.