» Politics and other things

  1. edselehr

    Deane, there's always room for more frugality in any large entity, be that a major corporation or the federal government. Even so, the right always gets the vapors when the Obamas spend money. For perspective, this is from Snopes, published in 2009:

    First Lady Michelle Obama has about 22 staffers working for her, directly or indirectly. (Some other accounts put that figure at 24.) However, it's grossly inaccurate to claim that the current First Lady has hired "an unprecedented number of staffers," or to assert (as stated in the anonymously tacked-on final paragraph) that First Lady Laura Bush had but a single staffer working for her.

    The 2008 White House Office Staff List, issued during the final year of President George W. Bush's tenure in office, includes sixteen different staffers with the words "First Lady" in their position titles — exactly the same number as that listed for Michelle Obama in 2009. If all staffers listed with "Social Secretary" in their titles are included as part of the First Lady's retinue (as was done with the Michelle Obama example cited above), then Mrs. Bush had at least 18 people working for her in 2008 (not including any of the various personnel listed only as "Staff Assistants," some of whom may also have worked for her directly or indirectly).

    In fact, according to Anita McBride, Laura Bush's former Chief of Staff, Mrs. Bush had between 24 and 26 staffers working for her by the end of her husband's second term in office. It's therefore fair to say that the size of Michelle Obama's staff is not "unprecedented," but rather on a par with her immediate predecessor's.

    Moreover, according to the Associated Press, several other First Ladies had larger numbers of personnel working for them than Michelle Obama does:
    A look at some first ladies and their staff sizes:

    Laura Bush: Between 24 and 26 by end of President George W. Bush's term in 2009, according to Anita McBride, Mrs. Bush's chief of staff.

    Lady Bird Johnson, whose signature issue was beautifying roadways, had a staff of 30, said Stacy A. Cordery, a history professor at Montmouth College in Illinois who studies first ladies.

    Betty Ford had almost the same number.

    Jacqueline Kennedy, who made renovating the White House her cause, had about 40 people on staff, Cordery said.

    I sometimes think that the right will only be happy if the Obamas would ride a Greyhound Bus everywhere they go. Preferably, sitting in the back.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 09:45 AM #
  2. fairandbalanced

    "I sometimes think that the right will only be happy if the Obamas would ride a Greyhound Bus everywhere they go. Preferably, sitting in the back."


    Is this a prelude to the campaign of 2012? Those who oppose Obama are racists?

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:05 AM #
  3. Deane Johnson

    edselehr, you may be overlooking the fact that we are in much worse financial shape now than during the period of the examples you present.

    The Obamas should be setting some examples.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:13 AM #
  4. duxrule

    "Is this a prelude to the campaign of 2012? Those who oppose Obama are racists?"

    If you listen to Lush, the answer to that is a resounding YES! This is fron his show on Wednesday:

    "Kraft foods is going to launch a new Oreo ... It's a Triple Double Oreo. Do you like Oreos, is that? Well, it, what it's going to be here, it's actually a biracial cookie. You've got three of the chocolate wafers, and then you've got the white vanilla cream, the cream, and then there's a chocolate cream. So you've got, you've got three -- the stuff, the thing that says Oreo on it, the wafer. And then you've got the white cream, then you've got another chocolate wafer, then you've got the chocolate cream, and then you've got the bottom wafer. The Triple Double Oreo. You wait, it isn't going to be long before it's called the Or-Bam-eo, or something like this. Well, it's a biracial cookie, here ... In the midst of all this talk of obesity. And, I mean, every time Michelle Obama goes out there and talks about healthful eating, the food industry responds with, 'Oh, yeah? Take this.' And Kraft comes up with the Or-Bam-eo, the triple double-dipper."

    Just a joke, right? :roll:

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:14 AM #
  5. missing_kskd

    Do any of honestly believe any example demonstration would have impact? Seriously?

    I would easily entertain that argument if we actually had a functional body politic. We don't. I totally see what Deane is arguing. He been around long enough to remember earlier times when WE Americans discussed policy and there was common ground on thing like this.

    Today it is not functional that way.

    Carter tried that kind of thing and what happened? Pelosi has too, flying coach for example. Impact? Zero.

    Given that and the conflicting demands of the office I cannot see this as material to the problems and that means it just crap positioning for political gain.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 10:46 AM #
  6. kennewickman

    Its true , things are much different now than during the Johnson administration etc ...even and unto 3 to 20 years ago during other administrations in the Whitehouse....that said..

    It irks me to some extent.. that we have a President , rightfully in some aspects , complaining about how rich corporate Jet owners get special tax breaks...and the like regarding perhaps taxing the rich some more ..and then turning about taking all these vacations to Martha's vineyard..."rich piggy land" to say the very least...exclusive and relativly inaccessable to most have to take a ferry or go by air to even get take these kinds of vacations to places like this...IT SETS THE WRONG EXAMPLE, IMO..its about perception..And the notion that the first Lady needs her own Jet to get to a vacation ahead of the President for some reason..this has happened several times...Hawaii , Martha's Vineyard also a trip to Oregon recently. It looks bad in lieu of all Obamas bitching about corporate Jet Owners ...

    You might argue that this is " false equivalency "...and this comparison might actually "be" to some extent, but its something that many people will percieve as hypocritical. He is seen hobnobbing with the very people he intends to take to task and seems to be pitting the lower income population against .

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:09 AM #
  7. Andy_brown

    "Those who oppose Obama are racists?"

    No, only the T holes and right wing fascists that appear to speak for all conservatives and all Republicans.

    Deane, on the other hand, revealed his racist tendencies to this forum well before Obama was elected.
    This was a time before You, the ultimate troll, came along to hijack our threads and spew your vomit.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:09 AM #
  8. edselehr

    "Those who oppose Obama are racists?"

    Not all. But I believe the racism motivates many of the most virulent opponents to Obama, especially the birthers. If you don't believe me, Google "Obama nigger" and your jaw will drop at what you see.

    Welcome to America.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:19 AM #
  9. Andrew

    Deane: The Obamas should be setting some examples.

    Perhaps they should - but that's a bit different than asking, "Do you really think the Obamas care about anything?"

    Then again, $100,000 a pop isn't much money to the people in Washington. Eric Cantor said during the debt ceiling negotiations that $2 Billion a year saved from eliminating tax breaks to corporate jet owners isn't much money, so why should we think $100,000 is very much money?

    Why do you suppose Republicans aren't "setting some examples?" Is it OK for them to waste money? Why don't you post messages like, "Do you really think Eric Cantor cares about anything?"

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:22 AM #
  10. edselehr

    Deane: "The Obamas should be setting some examples."

    It's expensive to be president, Deane. I think Obama vacation costs are bright shiny objects for people like you to fixate on. But note that Obama has only spent 7% of his time in office on vacation. (70/940 days)

    I assume you are still fuming that Bush spent one-third of his eight years as president on vacation. Because, you know, presidents taking too much vacation time really bothers you.

    Posted on August 19, 2011 - 11:31 AM #