Living Large, Obama-Style

I always find it amusing when Americans look down their noses at the English royals, as so many did on the occasion of Prince William’s recent marriage to Kate Middleton.

We Yanks can trumpet our democratic ways all we like, but at the end of the day it’s all so much idle chatter. We have our own form of royalty, but unlike England’s, where the lineage goes back centuries and where they usually know how to carry it of with some dignity and panache, we’re stuck with brain-addled actors, brain-fried rock stars, felonious athletes and the Obamas.

Even to the casual onlooker, it’s obvious that Barack and Michelle have confused an election victory with winning the super grand prize on “American Idol.”

Consider, for instance, that in 2008, the federal fleet of limousines numbered 238. At last count, there were 412. I assume even Bo, the first dog, has his own limo to ferry him to the vet and the groomer.

Or, better yet, consider that every time Obama takes the family on vacation to Hawaii or jets off to give a pep talk at campaign fund-raisers, Air Force One’s meter is clicking away at about $1,200-a-minute or $70,000-an-hour, and that’s just for fuel and doesn’t include crew, staff or snacks. Not even a New York taxi costs that much.

Still, even knowing all that, I was taken aback when I read that Obama arrived in London for the G-20 summit with a staff of 500, including the White House chef, six doctors and four speech writers, but not counting 200 Secret Service agents. He also brought along 35 vehicles — not one of them a Volt! — and a dozen Teleprompters.

It is possible that some misguided liberal will defend the Obamas for their profligate ways by saying that other presidents traveled with equally large entourages or that they, too, hosted equally extravagant parties at the White House. But the questions would then be: Were they holding office when unemployment was over 9%, when foreclosures were dumping record numbers of Americans on the street, when energy prices were skyrocketing, when 47% of Americans were getting food stamps, and when the soundest fiscal advice the president had come up with was to walk to the supermarket and keep our tires inflated.

The enemies of Marie Antoinette saw to it that she went down in historical infamy by claiming that when she heard that the French peasants were starving, suggested, “Let them eat cake.” Maybe she said it, maybe she didn’t. What the quote implies is that she held the people she rode past in her royal carriage with absolute contempt. It would be the exact contempt that Hollywood celebrities and New York elitists feel about those they fly over.

It’s the very same contempt Obama voiced when he told an audience of San Francisco millionaires that the folks in the South and the Midwest cling to their guns and their religion. It’s the same contempt shared by the Obamas when they wine and dine the likes of Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, Common and Elton John, at the White House. Personally, I’d rather see these left-wing snobs eat crow, but let it be steak or squab, just so long as it’s not on our dime.

Waiting for January, 2013, to roll around makes me feel like a kid counting off the days until Christmas. I just can’t wait for the Obamas to join Nancy Pelosi in that horrible universe where, like mere mortals, they have to fly commercial.


©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write Burt!
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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Vince Ricardo

    “Four speech writers?” Now that explains a lot. Get four writers on a movie, and you can practically guarantee disaster. He should have two at the most. He could then toss in an extra chef or two when he travels. Maybe one that specializes in cake?

    • Vince Loves Himself

      Is that the best comment you can come up with in response to this humorous and yet troubling article. Maybe you should just pause and let the content sink in? Hmm? Then your comments could actually address the substance of what is being discussed here. Cracks me up, really.

  • Nancye

    The enemies of Marie Antoinette saw to it that she went down in historical infamy by claiming that when she heard that the French peasants were starving, suggested, “Let them eat cake.”

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – didn’t she lose her head over that remark?

    • Vince Ricardo

      She had a fever, and the only prescription was more guillotine.

  • Nancye

    I assume even Bo, the first dog, has his own limo to ferry him to the vet and the groomer.

    Don’t know about THAT,but I have read that he was flown by himself in one of the presidential airplanes to join the Obamas somewhere – wherever the Sam Hill that was at the time.

  • Konrad Lau

    “Waiting for January, 2013, to roll around makes me feel like a kid counting off the days until Christmas. I just can’t wait for the Obamas to join Nancy Pelosi in that horrible universe where, like mere mortals, they have to fly commercial.”

    From your lips (keyboard) to God’s ears (inbox), I pray your Christmas wish is granted.

    I saw your picture and you are Caucasian and by using cool, modern, liberal logic we know you must be a racist because the President is black. …you, you, you racist, bigoted, CONSERVATIVE (That was the worst I could come up with on short notice)! Never mind he (Obama) couldn’t manage one of Herman Cain’s Burger Kings much less the United States.

    This raises a burning question in my mind: Since the President is only half white or only half black; does that make you only half racist?

    • Mike – Goodyear, AZ

      that makes him half-fast

  • http://jcsls2.com Joe Chernicoff

    That’s what is known as milkin’ it for what it’s worth, ’cause he knows there ain’t goin’ to be no mo’

  • J.L.T.

    We know Chicago Thugs love bling, so the 174 additional limo’s shouldn’t be any big suprise. Nor should the looting of the public treasury to pay off the cronies, the fellow community organizers, to buy weapons for the mexican cartels and to equip the muslim brotherhood. The $70,000 per hour fuel bill for Air Force One is just one more reason we need to raise taxes on rich corporate jet owners, many of whom could operate their jets for several years on the fuel the giant Thug Shuttle (AF1) burns in one hour. Somehow I don’t think the Marxist Blingster in Chief is really feelin our community pain. I wonder how all that hope and change is workin for all left wing liberals now.