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Snowed-in America fumes as Obama holidays in Hawaii

Last updated on: December 31, 2010 11:31 IST

Snowed-in America fumes as Obama holidays in Hawaii

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The Obamas' Hawaiian holiday is costing the national exchequer at least 1.5 million dollars, and in normal circumstances, no one would mind it. But with mainland America battered by snow storms, there has been all round criticism for the United States President's trip.

Image: US President Barack Obama has a lei placed around his neck as he arrives for a vacation in Hawaii
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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Christmas holiday in Hawaii

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The Obamas are currently on a Christmas holiday in Kailua, Hawaii, and the calculation of their holiday costs includes 63,000 dollars for his wife's early flight out, and 16,800 dollars to house Secret Service agents and Navy Seals in beach front accommodations for two weeks.

Image: US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make a Christmas Day visit to soldiers and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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$1 million is President's air fare

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The hotel bill is estimated at 1,34,400 dollars for 24 White House staffers staying in the Moana Hotel at a rate of 400 dollars per day.

According to the Hawaii Reporter, the cost also includes 250,000 dollars for local police overtime, a million dollars for President Obama's own round trip flight to Hawaii on Air Force One, and 10,000 dollars for a local ambulance to accompany the presidential motorcade.


Image: US President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia enjoy 'shave ice' with family friends in Kailua, Hawaii
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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The total bill remains undisclosed

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Additional costs such as staff meals, renting cars for White House staff, and travel costs for Secret Service agents travelling ahead of the president were not included. The total bill including these costs would probably be even higher.

Image: US President Barack Obama looks toward the ninth green as he plays golf at the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Kailua, Hawaii
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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The costs could have been kept down

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The paper suggested that the costs could have been kept down. It said the president could have stayed at a military base instead of the luxury 7,000 square foot villa he has rented for 3,500 dollars a day. Obama is paying the rent himself.

The White House is insisting that the cost of the Obama holidays is in line with those of previous presidents.


Image: A Coast Guard patrol dingy rides up the canal near the house where US President Barack Obama is staying while he is on Christmas vacation in Kailua, Hawaii
Photographs: Hugh Gentry/Reuters
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