Michelle to Remain in Hawaii, Costing Taxpayers Over $100K
President Obama will return to Washington from Hawaii Thursday while First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters plan to continue their vacation, adding at least $100,000 and probably more than $200,000 to taxpayer costs for the excursion.Flashback: Obama camp spies endgame in Oregon
Instead of accompanying her husband home on Air Force One, Mrs. Obama will fly on her own Air Force jet at a later date and require security and staff to remain in place in Hawaii for the length of her stay, which reportedly could extend until January 6.
Mrs. Obama flew to Hawaii separately from the president in 2010 and 2011, in those cases leaving early with the family while he finished work with Congress and then joined them for the remainder of the vacation.
If Obama strikes an early deal on the fiscal cliff and then returns to Hawaii to finish up his vacation, the tab for taxpayers would be extraordinary. Air Force One costs about $180,000 an hour to fly, and the roundtrip taxpayer-funded ticket for the nine-hour flight would amount to about $3.24 million.
Pitching his message to Oregon's environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to "lead by example" on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.
"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.