Sarah Palin lists children as “senior staff”

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama stands with Karen Dudley, right, at her restaurant “The Kitchen” as she makes an unscheduled stop for lunch in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, June 23, 2011. Also pictured, left to right, daughters Malia and Sasha Obama, niece Leslie Robinson, nephew Avery Robinson. (AP/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

Oh, wait:

Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Detailing the Cost to Taxpayers for Michelle Obama’s Family Trip to Africa

Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained mission expense records and passenger manifests from the United States Air Force related to the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by First Lady Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. Judicial Watch obtained the documents pursuant to an August 19, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Air Force (No. 11-1496)). Judicial Watch is investigating the purpose and itinerary of the trip as well as a breakdown of the costs to taxpayers.

On June 28, 2011, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request seeking the mission taskings, transportation records, and passenger manifests for Michelle Obama’s Africa trip. Documents were only provided after Judicial Watch filed suit:

According to U.S. Department of Defense’s published hourly rates for the C-32A aircraft used for the trip, Judicial Watch calculated the total cost to American taxpayers was $424,142 for use of the aircraft (34.8 flight hours x $12,188 per hour). (The C-32 is a specially configured military version of the Boeing 757.) Other expenses – meals (off the plane), transportation, security, various services, etc. – have yet to be disclosed.

The passenger manifests confirm the presence of Obama’s daughter’s, Malia and Sasha on the trip. The two girls are listed as “Senior Staff.” The manifests also list Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, and niece and nephew, Leslie and Avery Robinson, as well Mrs. Obama’s makeup and hairstylist (Carl Ray and Johnny Wright).

The expense records also show $928.44 was spent for “bulk food” purchases on flight. Overall, during the trip, 192 meals were served for the 21 passengers on board.

The professed purpose of Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana was to encourage young people living in the two growing democracies to become involved in national affairs; and during her scheduled stops in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa and in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, the First Lady used the opportunity to speak on education, health and wellness issues.

The trip also included such tourist events as visits to historical landmarks and museums, plus a nonworking chance to send time with Nelson Mandela, a meeting that Mrs. Obama described as “surreal.” The trip ended with a private family safari at a South African game reserve before the group returned to Washington on June 27.

“This trip was as much an opportunity for the Obama family to go on a safari as it was a trip to conduct government business,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This junket wasted tax dollars and the resources of our overextended military. No wonder we had to sue to pry loose this information.” (emphasis added)

Remember when the Obots and the media (but I repeat myself) went nuts over Sarah’s $150,000 shopping spree that wasn’t? All the money the RNC spent on clothing, make-up and stylists for Sarah and her family during the 2008 campaign was from private donations. (It was considerably less than $150,000 after most of the clothes were returned unused.)

Michelle took her family on a vacation at OUR expense.

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8 Responses to Sarah Palin lists children as “senior staff”

  1. yttik says:

    Hmmm, so after 2 1/2 hours of nonstop Amanda Knox news coverage, can I now list her as a dependent? I’m ready to scream. They actually reported on the number of rotations the tires on her bus made as they left the airport. The wheels on the bus are turning now…the wheels on the bus go round and round….

    Given the maturity level of most of Obama’s staff, I can see why the kids would be listed as “senior” staffers. They’re probably the most mature ones in the bunch.

  2. Allie says:

    I took the “senior” designation as an effort to distinguish the daughters from the riff-raf tag-alongs. IOW – they required more secret service protection. It’s a stupid way to do that of course if that is the case. This was obviously a safari trip for fun.

    MO doesn’t care what people think – she’s fine pissing us off. She has and will always have her bubble – so it’s beneath her to care what the rubes think.

    And is it just me – or does Malia always look really unhappy…

    • TorchWood says:

      It’s not you. I noticed that myself. Maybe she doesn’t like being used as a prop to improvr her parents’ image. If she’s her mother’s daughter, she ain’t stupid. Can’t wait for her “tell all” book.

      BTW is the headline wrong or is someone trying to make a point? A bit confusing.

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