Taxpayers footed the bill for the big night on the town, which included a total of at least $24,000 for the three aircraft used to ferry the Obamas, aides and reporters to New York and back. Dinner costs and orchestra seat tickets -- at $96.50 apiece -- were paid by the Obamas.
Obama's jet, a Gulfstream 500, served as a more modest Air Force One for the day in place of the customary presidential Boeing 747.
The White House declined to say how much the trip was costing taxpayers.
Do you think The Post ever bothered to ask George Bush what his vacations were costing the taxpayers? Let's see...
Now several in the media, both mainstream and Blogtopia (© Skippy the Bush Kangaroo) have pointed out that Obama is as entitled to a night out as any President, that Bush took the full-scale Air Force One to his ranch (the flight alone cost the taxpayers more than $24,000), and that Bush spent something on the order of forty percent of his administration on vacation (that's 3.2 years out of eight).
All valid points.
I focused on something else. The Presidency has long been a...I don't know how to put this...role model factory? When JFK and Jackie O were in the White House, sales of Chanel suits skyrocketed. When they hosted artists and poets at dinners, sales of books about poetry jumped, and attendance at museums spiked.
And now that Obama has eaten at a restaurant in Greenwcih Village and seen the new August Wilson play, both of those are reporting record reservations and mobs outside.
So it's interesting that a man takes his wife on a date, modeling absolutely spot-on behavior for a married man (nevermind that he promised her this date) to be romantic, and the right wing, pro-family-- OK, Drudge is gay, but you get my point-- point people get their knickers in a twist over it!
You'd think maybe these guys might take a hint? I'm betting at least one wingnutcase has been forced to hear from his wife, "Honey, how come you never take me anywhere?" this week.
And maybe that's the point.