After FBI Director Jim Comey’s big non-announcement about the Hillary Clinton’s email investigation, it looks like the former secretary of state is free as a bird when it comes to any potential Justice Department indictment.
And now she’s hitting the campaign trail on another big bird — a very well-known one at that — under the protection of a high-powered patron. President Obama is using taxpayer-funded Air Force One to fly Hillary on a campaign trip (what could amount to a victory lap for Clinton), trying to win North Carolina for the Dems in November.
The political motive is obvious, if odious: Getting voters used to seeing Hillary on board the presidential plane, after being called out publicly for being recklessly loose with the nation’s deepest secrets is a campaign strategy that’s tough to beat. But presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has a question every American taxpayer should be asking.
The answer, of course, is taxpayers do.
When it comes to Air Force One travel, the costs of strictly political trips are supposed to be handled by the political organization involved, according to the Congressional Research Service.
And technically speaking, Hillary’s presence on board won’t really matter much. Since Obama’s sole purpose in going to North Carolina is to campaign for her, her campaign would have been on the hook for payment anyway.
But the reimbursement formula is a joke.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the parties must pony up “at the equivalent of the airfare that they would have paid had they used a commercial airline.”
All in all, that’s a pretty cheap price to use the country’s single most recognizable symbol of presidential power. Anyone who thinks the amount of a commercial ticket for flying from Washington, D.C., to Charlotte will come anywhere near the estimated $200,000 an hour it costs American taxpayers to keep Air Force One aloft doesn’t understand how to use Orbitz.
And anyone who thinks Democrats will do anything other than soak taxpayers for whatever they can, however they can, doesn’t understand Democrats.
And plenty of social media users understand Democrats very well. There’s a surprising number of liberals defending Obama/Clinton, of course, with some variation of the “everyone does it” defense. But the answer to Trump’s questions were obvious to sane people
But these are Democrats, after all. If they can get American taxpayers to pony up — even partially — for a campaign that turns blue a traditionally red state Obama lost to Mitt Romney in 2012, it won’t just be a bargain. It will be a steal.
This one summed up the frustration the best, though.
See what happens in November.
What do you think?