Originally posted at Clash Daily
Well, hallelujah! The Obamas are tightening their belts on their upcoming jaunt to the tony Massachusetts town of Marthaâ€™s Vineyard.
On August 10th the Obama entourage will descend on the island. The difference is that this year, with budgetary constraints and all, the first family will downsize from the $21 million home they usually stay in on Blue Heron Farm to aÂ $7.6 million homeÂ owned by Chicago corporate finance manager David Schulte.
The 2013 vacation choice sits on nine and a half acres located on the islandâ€™s southern side with direct access to Chilmark Pond. The estate has an ocean view, basketball and tennis courts, and swimming pools.
One thing that will not be skimped on is whatever it costs to keep the Obama family safe.
As they have in the past, communications officials, the Transportation Security Agency, and the Secret Service have booked 70 or so rooms at the Wesley Hotel in Oak Bluffs. At $225-$345 per day, approximately $200,000, give-or-take a few thousand, will be spent to make sure that when heâ€™s venturing out to Mad Marthaâ€™s Ice Cream or working up a sweat on his tri â€” oops, I mean bicycle, the president is adequately protected.
Nonetheless, the choice to economize by subjecting themselves to eight days in a home thatâ€™s $14 million cheaper than what theyâ€™re used to should prevent critical Americans from going on and on about schoolchildren being deprived of White House tours because of the sequester.
In fact, the disappointed children weeping uncontrollably outside the wrought iron gates surrounding the White House seems to have inspired the ever-mindful president to compensate in other ways.
For starters, Americaâ€™sÂ â€œFirst Gay Presidentâ€Â allowed the children of LGBT parents entry into the White House to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. To encourage Americaâ€™s Muslim children, Obama hosted an Iftar dinner where he and 130 guests broke the Ramadan fast.
President Obama also showed his thrifty attitude to American youngsters by having some friends over for a humble July 4th gathering. And in mid-July, he threw a party at the White House for the diplomatic corps, many of whom are parents themselves.
With cost effectiveness in mind, the president just couldnâ€™t let budgetary concerns deter his commitment to being an example to children in the area of physical fitness and healthy eating. Thatâ€™s likely the only reason basketball enthusiast Obama chose to invite scores of basketball players to the White House and attend his wifeâ€™s healthy eating â€œKidsâ€™ State Dinner,â€ where he impacted millions of children when he revealed that broccoli is his favorite food.
Okay, all right, Mrs. Obama did spend $4,000 a night in Dublinâ€™s Shelbourne Hotel, but that was purely for the diplomatic opportunity to reach out to â€“ you guessed it â€“ Irish schoolchildren. Then, the first lady, who was probably forced against her will to participate in a $100 million Africa excursion, set an example herself by saving on childcare costs when she toted along her mother Marion, niece Leslie Robinson, and hubbyâ€™s playmate Reggie Love.
But try as they might to set an example, it seems the impressive cost-containing efforts the Obamas are making go unappreciated by relentless faultfinders and distraught schoolchildren who are still barred from White House tours.
With any luck, downscaling to a meager $7.6 million Marthaâ€™s Vineyard vacation cottage will help convince even the most skeptical Obama critic that the president and his family, like sequester-affected children, are more than willing to â€œgive up a piece ofÂ their pie.â€