Rich Zeoli: Campaigning On Your Dime
4/26/12 – by Rich Zeoli -
Let’s face it, when you are the incumbent president, with all the trappings of the office, it’s not too hard to look Presidential. You get the motorcade, the fancy plane, the guys in dark suits running alongside your limo. The main perk though come election season is you get to campaign on the public’s dime.
Barack Obama more than any president in recent history, continues to use the public budget to stage campaign events under the guise of official presidential events. Just look at his most recent events: large scale rallies in North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa, compliments of the taxpayers.
What do these event sites have in common? They are all swing states. When was the last time Obama came to New Jersey to do a large event? He hasn’t and he won’t anytime soon because New Jersey’s electoral votes are filled in the safe column, at least for the time being.
I brought this issue up on my show once and some liberal pointed out that all presidents do it. First, that’s not true. Second, even if it were true, wasn’t this guy going to be the ‘change president’? Wasn’t he going to change business as usual in Washington? Let’s see. He was going to ban lobbyists from the White House. Never happened. They roam around the halls like free range cattle. He was going to televise the hearings on health care to usher in the greatest transparency in a generation. Never happened. Not only did the Democrats hide the details of the health care law, they didn’t even bother reading the details. A ban on his campaign taking Super Pac money? Nope and the best part is, he takes the money while blaming the Supreme Court for leaving him no choice.
“They all do it” is not the position of a leader. You wouldn’t tolerate that excuse from your six year old let alone the Commander in Chief. Obama should call these large rallies what they are: campaign stops. He should reimburse the government 100% of the cost of the event and his travel. In fact, if Obama was really the reformer he pretends to be, he could take a position that in an election year, all non-emergency events will be classified as campaign events and paid for by the campaign, not the taxpayers.
That would quickly put an end to these large rallies in college auditoriums and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing him running around without a coat and tie pretending he is there on official business. Here’s a clue: anytime the president runs around with his sleeves rolled and his jacket off, it’s clearly a campaign event and must be paid for by the campaign. Official business requires a president to look presidential, not like a frat boy.