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How Obama keeps busy on Air Force One


By Michael D. Shear
The president's official schedule for today is pretty thin. He takes off from LAX at 8:40 a.m. Pacific time to return home from his Los Angeles fundraising trip. He lands at Andrews Air Force Base at 4:05 p.m. Eastern time.

That's it. That's the schedule.

So it got us to wondering: what, exactly, does the president do on Air Force One during long, boring flights across the country? Unlike the rest of us, he's not crammed in a middle seat in coach. And, unlike regular folk, he can doesn't have to turn off all electronic equipment when he's taking off. But he still has to fill six long hours in the air.

According to Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, here's how he fills it:

* Receiving briefings from staff about events that he will participate in when he lands. (There are actually a couple of conference rooms, complete with swivel chairs, in the plane.)

* Reading issue briefings and other various materials. (No word from Burton on whether those "other various materials" might include People Magazine.)

* Reading newspapers or surfing the web for news. (Meanwhile, the small tail section of the plane reserved for the press has no Internet access. How fair is that?)

* Calls staff and world leaders. (The president's BlackBerry doesn't work up in the air, but the plane has several old-fashioned-looking phones that do. Burton recalls the recent phone call to Chinese President Hu that took an extra half hour to complete after Obama landed.)

* Occasionally watching movies or television shows. (Air Force One has a decent library of the latest movies, and a satellite dish to watch live television. Burton says the president has been known to switch on "Treme," a new HBO show about the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.)

* Has lately been playing cards (spades) on long or late flights. (Spades. Right. Good thing Burton clarified that, since the president is known as a pretty good poker player as well.)

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By Web Politics Editor  |  April 20, 2010; 7:49 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  | Tags: Air Force One, Andrews Air Force Base, Hurricane Katrina, Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Television program, United States  
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No. 1 would be to light up that cigarette.

Posted by: wallyman258 | April 21, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

isabella7, i hate to break it to you, but student loans have ALWAYS been handled by the federal government. The new laws only eliminate the private banks that were acting as the middle-men in the distribution of funds. you are completely wrong on this one. Have you never heard of SallieMae? She is Uncle Sam's niece and she has never told anyone what to teach or not teach in universities. That is the job of the "intelligent design" set. Your comments only serve to validate the comments made by zenaby56. You have inadvertently proven the point. Thanks for that.

Posted by: kmgough | April 21, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow...what a guy. Are we supposed to be impressed?

Posted by: Bummer64 | April 21, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The new year approaching, click in. Let's facelift bar!
====== =====
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(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34
++++ ++++++++++



▍ ★∴
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Posted by: itkonlyyyou19 | April 20, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The new year approaching, click in. Let's facelift bar!
====== =====
fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34
++++ ++++++++++



▍ ★∴
   ....▍▍....█▍ ☆ ★∵ ..../

Posted by: itkonlyyyou19 | April 20, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

How do those times add up to six hours?

Also, he is the President, and you are just a media guy. I'd say it's plenty fair.

Posted by: merooney2 | April 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I heard a rumor that President Bush used to work on his Presidential Library collection while flying on Air Force One. That collection primarily consisting of the Bible and a collection of books he was coloring. Could this be true?

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 20, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I heard a rumor that President Bush used to work on his Presidential Library collection while flying on Air Force One. That collection primarily consisting of the Bible and a collection of books he was coloring. Could this be true?

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 20, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

He reads? Liberal elitist!

Posted by: butseriously | April 20, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

zenaby56 has been swallowing the libs talking points in big amounts. Ever heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Ever heard of the community organizers pressure on banks to give sub prime loans in the 80's? Ever hear of the New York Times editorial in 2003 encouraging congress to listen to Bush and tighten regulation on the mortgage bundling by Fannie and Freddie, along with the big banks and Wall Street. Ever see the video of Barney Frank and Maxine Waters saying there was nothing wrong with Fannie and Freddie in the mid 2000s and beating up on the regulator testifying for more regulation? Fanny and Freddie are still on the dole and will be for a long time. I wonder if the banks had not been pressured to make loans to people who clearly could not afford them, would any of this have occurred. Did you know that Canada has very few foreclosures because they held to traditional requirements for mortgage loans. US Banks in minority communities were charged with racism because they provided savings and checking accounts but no loans. The people could not afford them. The Community Investment Act of Jimmy Carter fame was the driving force behind all these decisions. If we had stuck to our economic principles, this mess would never have occurred.

Now the student loan program will be taken over by the government. So they can now dictate what will be taught in the universities who take federal subsidies. Not that they will have far to go, as most academics preach progressivisim and conservatives are yelled down on much for diversity. Think the college tuition is high now. Wait a few years. Since the government will write off these loans after 10 or 20 years, who cares how much is spent.

Your free health care will soon be rationed health care as doctors will still have the right to refuse medicaid, medicare or any government insurance. Those who can afford private insurance will be first in line and have better choices. Hopefully you won't need a medical device, such as a CAT or MRI scan machine. The taxes are increased on these. You will pay. Premiums go up.

Read the Scandinavian and UK papers to see how well the distribution of wealth works for them. Under an Obama regime, the poor will remain poor, and the rich will remain wealthy because they can work the system. The middle class has to be brought into line because they pose the greatest threat to his program......i.e. tea party. These people will not go silently into the serfdom that Obama wants. It might be your cup of tea to have cradle to grave care, but some of us like to make our own choices and succeed and fail on our own dime.

Posted by: isabella7 | April 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear he watched "Treme". I hope it causes him to send some $$ towards the Gulf Coast states that still have areas of devestation almost 5 years after Katrina.

Posted by: brueso | April 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that people like "letfreedomring2" feel that they have to employ user names that imply that they are so much more patriotic than the rest of us, or that they, not us, want freedom that somehow they feel that we (liberals?) don't care about? Where were you during the years 2000-2008, when your freedoms and liberties and rights were being stripped away by a white Texan so completely clueless as to appear brain damaged?

And greatgram - puhlease. "Who in the world cares? (Apparently you do, elst why would you read this article?) The world just revolves around this narcissist but only in his mind. (Does he write these articles himself?) If he were only as important as he thinks he really is then we would really be in trouble. (Does it piss you off that this uppity negro is the President of the United States of America? Because it seems that it does....) When you worship yourself no one else has to." Please, grandma, sit down and be quiet. Your racist slip is showing.

Posted by: borntorun45 | April 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

WOW! Reading people's comments here are a hard reminder to me that so many people fail to inform themselves. The kinds of distorted information and out right wrong facts being touted against President Obama is sad that so many people in this country blindly swallow the lies promoted by BIG BUSINESS and the conservatives who are protecting them and their own pocket books.

I finally turned my TV back on after 8 years of Bush's lies. His expansion of gov't, squandering our budget surplus, his invasion of a country, his violation of peoples rights, his torture, should I go on.

President Obama has lowered taxes, yes, you heard me. He has put in place efforts to bring our country back form the brink of financial collapse (Bush created), he has put in place reform to student loans to help stop the "dumbing" of America. Maybe some people on this blog can get into a good school and get some education on how to find FACTS. Read, find sources that show multiple sources, and if that fails, read the bills themselves. Not conservative talking points.

Posted by: zenaby56 | April 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

He surfs the web? I wonder if he has a screen name and a picture?

Posted by: AverageJane | April 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I am African by birth and US citizen through naturalization. I lived in the US for 25 continuous years, Nixon through Clinton. I never had any idea that there were this many wackos in the US until Barak Obama was voted in as president of the country. I work in the Middle East now and had been made to believe most of the wackos in the world could be found in the Middle East. From what I have been reading in the comments in Washpo and MSNBC, I am now conviced that the US rivals the Middle East in wackos per acre in the US.

Posted by: iarthur1 | April 20, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What else can you call people who claim to want to take their country back.

A:Idiots,Seditionists, bigots, sore losers, and right wing extremists for a few.

America is being governed by Americans, who were legally voted in. My President was dealt a terrible hand, the result of 8 years of a Republican President, House & Senate. He has taken us from the brink of financial ruin, lowered the taxes of 95% of Americans, passed healthcare legislation that will provide Health services to all Americans. He has shown what intelligence and character can and should mean with his leadership. Nevertheless, The Republicans and their cohorts have tried to demean, demonize and demoralize this administration, at all cost and mostly devoid of all facts, rhyme or reason.

How can the party of No, all 41 Senators defend the Banks, perpatrtors of the biggest fraud to hit the World, Trillions of dollars stolen. The GOP has shown it's inability to lead and are displaying the same ignorance in their role as an opposition party.

Posted by: wave06 | April 20, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

wow... greatgran thinks he is a narcissist. That means he is uppity. I will never understand racism. I wish there was a definitive book that could go into the minds of these hateballs and explain how that happens... then again that would explain why people want to stomp around Parks with military assault rifles.

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | April 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Go get laid; you need it.

Posted by: AhTriniMD | April 20, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Paragraph Two: "he can doesn't"

I am so tired of the slow decline in editorial quality at the Post.

Posted by: brockinengland | April 20, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

You teabagger terrorists have become a very sad caricature. Better go grab your guns and Bibles before the big, bad, guvmint comes to take them away! Ignorant backwards assed racist psychopaths.

Posted by: tradervic1313 | April 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

He keeps busy figuring out new ways he can kill jobs through environmental regulation, demonization, tariffs, trade restrictions, tax increases, spreading lies and government takeovers. Did I miss something?

Posted by: lavistabb | April 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

MEMO TO POTUS re: AF1 READING (c/o Gibbs, Axelrod, Emanuel, Plouffe, Jarrett):

If you haven't already, please read, and heed:

Victims of nationwide federal-local silent microwave/RF assault demand:


You cannot wait for a formal report from "Project Geneva." You must act now. The operatives running this covert system will not stand down unless they are forcefully and publicly TAKEN DOWN. OR RE: "U.S. Silently..." and "Gestapo USA..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Who in the world cares? The world just revolves around this narcissist but only in his mind. If he were only as important as he thinks he really is then we would really be in trouble. When you worship yourself no one else has to.
Now what I said sounds nasty but I cannot remember when I have ever felt the need to say something of that nature. I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime. It is so obvious he is so absorbed with self and could care less about this country. It is almost disgusting.
No I could care less how he spends his time. I hope he gets voted out in 2012 so I can turn back on my tv.

Posted by: greatgran1 | April 20, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This article misses the point which is that the President flies hither and yon almost every day to his adoring minions to pitch his government takeover programs and display an antipathy for good Americans who unlike him are against a socialist takeover of our lives, high taxes and Big Brother. Obama is addicted to adoration and praise. He apparently cannot get that in the Oval Office from his sycophants and must go to crowded venues and have CNN and NBC and CBS play it over and over again for him. Does he smoke on Air Force One? He can't smoke in the Oval Office.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | April 20, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I am so happy to find out there is something Obama is good at. He can keep himself occupied as he jets around the world! I certainly wouldn't want him to tax his mind. Lord knows he has enough "taxes" on his mind already.

Posted by: doug1945 | April 20, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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