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Obama Officials Travel the Blue State Express

By Ed O'Keefe



Vice President Biden greets parade-goers at a Labor Day parade outside the Mellon Arena Sept. 7 in Pittsburgh, one of several trips he's made to the Keystone State this year.

Kudos to Ben Feller and his colleagues at the Associated Press for their report out today about the travel patterns of top Obama administration officials.

"Three of every four official trips Obama and his key lieutenants made in his first seven months in office were to the 28 states Obama won. Add trips to Missouri and Montana -- both of which Obama narrowly lost -- and almost 80 percent of the administration's official domestic travel has been concentrated in states likely to be key to Obama's re-election effort in 2012," Feller and his colleagues report.

Most of the travel is to tout the economic stimulus program, with Vice President Biden making nearly two dozen trips to 14 states to discuss its economic impact.

The report also revealed some of the travel costs for Cabinet secretaries:

-- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spent $747 to attend a Pullman Porters event in Philadelphia; he took Amtrak for the one-day trip.
-- Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spent $8,013 to address the National Conference of State Legislatures, also in Philadelphia, also a one-day trip.
-- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar spent $13,194 to meet with the families of Flight 93, the hijacked United Airlines plane that crashed into a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001; he returned to Washington that night.

Two trips demonstrate the added cost of traveling with staff members:

-- EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson took a two-day trip to Tampa, Fla., that cost $10,408, with more than $9,200 attributed to traveling staff. She spoke to the National Association of Black Journalists and announced $95 million in stimulus grants.
-- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made a two-day trip to New Hampshire in July. Taxpayers paid $6,742 tab for the secretary, two aides and a dairy expert. Of that total, $4,467 went to staff costs.

Track President Obama's travel with The Post's POTUS Tracker

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, FY-Eye  
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Comments

Hmmmmm....30 states, that's 60% of the states. And those states represent, hmmmm.... maybe 70% of the US population!

Wow, that 75% of the trips to those states, that looks really, really sinister.

Glad you're really focused on the important things. Glad the AP is as well.

After all, they really worked hard to shame President Bush into working, what, 44 weeks per year.

Posted by: Dollared | October 14, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

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