This is how Obama saves money for his campaign and makes taxpayers foot the heavy part of the bill. He schedules an ‘official visit’ to the World Trade Center on the same day he’s going to multiple fundraisers in Manhattan:
DAILY MAIL – Tonight is set to be a busy night for Barack Obama, as he speaks at not one but two A-list fundraising events in Manhattan.
However, the President’s re-election campaign will not have to pay the full cost of his jaunt to the Big Apple, as he is combining the trip with an official event which will be charged to the taxpayer.
Before the fundraisers, one at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house and one at the five-star Plaza Hotel, Mr Obama scheduled a visit to the World Trade Center site.
He frequently combines the events with his official duties, which allows his re-election campaign to defray the President’s travel costs by charging part of them to the public purse.
For a trip like today’s, involving both official duties and campaign events, a formula is applied so that the campaign pays part of the costs – but it still works out cheaper than making a trip purely for campaigning.
Mr Obama must be accompanied by Secret Service protection and fly on Air Force One at all times for security reasons, further increasing the cost of his travels.
The World Trade Center, which Mr Obama has visited several times before, is a major building project and recipient of generous federal aid, as well as an iconic national memorial.
It is unclear what prompted the President to return to the site on this occasion.
Much of downtown Manhattan was temporarily sealed off for the duration of Mr Obama’s visit, and the street in the West Village neighbourhood where Ms Parker’s house is situated was closed to pedestrians.
Some pedestrians bemoaned the disruption caused to the New York streets by the presidential motorcade – Mary Grach told ABC that Mr Obama’s visit was ‘really inconveniencing a lot of commuters’.
She added: ‘There has to be a better way to go about it rather than putting out how many thousands of riders out of commission, and having to find another way home.’
In 2004, Democrats criticised George W. Bush for combining fundraisers with official duties, and Republicans have responded in kind this year.
Daily Mail has a ton of pictures from the event.