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Price of Obama Family Getaways -- $70 Million and Counting!

Price of Obama Family Getaways -- $70 Million and Counting!

McClatchy DC

There was the weekend trip for President Barack Obama and his daughters to New York, including a Broadway show and a private museum tour.

The ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, for first lady Michelle Obama in February.

And lots and lots of golf in Florida, Southern California and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Now as the Obama family departs Friday on its annual holiday vacation to Hawaii, new estimates put the price tag of the Obamas’ 2015 trips that are all or largely personal at $11.6 million for travel costs alone, according to the conservative group Judicial Watch, based on federal government records. That brings the overall cost of personal or largely personal travel to at least $70.5 million since Obama took office in 2009, according to the group’s analysis.

The costs of Air Force One and other government planes as well as helicopters, limos and other unique parts of presidential travel often raise questions about the need.

“My gosh, we can’t afford it,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which is pushing for less personal travel and for security changes.

But others call it a necessary part of security and convenience for a commander-in-chief.

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