Remember John McCain’s campaign promise of “You will know their names – I will make them famous!”? You know, sometimes it’s interesting to go back to those days of debate to see just who was telling the truth and who was not. I did that this morning, looking for a video on Youtube. And I found one of the presidential debates between John and Barack that made me want to say, “yep, he told you so, and you didn’t listen”.
I showed you that video, so I could show you this one. By the way, Obama got his $800 billion just like McCain said, didn’t he? But I digress. In meeting with different groups last week and this week, the President was giving his normal pep talk, and called on John McCain for the first question or comment. He’s probably rethinking that now, as he either didn’t remember McCain’s promise of “making them famous”, or didn’t believe him.
The president took the opportunity to turn what should have been an embarrassing fact into a stand up comic routine, something he’s good at. But I was left to wonder what the hooplah was about. We still don’t know how much Obama’s new Cadillac fortress cost the taxpayers, although it’s rumored to be around half a million dollars with its hand stitched leather and protection from missiles and chemical attacks. So I went searching, and this is what I found, courtesy of CBS.
Lockheed-Martin signed a contract four years ago to build 28 new helicopters for $6.1 billion. Numerous Pentagon-mandated changes have ballooned the price tag to $11.2 billion – meaning each of the new choppers would cost $400 million, or as much as Air Force One.
The Pentagon says it needs 28 of the helicopters because they have to cover the president everywhere he goes, usually three at each stop. This week there will be choppers in Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Ottawa.
But critics say the helicopters are the latest example of out-of-control spending – especially unaffordable in the current recession.
And Lieutenant Colonel Gene Boyer, who flew Marine One the day Richard Nixon resigned, says there’s no way the government needs 28 of them.
“In this economy, I believe it’s a foolish investment and going beyond 14 to 16 helicopters is absolutely ludicrous,” Boyer says.
Beyond 14 to 16 is foolish? Geez, how many can he ride in at one time? Boyer is right, though, that in this economy – when the president is telling us that we all must “feel the pain”, that we must reset our thermostats, buck up to increased business taxes, and revisit a whole host of other sins we are apparently guilty of – it is, if nothing else, politically incorrect for the president to be debuting in $11 billion worth of helicopters, a new tank with hand stitched leather and a CD player for his tunes.
To Obama’s credit, he jumped on the band wagon of disapproval for the Marine One fleet after McCain “made him famous”. Wonder what would or wouldn’t have happen if the Maverick wasn’t around to do that. I don’t have to think much about that answer, do you?