President Obama Cancels Two-Day Safari Trip in Tanzania Over Costs

David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

Here we go again, every time President Obama and his family take a vacation, the right wing freaks out. President Obama cancels safari trip in Tanzania because of the cost of security, during his trip to Africa later this month. Of course, he won’t be applauded for it, instead,  someone chose to leak that snipers will be on hand to shoot any lions or other wild animals that come near the First Couple. Some details about President Obama’s trip were leaked to the Washington Post by someone who was ‘concerned’ over the costs involved. Right. Thanks to Edward Snowden, leaking is now in vogue. It’s the cool thing to do, right? Some are even bringing up the sequester cuts as justification for their criticism of the Obamas’ family vacation.

Any journey by the president, such as one scheduled next week for Northern Ireland and Germany, is an immense and costly logistical challenge. But the trip to Africa is complicated by a confluence of factors that could make it one of the most expensive of Obama’s tenure, according to people familiar with the planning.

The first family is making back-to-back stops from June 26 to July 3 in three countries where U.S. officials are providing nearly all the resources, rather than depending heavily on local police forces, military authorities or hospitals for assistance.

The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document.

But officials said Thursday that the safari had been canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner.

The right wing hypocrisy is glaring. Not a word from anyone when former presidents George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush or Ronald Reagan went on vacation but they freak out when President Obama makes a move. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also went to Africa and I can’t remember hearing any freak-out over those trips. Would President Obama’s critics prefer that he take Delta Airlines on official U.S. business?

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

Author: JANET SHAN