President Obama is going across the world and taking several thousand of his closest friends, staffers, and other associates with him. In spite of the need to do some business in India, it’s just so unseemly to do it this way.
There’s a groundswell of anger in the US over the high cost of Barack Obama’s trip to India this weekend. The sentiment stems from reports that the president and his entourage of about 3,000 officials, business people and security personnel will spend an estimated $200 million a day when he visits India for four days, beginning Saturday.
That cost figure has been disputed, but frankly the picture of 3,000 people on dozens of planes descending on Mumbai and taking over whole hotels with the president is just jarring. Or, as veteran Democratic strategist Lanny Davis put it, meekly, when pressed for a response to this junket…”The optics of this are not good right now.”
Maybe that’s it. The inability to spin this extravaganza as even remotely reasonable in scope is keeping the press from touching it. Until they’re forced to, from locations on the ground during that journey.
And speaking of on the ground……Indian officials are reportedly clearing the areas Obama will travel of coconuts.