August 22nd, 2011
06:01 PM ET
Reporter's Notebook: How the administration reacted to the crisis in Libya
(CNN) Martha's Vineyard, MA–Strong words today from President Obama as the situation in Libya deteriorated. "It's clear that Gadhafi's rule is over," the president announced once again calling on the Libyan strongman to step down. But the president cautioned that the situation in Libya remains fluid and his administration continues to monitor "fierce fighting" in some areas.
This on-camera statement from Mr. Obama at his vacation home on Martha's Vineyard ended two days of high-level talks, as well as late night and early morning conference calls with the president’s national security team – all amidst a family vacation.
On Sunday, the CNN team that was part of the White House travel pool gathered in the early morning to follow the president's movements. As the situation in Libya intensified, reporters clamored to find out if the president would speak on camera. The White House’s official response was, "not at this point."
The day progressed and the travel pool followed the president's movements from a morning at the beach to an afternoon of golf and a reception at the oceanfront home of a powerful media executive. And still no statement from the White House on Libya.
As evening approached, the White House alerted the travel pool that the president would be making an "off the record" movement where the press would be able to shoot video. It was finally a chance to see if the president would speak in front of the cameras.
Generally, the presidential motorcade speeds through the streets in a line of vehicles often numbering more than 20. The press rides in vans toward the end of this cavalcade. On Sunday, the White House staff warned that as the motorcade arrived at the as-yet unknown location, the reporters and photographers would need to run to get into place as the president greeted a crowd of onlookers.
When the motorcade approached the waterfront at Oak Bluffs, the van doors swung open and the press ran. In fact it was a stampede that just barely avoided a small child standing in its path.
The president shook hands with supporters, as reporters continuously shouted questions about the fighting in Libya. Finally the president addressed the press, saying that he was waiting for "full confirmation of what" was happening before he would make a formal statement. He then retreated into a local restaurant, departing just minutes later with First Lady Michelle Obama as they headed to dinner at presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett's home on the island.
It was later learned that during that more-than two-hour dinner the president was holding a lengthy conference call with members of his national security team on developments in Libya. Late on Sunday night, the White House released a written statement from the president saying "the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point" and once again calling on the leader to step down.
Monday tensions mounted as the White House announced an off-camera briefing for reporters with the deputy press secretary. The time for this briefing slid later as reporters again speculated if the president himself might show up in the makeshift briefing room fashioned out of a banquet hall at a local Martha's Vineyard hotel. Finally Principle Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke with reporters, announcing that the president would indeed speak on-camera at 2pm. When asked to preview the president’s speech, Earnest would give few details, except to say that on one issue the president's position remained firm: there would be no U.S. troops on the ground in Libya.
An hour later, the president stood outside his vacation home and vowed that the United States would partner with the emerging leadership in Libya. While the U.S. government continues to monitor a complex and fluid situation, Mr. Obama added, "True justice will not come from reprisals and violence. It will come from reconciliation and a Libya that allows its citizens to determine their own destiny.”
MICHELLE OBAMA SPENT MORE THAN $10 MILLION IN TAXPAYER'S MONEY ON HER VACATIONS
FIRST LADY OF LUXURY TRAVEL: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OBAMAS' LAVISH GETAWAYS OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS
GIRLS' TRIP TO SPAIN: AUGUST 2010
The exact cost is unclear as Mrs Obama and her 40 friends footed many personal expenses, such as hotels and meals themselves.
But the U.S. taxpayer would have paid for the First Lady's 68-strong security detail, personal staff, and use of presidential jet Air Force Two.
Per diems for the secret service team runs at around $281 each – nearly $98,000 for the length of the summer break.
Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at $149,900 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.
Mrs Obama's personal staff, of which there are an unknown amount and might cost considerably more per day, should also be taken into account.
CHRISTMAS BREAK IN HAWAII: DECEMBER 2010
According to the Hawaii Reporter, the bill for the $1.5m trip included:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President.
$1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One.
$38,000 for the ‘Winter White House’ beach property rental.
$16,000 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals.
$134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel.
$251,000 in police overtime.
$10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times
SKI TRIP TO VAIL: FEBRUARY 2011
Mrs Obama and her daughters stayed at the Sebastian hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms cost more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
The family appear to have flown there on Air Force Two.
They were escorted to the resort by a motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers
SUMMER HOLIDAY ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD: AUGUST 2011
The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family are currently staying, rents for about $50,000 a week.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard is required to keep ships floating near the property, the presidential helicopter and jet remain at the ready and security agents will be on 24-hour duty.
MICHELLE OBAMA SPENT MORE THAN $10 MILLION IN TAXPAYER'S MONEY ON HER VACATIONS !
The president' s deliberate, analytical, and cautious approach has given us the right outcome for the Libyans and the U.S.I suspect that this is his method of problem-solving on domestic matters too, but he isn't at liberty to unilaterally implement policies because of our system of government.With fierce opposition to him in congress, and a mild-mannered demeanor, many people see him as detached from what's happening in their lives; when in reality, he is very engaged behind the scenes.
STOP CONTRIBUTING MONEY TO OBAMA !!!
DON'T HELP OBAMA BUY THE PRESIDENCY FOR A BILLION DOLLARS !!!
Perry -Romney Team 2012
the best choice for Americas future
Bozo obama and clara bell biden out in 2012
bama and the democrats By The Numbers
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S RECORD FROM THE OUTRAGEOUS TO THE ABSURD
$26.2 Trillion: Projected Federal Debt In 2020 Due To Obama's Binge Spending. (OMB, 7/23/10)
$14.3 Trillion: Current National Debt. (U.S. Treasury Department)
$8.5 Trillion: Cumulative Deficits Caused By President Obama's Proposed Budget, FY2011-2020. (OMB, 7/23/10)
$3.9 Trillion: Total Cost Of The Democrats' Tax Hike To Taxpayers. (Joint Committee On Taxation, 8/6/10)
$3.0 Trillion: Amount Added To The National Debt Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)
$2.5 Trillion: True Cost Of ObamaCare Once Fully Implemented. (Sen. Max Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/2/09)
$1.42 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2009 – Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)
$1.29 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2010 – Second Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)
$868.4 Billion: American Debt Held By China. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)
$831 Billion: Net Interest Payment On Our National Debt In 2020 Due To Obama's Budget. (OMB, 7/23/10)
$814 Billion: Price Tag Of Obama's Failed Stimulus. (Bloomberg, 8/20/10)
$575 Billion: Amount Of Medicare Cuts In ObamaCare. (CMS Chief Actuary Richard S. Foster, Memo, 4/22/10)
$569.2 Billion: Amount Of Taxes In ObamaCare. (Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10)
$10 Billion: The Cost Of The Teacher Union Bailout. (The Washington Post, 10/8/10)
God bless President Obama and God bless the United States of America. Please send as much money as you can. If it weren't for republicans, the Supreme Court would never have allowed the unlimited corporate contributions tea party republican currently enjoy. We the people are going to have to offset all that corporate cash flowing into republican coffers.
Can't stop contributing to the Obama re-election campaign coffers...the IRS would be at my door for tax evasion.
I hope CNN is getting paid by the DNC for this, ahem, "news"
Hey, I'm sure they took tips and learned from Foxnews how to do that; who takes BIG bucks and under-the-table allowances from the GOP for their 'ahem', News! LOL! What can I say....Fair & Balanced, huh?