How many people does a president need?

Joel Breeggemann posted this short video today on Facebook as President Obama’s motorcade sped through a neighborhood in North Minneapolis today, and revealed — again — why it must be a bit of a drag not to be able to sneak out on your own when you’re president of the United States. The perks of the office are still pretty good, though.

  • Ed

    I wonder how many of those vehicles are flown in as opposed to rented locally.

    Does anyone know the approximate cost per day for the president to be travelling?

    Maybe we need more webinars!

  • Jeff
  • Bob Collins

    The limos and the big Escalades are flown in. The white vans, which I presume were media, are local.

    How much does this cost? I wrote a post about it a few years ago.

  • Aaron

    I was in rochester once when one of the “Oil Kings” was in town for his medical check-up. Their motorcade was about the same size and the local retailers loved it because they spent alot of money on clothes and jewelry while they were in town. I’m curious how much revenue local businesses recieve when a President comes to town. There has to be a spike – but how big?

  • BJ

    What would the cost be to have a president that didn’t think he could get out and say “hi”?

  • Kevin Watterson

    For an event like this, I doubt local businesses get much. He was only in town for two and a half hours, going from the airport to the event and back to the airport. All the media and staff fly in with him. Maybe if there’s a deli or diner near the event it’ll get a boost from people looking for a bite to eat, but I doubt it. A visit to Mayo probably lasts longer and has more downtime.

    I don’t mind the cost it takes to move the president. He’s the president. I doubt he pays for vacation trips either. Today’s trip cost millions of dollars all told, and it was just a short one. Presidents don’t have enough money to pay for a week at their ranch or in Hawaii. If it’s a campaign trip, his campaign will pay for that.

    I went out to watch AF1, it was interesting to listen to the air traffic control tower rush planes in and out before he arrived. There was one pilot who said this was the fifth time in the last year he’s been caught in it. Another flight wasn’t sure if it had time to circle and requested to go to Rochester, but I think they got it down in MSP right after it re-opened.

  • Mark

    I work in Mendota Heights and air force one was coming down right over my head as I was walking into work (pretty neat to hear a loud plane and look up and see that it’s the president).

    I recall years ago when Bush visited Cartagena that Colombia provided 15,000 guards for security. It stuck with me because it was like a 1:1 ratio for FARC.

  • jeanie gildea

    The Chicago sun times said his trip to vegas last week cost the taxpayers 1,600.000.000

  • Chuck

    @Jeanie Gildea: Did the Sun Times truly say $1.6 billion for the Vegas trip? Or $1.6 million? Or some other number?

  • Disco

    Absolutely the limo is put on a plane. There are good pictures around the web of nice old (and new) presidential Cadillacs in parts of the world where a SmartCar is considered large.