The Most Expensive Date Night in History

Couples who have been married for a while have been encouraged in recent years to plan a "date night" once a month or so just to keep the rituals of courtship alive and keep the "spark" of romance in their relationship.

I personally think this is a great idea. And Zsu-Zsu and I can attest to the efficacy of such a practice. Sure beats sitting at home on Saturday night watching some schlocky movie we rented.

Now parenthetically, I lived in Washington, D.C. for 7 years and can tell you that there is lots to do in that city; great restaurants, live theater at the Kennedy Center, great clubs, and more museums than you can shake a stick at.

Why then did our president and his wife feel it necessary to jet off to New York City at taxpayer expense, forcing the NY city cops to throw the usual presidential security cordon around his motorcade, eat at a tony restaurant in the Village, catch a Broadway play, and then jet back so that the Secret Service could tuck them in for the night in their own beds?

Apparently, according to this Politico piece , because the president promised his wife a Broadway show at taxpayer's expense if he won the election:

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama landed in New York Saturday afternoon, and after taking a helicopter from JFK into Manhattan, drove up the West Side Highway, where the northbound lanes were shut down by police for their visit, past Ground Zero, into the Village for dinner at the Village's Blue Hill restaurant. From there, they went north to Times Square, where they went to to see a production of "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at the Belasco Theater on West 44 Street.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest read a statement from Obama: "I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show

Asked about the cost of the trip, which Republicans have criticized as indulgent, coming just ahead of the expected announcement of GM's bankruptcy filing on Monday, Josh Earnest told pool reporter Dave Michaels of the Dallas Morning News, that he "didn't anticipate being able to provide a cost estimate tonight."

How romantic. Our first couple flies to New York City, has a cozy, intimate dinner, and graces the Great White Way with their presence all because our president promised his wife a night on the town (at taxpayer expense) if he won the election.

First of all, I don't like presidents promising anybody anything with my tax dollars in the pot. Secondly, the question must be raised; why New York? An RNC spokesman asked, "If President Obama wants to go to the theater, isn't the Presidential box at the Kennedy Center good enough?"

Thirdly, with GM set to declare bankruptcy next week and American families trying and, in many cases, failing to make ends meet in these hard economic times, shouldn't the president be a little more circumspect in his private affairs? I recall Nancy Reagan catching holy hell from the press for raising money from friends to purchase a new China set for the White House (the press accused her of ostentation in hard times) and criticizing the first lady for the donated gowns from famous designers she wore to state events. It was evidence that the Reagan's "didn't care" about the little people and only cared about partying with their rich friends.

Obama's New York jaunt was taken because we have a president whose entire career has been in the public sector, where taxpayer money is viewed as a possession of government, to be spent with no more thought and care than you or I would spend money buying a quart of milk at the store. Public employees think we the taxpayers owe them their little perks and privileges since they feel they are vastly underpaid and underappreciated.

In Obama's case, he gave no more thought to the cost of the trip or the appearance of propriety in hard times due to the same sense of entitlement he and many other upper level government workers feel. The taxpayer's property is a means to an end - be it funding health insurance or expensing a car for personal use. The amount doesn't matter. They are entitled to the perks due to the grave responsibility they carry in taking care of us.

If Obama wants to make these little date night jaunts, I would recommend he tap his email list of 3 million names for the money. Surely his disciples can come up with the millions of dollars it takes to indulge President Obama and his wife their little excursions outside of Washington.