Obama takes helicopter for 6-mile trip

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Washington, Aug 08 (ANI): US President Barack Obama took Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a six-mile trip.

Obama left the White House for a six-mile trip to a sign factory on the Maryland-D.C. border. But instead of taking the presidential motorcade, he took Marine One.

A quick map search showed that the drive would have taken at least 20 minutes, but the helicopter trip took just eight. And, according to an unofficial estimate, it was the 300th trip Obama has taken in Marine One since taking office 20 months ago.

Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said Obama decided to fly instead of drive to the sign factory 'probably because it's easier than taking a motorcade through the city in the middle of the day.

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said that it is impossible to calculate how much presidential travel costs or even how much energy is consumed.

Schatz says that whether by motorcade or flight, the cost of transporting the president includes factors such as the use of local police details, military staff, fuel and even the cost of inconveniencing travelers on the road.

"There's not a lot to say about how presidents travel and how much it costs because nobody knows," The Politico quoted Schatz as saying.

"You can't really say, 'Oh, if he took the motorcade, it might be less money'.

"It would be very helpful to the taxpayers if there was a distinct White House travel budget, and everybody could look at it. Is it really a state secret to know how much is being spent on his travel," Schatz added. (ANI)

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