Ahem:“Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also made trips to multiple African nations involving similarly laborious preparations. Bush went in 2003 and 2008, bringing his wife on both occasions. Bush’s two daughters went along on the first trip, which included a safari at a game preserve on the Botswana-South Africa border.” (The Obamas canceled their safari.)
“Obama’s trip could cost the federal government $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years.” Similar African trips, such as George W. Bush’s. This is Obama’s first such trip apart from a stop by Ghana, whereas Bush and Clinton had multiple such trips.
“A report from the Government Accountability Office found that Clinton’s 1998 trip to six African nations cost the U.S. government at least $42.7 million.”
““The infrastructure that accompanies the president’s travels is beyond our control,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. “The security requirements are not White House-driven, they are Secret Service-driven.””
“This is what you need to support the American presidency,” Atkiss said of the requirements, “regardless of who the president is.”(http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-trip-to-africa-poses-special-challenges-enormous-costs/2013/06/13/29d9270a-cd29-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story_2.html)
We don’t have a lot of resources to help with this in Africa, as we do in Europe, for example. Unless you think it’s important for us to say, in effect, “we are important everywhere in the world…um, except Africa,” this trip has diplomatic value to the US.
So quit quoting this as if it actually means something, please. This trip is standard operating procedure for any president.