President Barack Obama’s expected 10-minute speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial will cost taxpayers at least $500,000 per minute.
That’s not counting any cakes and coffee he and his inner circle consume aboard Air Force One during the 18,000-mile round trip to Johannesburg, via Dakar, in Senegal.
The 28-hour two-way flight will cost $5 million because the four-engined Boeing 747 costs roughly $180,000 an hour to operate, according to a May 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service.
Afrikaner woman Almarie Marais 23: eye, jaw shattered by black man with knobkierie (Cane with solid knob at the end)
The cost includes jet fuel and subsequent maintenance of the aircraft’s engines, electronics and hotel-class facilities.
Obama has been accompanied by the First Lady, Attorney General Eric Holder, national security advisor Susan Rice and confidante Valerie Jarrett.
However, Obama will get numerous free mementoes of his trip , including photographs of him telling the world’s dignitaries his personal feelings Mandela’s legacy and how it affected his own world-historic life.
The president’s extensive security details, including guards and armored limousines, are flown to his destinations aboard C-17 cargo lifters, based in Andrew Air Force base. These no-frills cargo aircraft are cheaper to fly, at roughly $23,811 per hour, according to one official report.
Sending just two of the C-17 aircraft down to Johannesburg on their slower, 30-hour trip would cost the taxpayers roughly $1.4 million. When Vice President Joe Biden travels abroad, he flies on Air Force Two, which is a converted Boeing 757. That aircraft’s costs are roughly $22,000 per hour. At that price, Biden could fly to Johannesburg and back for $616,000.