In the short video clip above that features then-Senator Barack Obama discussing his ghost-written book The Audacity of Hope with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in 2008, the future president was talking about how those who "seek that office" of the presidency need to "be prepared to give their life to it”:
“Essentially the bargain that any president strikes with the American people is, you give me this office and in turn my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving myself to you, and the American people should have no patience for whatever's going through your head, because you've got a job to do... You don't make that decision unless you are prepared to make that sacrifice, that tradeoff, that bargain.”
Obama declared that his family members are included in that commitment.
"Can you imagine yourself, at some point, making that kind of commitment?" Herbert asks.
"Sure," Obama replies, to a round of applause from the audience.
Two presidential terms later, the First Family has racked up anywhere from $70 million (according to Judicial Watch) to $100 million (National Report) in vacation expenses, charged to the American taxpayers, over the course of "38 holidays, working vacations, and fun trips like a date night in New York" according to the Washington Examiner's calculations. "They are on par to take at least 45 holidays before leaving office," the Examiner reports:
CBS White House Reporter Mark Knoller, the unofficial presidential record keeper, calculates that the president has taken 22 vacation trips spanning all or part of 160 days.
Our number is adjusted to include separate trips by the first lady and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, as well as quick trips like their May 30, 2009 date night to New York City and last year's trip to New York to attend the wedding of former personal chef Sam Kass.
What's more, White House reporters told [the Examiner] that some trips by the first lady and daughters are kept secret from the media, so a full accounting is difficult.
Our list below also omits the many dozens of days the president spent golfing, about 220 since taking office.
That report is 10 months old.
That's quite a sacrifice Barack and family have made.