Sequestion: If Obama's So Impressed With Sultan Flying His Own 747, Why Can't He Pilot Air Force One?

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | March 13, 2013 | 1:57 PM EDT

Tuesday, Pres. Obama praised the Sultan of Brunei for piloting his own 747 to get to their meeting. With all these terrible sequester cuts, why can't Obama take the wheel and save us some money?

Obama after introduced the sultan as "my good friend," he praised him for flying to the meeting without the help of a pilot:

"So, overall, I'm very grateful for His Majesty's outstanding leadership and his friendship.  I'm glad that he's had a chance to visit.  He got here yesterday and flew in his own 747, meaning he actually piloted it himself.  I think he's probably the only head of state in the world who flies a 747 himself.  And so in case Air Force One pilots have problems, we know who to consult."

With all the sequester-cut horror stories of teacher and border patrol layoffs and cancelling White House tours, Republican Study Committee Chair Rep. Steve (R-La.) has said the president "needs to park Air Force One."

That seems a bit severe. But, why can't Pres. Obama take a cue from the sultan and pilot Air Force One? After all, an Air Force One pilot makes more than a hundred thousand dollars a year.

I know, some people will argue that Pres. Obama doesn't know how to fly a plane. But, if the sultan really is his "good friend," I'm sure he won't mind giving him a few lessons. After all, Obama also flies in a Boeing 747.

Obama's plane has all the amenities a sultan could want:

  • 4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels,
  • An extensive suite for the president that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room,
  • Two food preparation galleys which can feed 100 people at a time, and
  • A medical suite that can function as an operating room, and a permanent on-board doctor

So, if even a sultan - yes, a sultan - isn't too proud to fly his own plane and Obama wants all the luxuries of Air Force One during these difficult times, why can't he make a little sequester sacrifice, too?

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