Rules don’t apply to Obama.
The disclosure that President Obama made a fundraising call from Air Force One while returning from a recent trip to Colorado focused attention again on the legal tightrope any president has to walk while running for reelection and still wielding the many White House perks at his disposal. His aides were quick to point out that a special phone had been installed on the presidential aircraft for such political uses. But the call came as Republicans were already howling at what they see as a blurring of the line.
Their complaints were at their loudest earlier this year when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office alleging that the president is fraudulently billing the government for blatantly political travel. But if Priebus hoped to stall the Democratic campaign, there is no sign of Obama tempering his use of Air Force One since Priebus ran to the GAO on April 25. In the 79 days since that complaint, the president has flown to 17 states. In only one of those states — Missouri, where the president gave a high school commencement address in Joplin on May 21 — was there no political flavor to the visit.