President Obama’s selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service sure was expensive. Jeryl Bier added up the cost of hotel rooms and transportation for all of the VIP’s who traveled South Africa for the event and it came to a whopping $11 million. Of course, all of that money was not spent on the president, but we all know everything is all about him.
State Department contractawards were posted this week for “Transportation services in support of Mandela Funeral” and “Accommodation in support of the Nelson Mandela funeral in South Africa.” The accompanying Justification and Approval documents estimated the cost of transportation at a maximum of $8,286,194.74. The transportation contract covers only ground transportation in South Africa. Costs for Air Force One and other air travel are not included. Two contracts were listed for the cost of lodging: one for $2,042,850 for an estimated “3,240 lodging room nights” and another for $1,190,573 for an estimated “2,490 lodging room nights” stretching from December 6, 2013 to January 20, 2014.
It is unclear from the documents if the lodging and transportation contracts covered just the president and his support staff, or if it included George W. Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and other current and former government officials. The transportation contract included passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, buses, pickup trucks, box trucks, and “larger capacity vehicles”: …
I certainly hope we didn’t pay for the travel of all of those former officials. We may never know, despite having the most transparent administration in history.