They would have to pay a variety of expenses, including:
- air travel to their first destination
- leasing of one or more buses appropriate to the journey
- rental for halls or meeting rooms for their candidates' appearances
- the cost of lodging and meals for their candidate and staff
But not the Obama campaign. The White House declared that Mr. Obama's three-day trip through North Carolina and Virginia are official events and not campaign appearances, even though the two states are known to be political objectives of his re-election bid.
So Mr. Obama's expenses are borne by taxpayers, including:
- the pro-rated costs of his flights aboard Marine One and Air Force One that brought him to his first stop yesterday in Asheville, NC
- the two buses used by him and his staff, owned and operated by the United States Secret Service
- costs associated with setting up speech sites including microphones, speakers, amplifiers, teleprompters and TV lights
- lodging and meals for the president and his political staff
It's an advantage enjoyed by every incumbent president seeking re-election -- and a disadvantage endured by his challengers. And though the White House has said the trip is not political, Mr. Obama has repeatedly used his speeches to take Republicans to task for opposing the provisions of his jobs bill.