EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan city is defending a decision to keep an apple grower away from its outdoor market because of his views on same-sex marriage. East Lansing urged a judge to reject an injunction that would force the city to bring Stephen Tennes back to the market. Tennes has said he […]
In final address, President Obama touts values and prods Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama didn’t just say farewell to the nation. He said goodbye to Air Force One, too.
Mr. Obama’s roundtrip to his Chicago hometown, where he delivered the speech, marked the 445th time that he’s flown aboard the familiar, eye-catching blue and white U.S. government airplane with the presidential insignia emblazoned on the side, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest. The plane goes by the call sign “Air Force One” whenever the sitting president is on board.
But no more for Mr. Obama. Tuesday’s flight was almost certainly the last one for him before he leaves office in nine days, on Jan. 20.
Mr. Obama’s first Air Force One flight came a few weeks into his presidency, when he flew to Williamsburg, Virginia, on Feb. 5, 2009, to address a meeting of House Democrats.
“It’s pretty nice,” Obama said of the aircraft after he stepped aboard for the first time.
Since then and up until Tuesday, Air Force One flew 2,799 hours and six minutes with Obama as a passenger, or the equivalent of 116 days, Earnest said. The destinations include 56 different countries and 49 states, with Maryland as the sole exception. It fits a category of its own, as the presidential jet is housed at Joint Base Andrews in suburban Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Mr. Obama spoke as recently as last week about his affection for Air Force One. For one thing, he doesn’t have to take off his shoes as most commercial air travelers are required to do.
“Of all the privileges of this office, and there are many, I will miss Air Force One,” Mr. Obama said at an Armed Forces farewell ceremony in his honor.
By tradition, Mr. Obama is still entitled to one more flight aboard a government aircraft, and that will take place moments after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office. It just won’t be referred to as Air Force One in that instance because Mr. Obama will have ceded the title of “president.”
The White House has yet to say where the Obamas plan to fly for vacation, but the president recently told Oprah Winfrey that the destination will be “someplace warm.”
Before the flight to Chicago, Mr. Obama spent time with the members of the Presidential Airlift Group, the Air Force personnel who take care of Air Force One.
- Farmer blocked at market over religious views on marriage
Jul 20, 2017
- The vice president says the U.S. embassy in Israel will move
Jul 19, 2017
- Calif. Retirement community is curbing Bible studies
Jul 20, 2017
- Sean Spicer resigns as White House spokesman
Jul 21, 2017
- Minneapolis police shooting of Australian woman sparks questions about body cameras
Jul 18, 2017
Editorial CartoonsView More »
Thu, Jul 13, 2017