After spending nearly $100 million taxpayer dollars on vacations over the course of 8 years (see “Obama’s Vacation Costs Expected To Top $90 Million Over 8 Years“), Obama couldn’t wait to retire to go on even more vacations. In fact, the Obamas wrapped up their last official $4 million, taxpayer-funded trip to Hawaii on January 2nd, then departed the White House on January 20th and headed straight for Palm Springs for some golf just before joining Billionaire Richard Branson on his private island in the British Virgin Islands.
Of course, the pictures that have emerged are sure to give Chris Matthews, as well as many of his other colleagues as MSNBC, that old fashioned “thrill up the leg” as they long for the good ole days under Obama rule.
And here is Branson’s blog post detailing a friendly kitesurfing competition which, of course, Obama won…but, as Branson noted, he was totally cool with the loss because of “all [Obama] has done for the world.”
So it was tremendous to offer him the chance to learn to kitesurf. The sport has really taken off in the past decade and we have the perfect conditions and team to help anyone learn. I have also wanted to learn foilboard surfing. So we decided to set up a friendly challenge: could Barack learn to kitesurf before I learned to foilboard? We agreed to have a final day battle to see who could stay up the longest.
Barack started learning to kitesurf on the beach on Necker for two days solid, picking up the basics and flying a kite as if going back to being a child again. Then he went into the water, standing up and getting a feel for the kite. Finally, he put the board at his feet and gave it a go. Being the former president of America, there was lots of security around, but Barack was able to really relax and get into it.
As you can see in the video, Barack and I both fell many times, but we kept trying again and again and made progress over the days. We were neck and neck until the last run on the last day, when I got up on the foilboard and screamed along for over 50 metres, three feet above the water. I was feeling very pleased with myself, only to look over and see Barack go 100 metres on his kiteboard! I had to doff my cap to him and celebrate his victory.
After all he has done for the world, I couldn’t begrudge him his well-deserved win. Now he has left, I’m going back into the water to practice for the next challenge. On his next visit, we plan to do the long kite over to Anegada together. Next time, may the best (British) man win!
It’s a hard-knock life for retired community organizers…
* * *