What Benefits Do You Receive From Being President

So the election has come and gone and Obama is now the president elect. It leads me along a line of thought that I have two stepped through before and that is what sort of benefits do you get by being president.

Before we go any farther, yes Shmata Queen that is a reference to two stepping, or don't you remember that night... ;) Hah, I am laughing. Richard Dawson is still dead.

Anyhoo, here is a short list of things that I wonder about.

Does the president carry a wallet?
Does the president carry house keys?
Does the president have the option of driving his own car?
How much freedom does the president have to alter his own schedule?
How much vacation and sick time is the president allotted?
Are those tallied up separately or do they come from one bucket of personal time?
Does the president accrue vacation time?

Sometimes I have wondered what would happen if the president decided that he didn't feel like working and just started delegating responsibility. As things stand the president has to delegate a lot of the responsibilities. I know that in some companies senior management can sluff off a ton of work on subordinates to the point that they hardly have anything to do.

Does the president pack his own clothes for trips to summits and the like or is that something that goes to a trusted aide?

I have a ton of other questions, but I'll save those. For now here is some information that I came across that you might find to be of interest.

Here is a link to White House Facts:

There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.

At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.

Presidential Firsts while in office... President James Polk (1845-49) was the first President to have his photograph taken... President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) was not only the first President to ride in an automobile, but also the first President to travel outside the country when he visited Panama... President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) was the first President to ride in an airplane.

With five full-time chefs, the White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d'oeuvres to more than 1,000.

The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.

For recreation, the White House has a variety of facilities available to its residents, including a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, and bowling lane.

For those who are curious about the V.P. here is a relevant link.

Before 1974, Vice Presidents and their families lived in their own home, but the cost of securing these private homes had grown substantially over the years. After years of debate, Congress agreed to refurbish the house at the Naval Observatory as a home for the Vice President.

Although Number One Observatory Circle was available to the Vice President in 1974, three years passed before a Vice President lived in the home. Vice President Ford became President Ford before he could use the home, and his Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, only used the home for entertaining. Vice President Mondale was the first Vice President to move into the home. It has since been home to the
Bushes, the Quayles and the Gores.

This link has all sorts of information about the benefits. I haven't had time to properly vet all of the information so some of this might need to be doublechecked. Some of it seems to be in line so we'll cite a few sections.

Modern Presidents enjoy many non-salary benefits such as living and working in the spacious White House mansion in Washington, DC. While traveling, the President is able to conduct all the functions of the office aboard several specially built Boeing 747s, which take the call sign Air Force One when the President is aboard. The President travels around Washington in an armored Cadillac limousine, equipped with bullet-proof windows and tires and a self-contained ventilation system in the event of a biological or chemical attack. When traveling longer distances around the Washington area or on presidential trips, the President travels aboard the presidential helicopter, which takes the call sign Marine One when the president is aboard. Additionally, the President has full use of Camp David in Maryland, a sprawling retreat occasionally used as a casual setting for hosting foreign dignitaries.

The President and his family are protected at all times by an extensive Secret Service detail. Until 1997, all former Presidents and their families were protected by the Secret Service until the President's death. The last President to have lifetime Secret Service protection is Bill Clinton; George W. Bush and all subsequent Presidents will be protected by the Secret Service for a maximum of 10 years after leaving office.

Presidents continue to enjoy other benefits after leaving office such as free mailing privileges, free office space, the right to hold a diplomatic passport and budgets for office help and staff assistance. However, it was not until after Harry S. Truman (1958) that Presidents received a pension after they left office. Additionally, since the presidency of Herbert Hoover, Presidents receive funding from the National Archives and Records Administration upon leaving office to establish their own presidential library. These are not traditional libraries, but rather repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, and other historical materials for each President since Herbert Hoover.
Crossposted here.


Phyllis Sommer said...

Having seen "The American President" I feel that I can answer some of those questions. The movies are ALWAYS totally accurate, right?

I would guess no wallet and no house keys and definitely no car. I think the vaca time depends on the prez. Our current guy has taken a LOT of vaca time...

Anonymous said...

Great questions we should wonder about. Found you over at Snoopy's.

If You Were President?

If you were President
in the big White House
with the big metal fence
you would be the resident.

If you were President
you would give big speeches
could eat the best peaches
and you wouldn't pay rent.

If you were President
men would persuade you
and dissuade you
try to shape your intent.

Like with all Presidents
men would lie for you
and die for you
and make your arguments.

If you were President
people would listen to you
clap and cheer for you
but some would dissent.

As with all Presidents
men would shill for you
and kill for you
apprise you of developments.

If you were President
men would blame you
and try to shame you
when caught in an incident.

If you were President
people would hear you
many would fear you
and what you represent.

If you were President
it would tend to seem unreal
no matter how you'd feel
you'd still be President...


All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
POTUS-Elect BHO Thrills Earth!


Anonymous said...

Methinks that if there is a limit to vacation time, then the current incumbent has pushed it to the limit.

Roll on 20th January 2009!


Jack Steiner said...

The movies are ALWAYS totally accurate, right?

Always. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was a great depiction of high school. ;)

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech there can be no real freedom

Yes. FOS is critical.


All in time.

One Wink at a Time said...

Am I the only person bothered by the fact that Dubya will be enjoying all those post-office perks?

Jack Steiner said...


Probably not. I imagine that many people feel that way.

Batya said...

I don't think there's much in "official" vacation, nor all that much flexibility, but the pres doesn't have to call the plumber, nor does the spouse. Betty Ford was heard to say that the staff was surprised when they announced they were sharing a bedroom. LBJ had the shower adjusted to extra powerful, and then Nixon almost jumped out the window the first time he tried it. Maybe he called a plumber...

Jack Steiner said...

Maybe he called a plumber...

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