Arborwayfan wrote: ↑Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:25 pm
There is a formula that sets out how much the President's campaign has to pay for the use of AF1. I read about it once. It's something like the campaign pays the government what it would cost to fly the president, aides, maybe the reporters, too, in a sufficient number of private jets to give them all seats. Many years ago it was the price of a first class ticket for everyone. Don't quote me; if you care about the details, look it up. I don't think it covers all the costs but its a reasonable compromise that should make an incumbent's campaign spend about as much as a challenger's campaign for the same amount of travel. I mention this because it feels on topic in a general sort of way -- how do presidential candidates get charged for travel?
Just for fun, I dug into the aircraft, which is a Boeing VC-25A. Per Wikipedia, it carries around 70 people (President, staff, reporters), luggage, and supplies. "The Air Force reported that the operating cost for each VC-25A in 2014 was $210,877 per hour."
A cross-country trip is 5h45m in the air via Southwest non-stop BWI to OAK. That's $1.2 Million at worst case (assuming that figure is correct)! DC to Pittsburgh is a rough 45 min to an hour.
That, VS $265 K for the (8-ish hour) train ride? Amtrak's CHEAP!
Sprinkle in the last financial statements from the two campaigns. Biden's warchest is huge, thus why he can spend on a ton more ads than Trump can. Those commercials must cost a ton, because Trump's warchest is small... and from various reports in the NYTimes, is heavily mismanaged. I can assume with all the rallies being held by him, it's cheaper to have the government pay for the flight and hold them, over making more commercials.
Ooooh the auditors are going to have a field day!