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Michelle Obama’s Beijing Hotel Was Too Expensive for VP Biden?

First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to China - Day 5
(Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

The White House has refused to release costs of Michelle Obama’s junket to China, but it’s probably far more expensive than a previous visit by Vice President Joe Biden…and his wasn’t cheap.

When you’re a U.S. or world leader, you just don’t pick up and fly to another country – well, if you’re the Obamas you do.  But extensive planning and infrastructure goes into these visits, even if they are put together quickly.

 The Weekly Standard and Washington Times are reporting the hotel chosen by Ms. Obama and her 70-member entourage was rejected as too “prohibitive” cost-wise when VP Biden visited China last December!

The Obama’s, according to USA Today, have been booked into the Presidential Suite at the Westin Chaoyang Hotel, which goes for $8,400 per night.  According to official documents released on a government contracting website,  when Biden visited China last December,  the Westin was deemed suitable for security purposes, but was rejected because the cost was “prohibitive” compared to the St. Regis where he ended up staying.

One can speculate as to how expensive the Obama visit is, when you consider the total cost of Biden’s trip came to over $384,000.  Government regulations require the costs to be posted within 30 days of the visit if they exceed $150,000.   Officials say they don’t know if the latest Obama family venture will meet that requirement until it’s over, but it’s interesting that even Biden’s planners booked him in a less expensive hotel because the other choice was “too expensive.”

The Obama’s were booked into the Westin for their first stop during the trip to China.

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