For a better experience on Nixonfoundation, enable JavaScript in your browser, or switch to here News Detail | The Richard Nixon Foundation

Presidential Perks Gone Royal?

Five executive chefs aboard Air Force One; $500k floral bill at the White House; hundreds of “presidential czars” – are these presidential necessities or outrageous luxuries?

On Tuesday, October 23, Robert Gray –  a political veteran who served in top positions with five U.S. Presidents – spoke at the Nixon Library about what he calls the alarming truth of the Obama White House: the President’s not only spending an enormous amount on personal luxury, he’s using American tax payer money to fund his re-election.

In his new book, Presidential Perks Gone Royal: Your Tax Dollars Are Being Used For Obama’s Re-election, Gray uses personal experience and extensive research to meticulously analyze and compare the lifestyle, perks, and personal spending of past heads of state.

Robert Gray served as Appointments Secretary to President Dwight Eisenhower and later as Secretary of his cabinet. In this position, he worked directly with then Vice President Nixon, with whom he established a lifelong friendship.

Mr. Gray touched on the outrageous costs to run the White House, Air Force One, and Camp David, as well as the expensive salaries of the hundreds of individuals appointed by the President.

“We are only left with a president’s conscience to keep a president from going totally out of control,” said Gray.

He explained that it costs $181,000 per hour to operate Air Force One and often does write-off campaign trips as presidential business.

“If you fly commercially there will be a five cabin crew to serve several hundred passengers. On Air Force One, there are 23 cabin crew members and five full time chefs,” he said.

He closed his presentation with a touching personal story about President Nixon, when he had an exchange with the 37th President following the death of First Lady Nixon.

In a personal letter to Gray, RN wrote, “In all of the years I have been writing you, I realize that this is the first time that I will not write ‘and Pat sends her love,’ but I’m sure she still does.”

Watch the whole lecture below:

Want an autographed edition of Presidential Perks Gone Royal? Click here to order and we’ll mail it the day after the event.