The White House Canceled the Obamas' Safari Trip

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 14 2013 8:29 AM

Opening Act: Cheetah Slayers

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Former President George W. Bush looks out from a safari truck during his visit to the Mokolodi Nature Preserve in Gaborone, Botswana on July 10, 2003.

Photo by LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images

Carol Leonnig and David Nakamura basically ended the White House's plans for a sequestration-era safari jaunt while in Africa. The resulting story is hilarious.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document. But the White House canceled the safari Wednesday after inquiries from The Post about the trip’s purpose and expense, according to a person familiar with the decision.
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Marc Thiessen makes the argument that no one else will: Damn it, Sen. Ron Wyden shouldn't have been asking Clapper about spying, anyway!

Wyden was either trying to embarrass Clapper, trip him up, or force him to reveal classified information. Whatever the motivation, it was a reprehensible thing to do. And it put Clapper in an untenable position. There was no truthful answer he could have given in open session that would not have revealed a top secret intelligence program.

Edward Snowden's cushy job in Hawaii is open again. You're probably overqualified for it.

It's been more than six months since Jennifer Rubin confidently predicted that a Republican was on his way to winning a polls-defying election surprise, so clip and save this.

Correction, June 14, 2013: This post originally misspelled Marc Thiessen's first name.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.