I don’t think that the Beltway Bandits took President Trump seriously when he said that he wanted to drain the swamp. Their problem with The Donald is that whenever he tweets or speaks, it goes around the world a dozen times or more.
Thus the price tag of the new VC-25 aircraft on order (Air Force One) and it’s summary rejection, blasted out of the lobby at Trump Tower, may have been a bit like slapping Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing, in the face with a dead flounder.
Air Force One is a flying billboard for Boeing…and at $2 billion per aircraft, one can only opine that they were trying to build a self-licking ice cream cone. And President Trump just wanted an airplane that doesn’t need all of those extra seats for the White House Press Corps. A VIRTUAL MIRAGE EXCLUSIVE: The soto voce comment off camera was “We’ll take two or three of those hacks. The rest of those bastards including CNN and NBC can rent an airplane if they want to follow”. Screwing with the president-elect endlessly has consequences.
So does offering him a self-licking ice cream cone, as Boeing learned the hard way.
President George W. Bush began the process of looking into a redesign of Marine One, the presidential helicopter, an H-3 that was about 30 years old. It was time to upgrade. But the program quickly went way over budget — although the problem wasn’t with Sikorski. The original contract was for 28 helicopters for $6.1 billion. But, “numerous Pentagon-mandated changes ballooned the price tag to $11.2 billion.” Barack canceled the program as being too expensive and today, those H-3s are still flying for the White House.
I can only guess that Boeing will sharpen its pencils and will return with something that President Trump can live with…without plush accommodations for the Press Corps.