In his book The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama offered a paean to the glories of flying on private jets. He lovingly described his first trip on a Citation X: "The plane took off, its Rolls-Royce engines gripping the air the way a well-made sports car grips the road ... I could see how people might get used to this." The punch line of the story was that Obama's staff asked him to give up the practice, which was legal, because he was the Democrats' Senate point man on ethics reform. "It was the right thing to do, but I won't lie," he admitted. "The first time I was scheduled for a four-city swing ... flying commercial, I felt some pangs of regret." The traffic was awful. His plane to Memphis was late. But then he found himself in an intense conversation about stem-cell research with a man suffering from Parkinson's. "These are the stories you miss, I thought to myself, when you fly on a private jet," he concluded.
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