OUCH! HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE! – AT 10:23 A.M. ET: Michelle Obama usually gets an even better press than her anointed husband. But now, in the light of her lavish, embarrassing material-girl's trip to Spain, she's being compared to...Marie Antoinette. She was that white French lady who said about the masses, "Let 'em eat cake." I don't know who dreamed up this excursion, but right before an election wasn't the wisest time. From conservative commentator Andrea Tantaros in the New York Daily News:
While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her "closest friends." According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.
Reports are calling the lodgings of Obama's Spanish fiesta, the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella, "luxurious," "posh" and "a millionaires' playground." Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500. Method of transportation? Air Force Two.
To be clear, what the Obamas do with their money is one thing; what they do with ours is another. Transporting and housing the estimated 70 Secret Service agents who will flank the material girl will cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.
The Obama modus operandi is becoming clear. From lavish trips to Spain to reportedly flying Bo, the President's Portuguese water dog, on a separate aircraft to vacation with them in Maine, to a date night in New York City that perhaps cost nearly $100,000, their idea of austerity is really just the lap of luxury, at least for ordinary folks.
Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette - the French queen who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects' plight - than an average mother of two. While she's spent her time in the White House telling parents they should relieve their chubby kids' dependency on sugar and stressing the importance of an organic veggie garden, hopping a jet to Europe to meet with Spanish royalty isn't the visual the White House probably wants to project. Perhaps they've forgotten the damning image of John Kerry, on the eve of the 2004 election, windsurfing off the coast of Nantucket?
Why not? They forgot what Rev. Wright was preaching for the 20 years they listened to him. They forgot who Bill Ayers was. Why shouldn't they forget a picture of John Kerry?
I don't begrudge anyone rest and relaxation when they work hard. We all need downtime - the First Family included. It's the extravagance of Michelle Obama's trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama's demonization of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy and perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders. Toning down the flash would humanize the Obamas and signify that they sympathize with the setbacks of the people they were elected to serve.
COMMENT: Of course, the die-hard Obaman supporters would probably say that Michelle is merely practicing multiculturalism, and opening the eyes of the average, ignorant, narrow-minded American people to the rest of the world. You know, they'd actually say that.
The Obama White House is increasingly disconnected from the nation. The political staff must certainly understand the damage Michelle's trip can do politically. Did anyone discuss this with her? Did anyone dare?
The Obamas are starting to act like one-terms who want to squeeze everything they can out of the White House experience before being sent back to Chicago.
August 5, 2010