The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Obama Abroad

Michelle Obama Returns Early to Washington

First lady Michelle Obama talks to Livia Klausova, wife of Czech President Vaclav Klaus, during a visit of St. George's Basilica in Prague on Sunday, April 5, 2009, while President Obama was meeting European Union leaders in the Czech capital. (Hans Punz/Associated Press)

By Michael D. Shear
ANKARA, Turkey -- President Obama's European adventure continues, but his wife has decided to get off the ride.

The first lady flew back to the United States on Sunday night, departing Prague in the afternoon and arriving at Andrews Air Force Base by 7:30 a.m., aides said.

White House officials say Michelle Obama wanted to get back in time to start the kids' school week. They said she felt she had already been away from the two girls for a long time.

Obama had her own hectic schedule in Europe while her husband conducted government business. She visited a school for girls, attended ballet performances, met the Queen of England and toured the old city in Prague.

Her early departure means she is missing the Turkey leg of the trip, which would have taken her to Ankara and Istanbul.

Posted at 11:16 AM ET on Apr 6, 2009  | Category:  Obama Abroad
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I did track down information that Michelle Obama stopped in Ireland before returning to D.C., but I can't find any pictures of which jet she was on (from Ireland or Andrews -- curious):

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2009 4:14 PM

Back on topic: did anyone find out how Michelle Obama traveled back early and how much extra that cost the U.S. taxpayers?

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2009 2:49 PM


I didn't miss anything, my "old and bitter" life is, objectively, better than yours and 90% of Americans right now, so I count my blessing everyday. Vegas was indeed LOVELY this past weekend. We don't gamble that much though (just played a couple slots and caught a show actually).

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2009 12:15 PM

I need to submit a correction to the above story. Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth is not 'Queen of England' She is crowned Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith. At no point is she crowned head of England. This irks me to see it printed in what is usually such a correct website!

Posted by: JockG | April 8, 2009 5:53 AM

"I would still wager that my life is much more enjoyable than yours".

Well JakeD, since you are "retired" and spend most of what remains of your life "sharing" your "wisdom" here in the blogs I would "wager" that you are simply old and bitter.

And somehow you managed to miss that I was making fun of your bloviating about how much cash you blew on a craptastic hotel in "lovely" Vegas. I thought they comp rooms to gambling addicts?

Posted by: marSF | April 7, 2009 8:04 PM

No insider info; just a lucky guess.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 2:00 PM

JakeD, you called it on the "Sneaking into Iraq" comment!!! Way to go!!! Hod did you know, anyway??? Are you a White House insider?

Posted by: LaShanta | April 7, 2009 10:47 AM

How did Michelle Obama return, which plane?
Another 747 an itty bitty or an executive jet?

Posted by: deeplyimbeddedaolcom | April 7, 2009 9:03 AM

Missied opportunity in a secular Muslim country to present an American First Lady with a teriffic education plus illustrate American opportunity for all. How much did the separate entourage cost the American taxpayer? Stupid move Michelle as it's the only black mark on an otherwise great trip. If we wanted a "Nanny", we'd have elected one.

Posted by: NotBubba | April 7, 2009 7:42 AM

What's with the huge bow? Our First Lady
is wearing an outfit fit for a clown!?
I didn't think it could get any worse than the that ugly blue argyle disaster.

Posted by: ohioan | April 6, 2009 11:28 PM


Obama has left Turkey. We should know shortly if he doesn't arrive back in D.C.

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 7:32 PM

Read a funny report of Michelle's 'getting on the Queen's back' and other Royal mishaps in American history @

Posted by: guzelvis | April 6, 2009 7:17 PM

I would still wager that my life is much more enjoyable than yours. So much for either one of us not having any "life" in the first place ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 5:10 PM

No JakeD, I was hanging out at The French Laundry before spending the weekend at $900-a-night Calistoga Ranch where I indulged in a $300 mani/pedi before heading back to Russian Hill just so I could get into a fight with some random loser on WaPo who just can't deal with having Barack Obama as President.

Posted by: marSF | April 6, 2009 4:53 PM

The big neck bows are for visual balance. . .

Posted by: Nancy10 | April 6, 2009 4:23 PM


So, I take it that means "no" you weren't in Vegas this weekend?

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 4:18 PM

are they really saying a planned trip was interrupted because Michelle's Mother is not capable of preparing the girls for the first days of the school week?

she's been away longer during campaign.

imo, this was a fear that she thought she might appear to have too many freedoms for a (Muslim?) man and she didnt want to risk offending them?

did the schedule include her hving to partake in certain customs she might be uncomfortable in?

you see, P.R. people of obamas - - your story has a huge hole in it. come clean next time or spend more time on a better storyline?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | April 6, 2009 4:16 PM

Who cares that she is back in Washington. She should never have left. She should be tending to that garden in her backyard so that she can feed her kids.

Posted by: PittAlum | April 6, 2009 4:12 PM

JakeD, that sounds like a freaking nightmare, actually.

Posted by: marSF | April 6, 2009 4:02 PM

No, marSF, that's not "obvious" as I would wager my life is much more enjoyable than yours. Did you stay at a $440 per night suite in Vegas this past weekend?

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 3:48 PM

JakeD has no life, obviously.

Posted by: marSF | April 6, 2009 3:40 PM

I'm thrilled that our First Couple are generating excitement at their tour stops. That's a welcome departure from the last First Pair who alienated and inspired hostility. Drop the big neck bows Michelle. They're clownish, unflattering, and unbusinesslike.

Posted by: aguy7 | April 6, 2009 3:02 PM

MRS. OBAMA: Please give the matter below your serious attention.




ATTENTION: Rahm Emanuel, WH Chief of Staff; David Axelrod, senior advisor (please forward)

It is a known scientific fact that radiation emanating from electromagnetic fields (or electromagnetic-emitting devices) can cause headaches, mood and behavioral changes, even adverse physical effects such as the induction of injury or illness.

Is it possible that high-tech communications (or security protection) devices or weaponry in the vicinity of POTUS and/or other high officials of government are causing physiological effects that could be affecting their sense of well-being -- perhaps even endangering their health?

Given the advanced state of White House telecommunications and security technology, President Obama and his key staff should commission an *independent* scientific field study to assess the presence and potential health hazards of both prolonged and pulsed-beam microwave radiation in and around the environment of high government officials.

OR (if links are corrupted or disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 6, 2009 2:45 PM

This just demonstrates a small but growing rift in their relationship.

-Michael Gerson

Posted by: waldmant | April 6, 2009 2:40 PM

she's got to get back to prepare for the Easter Egg Roll/Hunt in the Rose Garden.

Is that still happening?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 6, 2009 2:11 PM

She said her first duty was "mother in chief". I applaud her for making her children her first priority.

Posted by: rlj1 | April 6, 2009 1:37 PM

Should Michelle Obama run for president in 2020?

Yes 16% 18408

No 84% 94727

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 1:01 PM


Too funny! Maybe Mrs. Obama is more of a wing person.

Posted by: CafeBeouf | April 6, 2009 12:52 PM

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 12:42 PM

Does this mean that Obama is sneaking into Iraq and/or Afghanistan?

Posted by: JakeD | April 6, 2009 12:25 PM

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