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Unfair attacks on Michelle Obama's Spanish vacation

Let's stipulate: A five-star resort on the Spanish Costa del Sol was probably not the first choice of White House spin-meisters for a mother-daughter getaway. Especially when the getaway included a posse of 40 friends of the first lady staying at the Hotel Villa Padierna, where rooms start at $330 a night, and photos of Michelle Obama strolling in Marbella wearing an off-the-shoulder number by Jean Paul Gaultier.

"The first lady is on a private trip," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. "She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. And I think I'd leave it at that."

He wishes.

Technically, the first lady may be a private citizen. In actuality, she isn't. She can't be; see, for example, the Secret Service contingent that accompanies her, private trip or not private trip. This is a simple fact of modern presidential family life.

So as a political matter, the trip to Spain was not a good idea. You don't need Dick Morris -- who famously polled the Clintons' vacation plans and pushed Jackson Hole over Martha's Vineyard -- to tell you it's not going to play well at a time of 9.5 percent unemployment.

But I also don't begrudge Michelle Obama the trip, and I'd just as soon not have my First Family vacations determined by focus groups. I'm a big fan of mother-daughter -- or father-daughter, for that matter -- trips. I'm a big fan of foreign travel. School's out. It can't be that the only acceptable activity in stressful economic times is a First Family stay-cation. Stick around the White House and straighten the closets, maybe repaint a bedroom?

If Michelle and Sasha had hung out at home, not one more American would have a job, not one-hundredth of a decimal point would be added to the gross domestic product. Yes, her travel required a government plane and Secret Service resources, but that would be true wherever she went. It was true when George W. Bush made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford and spent all or part of 490 days there during his presidency, according to CBS News' Mark Knoller, official tallier of presidential downtime.

Writing in The New York Daily News, Andrea Tantaros said "Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette... than an average mother of two." Tantaros acknowledged that "we all need downtime -- the First Family included," but added, "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."

But the president's alleged "demonization" involves bashing Wall Street titans for simultaneously crashing the economy and drawing huge bonuses; it's not their wealth per se that he sees as a problem. And, let's be serious, Michelle Obama is not going to be staying in a Motel Six anytime soon.

The Marie Antoinette reference was a nice line, but unfair. Michelle was taking her daughter on a trip, not pronouncing, "Let them eat tapas."

By Ruth Marcus  | August 6, 2010; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Comments

Marcus try asking yourself this question:

"Would I be writing the exact same column had Laura Bush made the exact same trip with her two daughters?"

I think you and everyone else knows the answer to that question. Please do not try to defend the indefensible. It makes you appear more partisan and biased than you already appear.

Posted by: tmonahan54 | August 6, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"It was true when George W. Bush made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford and spent all or part of 490 days there during his presidency".

And the money spent doing so remained in the United States.

Posted by: franko42 | August 6, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that people, such as Ms Marcus, who relish anything that can be misrepresented or misunderstood about Sarah Palin are loyally protesting that Michelle's trips should be off limits for commentary.

I'm not even going to comment on married couples who choose to spend birthdays on separate continents. It's not a matter of national interest, but is interesting.

Posted by: annetta3 | August 6, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

What drives me crazy is when Bush went to Crawford, he had all the tools at his disposal that he would in DC! It was called the "Western White House" for a reason. Anything that could get done in DC he could do in Texas. But people wont admit it.

Posted by: dmtry | August 6, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

She acts entitled. How many vactions have the Obamas taken this year? Enough already!!! How about doing some work for a change? The only way to describe this administration is LAZY.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | August 6, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

So is the press ready to apologize to Nancy Reagan for making such a fuss over the money she spent on new White House china?

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well we're movin on up, To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.
Fish don't fry in the kitchen;
Beans don't burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin'
Just to get up that hill.
Now we're up in the big leagues
Gettin' our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it's you and me baby
There ain't nothin wrong with that.
Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie

Posted by: sunnyday1 | August 6, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"It was true when George W. Bush made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford and spent all or part of 490 days there during his presidency".

And the money spent doing so remained in the United States.

Posted by: franko42

======================================

Bush also held press conferences, met foreign leaders....In other words he worked.

Posted by: bbface21 | August 6, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm certain the Empress Alexandra had her defenders, as well, in the last days of the Romanov dynasty, so write on, Ms. Marcus.

Posted by: George210 | August 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

She is entitled to a vacation...but this is just over the top...And why not vacation IN the US to keep that money here?

The per diems for the secret service team runs at around £172 each, which amounts to nearly £60,000 for the length of the summer break.

Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at £91,900 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.

Mrs Obama's personal staff, of which there are an unknown amount and who might cost considerably more per day, also have to be taken into account.

The American public will also cover the cost of the only official part of the holiday, a visit to the Spanish royal family on the island of Majorca.
This will involve transport there and back for the entourage - as well as travel, accommodation, food and expenses for all while on the island.

Conservative estimates already put the total cost at £150,000. With Majorca to come, the bill will likely be more like £250,000.

wow............

Posted by: markopat | August 6, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that Ms Marcus can write he column because of the thick drool all over the keyboard. Please remember Ms Marcus, if an erection lasts more than 4 hours, you should consult a physician.

Posted by: sandysteiner1 | August 6, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that Ms Marcus can write he column because of the thick drool all over the keyboard. Please remember Ms Marcus, if an erection lasts more than 4 hours, you should consult a physician.

Posted by: sandysteiner1 | August 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The same louts who begrudge this trip have no problem that Sandra Bullock made a reported $65 million this past year or that the CEO suits continue to send all of our jobs to India and China. The unemployed didn't have a job before she left (I have first-hand knowledge of this) and they won't have one when she returns, so get a life and try to fix your own existence.

Posted by: TCooper44 | August 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Bush spent lots of vacation time in Texas because he was and is too ignorant and incurious to go and see the world. As the son of a millinaire he never took the opportunity to go anywhere since he was mostly drunk and high on other intoxicants to be interested in doing anything other than just keeping up his blood intoxicant level. By the time he quit drinking he was fully formed as a dull stay at home and do as little as possible person. Nearly 2 years out of office how many places has Bush visited that he was not paid to visit? He is and will remain a dullard of the highest order.

As far as the first lady goes, why is it any pundit's business to point out that someone's vacation is not the one they might have gone on.

I don't much care for Obama or the first lady but I know that if they want to wind down, they can't stay in our media circus because some twerp lacking originality and a clear notion for a column will always see a way to attack someone's behavoir in a disapproving tone.

I'm sure that Bush's contributions to the wealthy of this nation made him the darling of the right wing crowd but it left me cold. Pushing more wealth at those who neither need nor will use it productively is what no American should ever do. In fact I never saw any evidence that Bush understood what it means to be an American. He surely knew what it meant to be the spoiled child of privilege but he never understood what the average citizen does for a living and never knew the struggle of middle class and poverty is like.

Posted by: kalpal | August 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break. If Laura Bush had taken her twins on a junket that even approached the imperial-progress nature of this one, Ruth Marcus would have been standing on her desk howling at the moon.

Posted by: LaLydia | August 6, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problem is that the Obamas are the Worst First Family ever.
The other part is that so many of the "news" media, like Marcus, pretend this is ordinary behavior.
These are terrible people, on both parts.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | August 6, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Bush made 77 trips to his ranch over eight years, not 18 months, and I'd bet all 77 trips taken together cost taxpayers less than this "party for 40 of my closest friends" that MarieAntoinette-Michelle has going on. AND the money stayed in the US. Even Marcus admits this was a bad, bad idea. MarieAntoinette-Michelle is just as arrogantly tone deaf as her husband.

Posted by: dragonrider1 | August 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problem is that the Obamas are the Worst First Family ever.
The other part is that so many of the "news" media, like Marcus, pretend this is ordinary behavior.
These are terrible people, on both parts.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | August 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

sunnyday1 - the difference between the Jeffersons and these posers is that George's character built a successful business and earned his money.

Posted by: tx_eggman | August 6, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problem is that the Obamas are clueless people.
The other part is that so many of the "news" media, like Marcus, pretend this is ordinary behavior.
These are terrible people, on both parts, Obama and Marcus.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | August 6, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

...Wall Streeters simultaniously crashing the economy and drawing huge bonuses...
Let's see...Obama simultaniously preaches that everyone should "sacrifice" while his wife takes Air Force planes overseas to the most posh international destination with seemingly half of the secret service in tow. Never mind the jet fuel spent on the flights - hello global warming - the trip just doesn't pass the smell test established by the President himself when he talked about, you know Ruth, putting some "skin in the game." We all agree she won't be staying in a Motel 6 but the Ritz in Spain is a far cry from her other more respectful of the AMERICAN ECONOMY options.

Posted by: sah2 | August 6, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The lengths that the obama sycophants will go to whitewash (haha, pun intended) their every move is astounding. I guess the servile twits in the media figure they got him elected so they are going to ride with him all the way down into the ditch.

Posted by: standard_guy | August 6, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dmtry | August 6, 2010 4:24 PM
“What drives me crazy is when Bush went to Crawford, he had all the tools at his disposal that he would in DC! It was called the "Western White House" for a reason. Anything that could get done in DC he could do in Texas. But people wont admit it.”

Three words! “My Pet Goat”


Posted by: tomtildrum | August 6, 2010 4:30 PM
“So is the press ready to apologize to Nancy Reagan for making such a fuss over the money she spent on new White House china?”


When Nancy apologizes to America for taking Ronnie to an astrologer to help him make decisions affecting you and me.


Posted by: ThisIsReality | August 6, 2010 5:05 PM
"Part of the problem is that the Obamas are the Worst First Family ever.
The other part is that so many of the "news" media, like Marcus, pretend this is ordinary behavior.
These are terrible people, on both parts."


The reality is, you people do not envision black families vacationing anywhere but Mississippi.
It's not racial, its class envy.

Posted by: knjincvc | August 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

This is a laugh. A "mother-daughter" trip doesn't include half of DC. Better to go to Camp David if this was truly a private family thing. The Obamas are like kids in a candy store --- just grabbing at everything they can and hang the cost.

As for Bush, Crawford was more often than not a working vacation, not at all like strolling down a fashion avenue in a foreign country. And I'll bet the flight costs were peanuts in comparison, not to mention renting rooms in an expensive hotel. Get real!

Posted by: Beauxo | August 6, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, Obama's wife relishes the trappings of power and the perks of membership in the ruling class. The oligarchy has accepted her with open arms, putting the Obamas on a path to riches much like the Clintons, whose net worth exploded by 1000% as a result of patronage, kickbacks, and other taxpayer-financed corruption. It's highly appropriate that our own Michelle Antoinette chose the territory of one of history's most oppressive and arrogant monarchies - the Spaniards, to rub our noses in her glitter.

Posted by: doctorfixit | August 6, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a flying frig where Michelle Obama spends her vacation; no more than I do where Rush Limbaugh spends his - it really isn't mine or anybody else's business - the people who like her will understand; the people who hate her will condemn her, and none of it means "feces" - the bottom line is they are wealthy, and as the wealthy do, they can go wherever they want to spend their money; and it isn't anybody else's business - get a life!

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid | August 6, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ms Marcus,

i might VERY likely feel differently about this trip IF Michelle was doing "a RAINBOW TOUR", as Eva Peron did in the 1950s.
(Evita's "Rainbow Tour" made MONEY & gathered up a massive amount of GOOD WILL for/to Argentina, when that nation NEEDED both badly.)

at least, our current First Lady is attractive, brainy, polite & cultured. in other words, Michelle has CLASS, i.e., all of the things that BHO has little or NONE of!

IF we're going to spend the HUGE PILE of MONEY on the First Lady taking an EXPENSIVE European vacation, let's at least, in future, "get something more out of it", than a shopping trip for "the grrls"!====> after all, the WH professional staff has a very competent Travel Office & could put together a GOOD WILL TOUR "in their sleep" that would be BRILLIANT!
(one of the things that we "wild Texicans" ARE good at is putting on a GOOD show/party, when we'd sooner cry, when things are really GRIM, like the years 2010-12, for example.)

NOTE: in case you're reading this & wondering, i'm dead serious!
(in point of fact, i believe that Michelle & Laura, separately, are BETTER than BOTH their husbands, combined. = we elected the wrong spouse as POTUS, in both cases!)

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 6, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Marcus, first of all, you are NOT post-partisan. On the contrary, you are a partisan hack. Second, this lavish vacation at taxpayers expense (no way around it, little missy, the tax payers are footing the bill on this one to the tune of almost $400,000!) is extravagant beyond belief (!) especially since most of the nation, myself included, are suffering from the abyssmal economic policies inflicted by this clueless, snobbish administration. Where do this woman and her mom-pants husband get off??? Enough already! If they want to spend money, let them make cake! Just leave the presidency, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze.

Posted by: medenjw | August 6, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

kalpal wrote:
"Bush spent lots of vacation time in Texas because he was and is too ignorant and incurious to go and see the world. As the son of a millinaire he never took the opportunity to go anywhere since he was mostly drunk and high on other intoxicants to be interested in doing anything other than just keeping up his blood intoxicant level. By the time he quit drinking he was fully formed as a dull stay at home and do as little as possible person. Nearly 2 years out of office how many places has Bush visited that he was not paid to visit? He is and will remain a dullard of the highest order."
------------------------
I am not a defender or supporter of Bush, however, you seem to have far more "information" than is reliable in your denigration of him.
First of all, the Bush and the First Lady made some trips that were not publicized and were only revealed later by others, including the people they visited. These were soldiers who had been wounded, the families of fallen soldiers, many others who had losses.
We are aware of any "humanitarian" types of visits from the Obamas because these are usually "photo ops" as opposed to the low-key, not for public consumption Bush family trips.

You will also not hear Bush or his family criticizing Obama, his family, or responding to Obama bashes.
Your Bush bashing is probably personal and a matter of some political leanings. I don't know. As I said, I'm not a Bush defender ordinarily. This time, I think it was called for.
Laura Bush on her own continues to do considerable work for various causes.
It's called "class' -- if politics and personal feelings are removed from the discussion.

Posted by: pjcafe | August 6, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"The same louts who begrudge this trip have no problem that Sandra Bullock made a reported $65 million this past year"

The operative word is "made". She earned the money. People are offended at her spending tax dollars. Regardless of what she spends for her trip the secret service, et al is paid by the tax payer.

Posted by: haunches | August 6, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Marcus is nothing more than a parroting hack for the dims. Michelle Obama's trip was nothing but a waste of hard earned taxpayer's money at a time when so many are out of work. Our economy is hurting, and her hubby Obozo is spending us into oblivion. What does she care? She knows the party's over for her in two years so she's going to spend and spend like there's no tomorrow today.

Posted by: panamajack | August 6, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus, Obama attacks capitalism and tells all of us we must make sacrifices, but he and his family (who seem to think they're royalty) trot all over the world on our dime.

The hypocrisy of the "First Family and the left in general is just appalling.

I guess we're just the "little people."

Well, at least for the time being, the little people can VOTE. And we have had it with the Obama's. All of them.

Posted by: thinker16 | August 6, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"It was true when George W. Bush made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford and spent all or part of 490 days there during his presidency, according to CBS News' Mark Knoller, official tallier of presidential downtime."

That was Bush's home, you apologist twit.

Posted by: marrob5 | August 6, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

southernbutstupid wrote:" I don't give a flying frig where Michelle Obama spends her vacation; no more than I do where Rush Limbaugh spends his - it really isn't mine or anybody else's business - the people who like her will understand; the people who hate her will condemn her, and none of it means "feces" - the bottom line is they are wealthy, and as the wealthy do, they can go wherever they want to spend their money; and it isn't anybody else's business - get a life!"

==========================

Guess what, southernandstupid, when Rush Limbaugh takes a trip, the taxpayers don't pay for it!!

Quite frankly, I'm sick of paying for her trips - and her concerts and steak dinners and her dog!

Posted by: thinker16 | August 6, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

At 4:17 "annetta3" wrote:

"I'm not even going to comment on married couples who choose to spend birthdays on separate continents. It's not a matter of national interest, but is interesting."
~~~~~~
No, it's not interesting; it's not worth commenting on (which you did while saying you wouldn't); and it's truly none of your damn business.

Posted by: HydeParker | August 6, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It's not that they went on a vacation at a five star resort. Sure they need the plane, the secret service, some staff members and probably a whole floor at the hotel, but 40 friends for company? That overdoing it a bit.

Maybe taking 4 or 5 friends... since the plane has empty seats and empty rooms on the floor at the hotel, but 40 friends seems like taking advantage of the situation.

The friends should at lest be required to pay for their food an any extra expenses occurred to the American tax payer. Give them a 1099 and have them pay taxes on the $7k value of a trip to Spain at a five star resort.

It's kind of like being invited to be in a friends out of town wedding. Maybe families of the bride & groom will foot the bill for the tuxes, bridesmaid dresses, events and hotel, But most of the "normal" people pay the rest. That is part of the price you pay for friendship.

Asking the friends to pay something shouldn't be a big deal, if they are true friends and not a bunch of groupies.

Please stop "spreading the wealth" around and acting as if, trying to get all the fun and life experiences in like you only have 2 years to "Get mine".

Posted by: explorerhot | August 6, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The same louts who begrudge this trip have no problem that Sandra Bullock made a reported $65 million this past year or that the CEO suits continue to send all of our jobs to India and China.

========================================

None of that involves taxpayer money, law enforcement or military personnel.

Posted by: bbface21 | August 6, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Marcus is notorious for her lame writing and obsequiousness, but this epistle is a new low in a career based on bowing and scraping.
Every Democrat spokes-hack I know is seething that FLOTUS is hulking down the streets of Barcelona with her 40 person entourage like some third world dragon lady. But Ruthie stands alone in defending this gauche display from these shameless climbers.

But I am sure old Ruthie would be just as "PostPartisan" (HAHAHA!!) if this were Laura Bush, right?

Posted by: marrob5 | August 6, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"The friends should at lest be required to pay for their food an any extra expenses occurred to the American tax payer."

If an American government employee including the military and military brass take their spouses on a flight, the spouse has to pay the equivalent private transportation costs. The only exceptions are in the congress, house and senate. Pelosi not only carts people back and forth to CA we pay their bar tabs too. Let Michelle's "friend" pay for their flight too and for any protection etc they receive.

Posted by: haunches | August 6, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, where to begin rebutting this inanity? First, I thought the purpose of a "mother-daughter" trip was for bonding between parent and child. A little hard to find private bonding time with 40 hangers-on, no?

Second, Obama doesn't have a problem with people's "wealth per se"? Did he not say in April "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money"? (Has he mentioned this to his Secy of State, by the way? Hillary and Bill are worth at least 10s of millions, if not in excess of $100 million, as many published reports about Chelsea's wedding estimated. The Presidency is the new Powerball). Didn't he chastise companies for trips to Las Vegas, making such travel appear unseemly, and thereby hurting the Vegas economy even more? He said he was talking about companies taking bailouts--tax dollars. Are not his and Michelle's trips at least partially, as this article points out, financed by tax dollars?

Third, the media led me to believe during the 2008 election that Obama was one of the smartest men to run for the Presidency in our history. Historian Michael Beschloss said Obama's "IQ is off the charts" (without any proof, obviously). How could this brilliant, brilliant man not see how endless vacations and golf games might be perceived by an electorate scarred by the recession? Either he's not that smart, or he doesn't care. And if he doesn't care, does that mean he's not going to run for a second term? Or that he knows he's assured of a second term, no matter what the vote count is?

Please, Ms. Marcus, address that question in your next column.

Posted by: AliceInFla | August 6, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse


Just think: If Michelle Obama and her group had traveled in the US, their trip would have generated lots of economic activity here at home. At the very least, some hotel and restaurant workers would have gotten to work additional hours this week, at a time when a few extra work hours means an awful lot.

And Michelle Obama could have generated world wide publicity for a United States travel destination, maybe even one on the Gulf coast or in Michigan.

Posted by: junomoneta88 | August 6, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the First Lady taking a vacation with her daughter. But please explain to me, a person who has not had a vacation in 10 years, why my tax dollars paid for 40 people to go with her. THAT I have a problem with.

Posted by: Foster99 | August 6, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The taxpayers are footing the bill for the secret service. The President and First Lady are paying their expenses. Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Bush both traveled with their daughters to foreign countries and I'm sure they reimbursed the government accordingly.
Why would anyone assume that the government is footing the bill for guests and friends of Mrs Obama. What type of news programs do you folks listen to.
There was a time that one of Laura's twins made the news and Mrs. Bush was not able to respond immediately because she was vacationing with a friend. I have no idea how often she did this and I really don't care.
Some of you need to leave your biases behind because it is coloring your judgment.

Posted by: Judy_L | August 6, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"The same louts who begrudge this trip have no problem that Sandra Bullock made a reported $65 million this past year or that the CEO suits continue to send all of our jobs to India and China. The unemployed didn't have a job before she left (I have first-hand knowledge of this) and they won't have one when she returns, so get a life and try to fix your own existence.

Posted by: TCooper44 | August 6, 2010 5:00 PM "

Thank goodness there's at least one rational person commenting here. Well said.

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 6, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

You too, Judy_L. What rock did these people crawl out from under?!?

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 6, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"But the president's alleged "demonization" involves bashing Wall Street titans for simultaneously crashing the economy and drawing huge bonuses; it's not their wealth per se that he sees as a problem."

Not true, Ruthie. Our illustrious leader also said, "I do think there's a point at which you've made enough money."

Come on. You'll feel better if you come out of your state of denial and admit that this guy and his family are the worst to ever occupy the White House. Don't bother comparing Obama to LBJ or to this point in Reagan's or Clinton's presidencies (when their poll numbers also were low). The simple fact is: Obama ain't LBJ. He ain't Reagan. He ain't Clinton. He's not even Carter! He's in a class all by himself: The Worst President Ever...Not Even Close.

November 2010 and 2012 can't come soon enough.

NObama 2012. Change you can bet your life on.

Posted by: RedderThanEver | August 6, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"The taxpayers are footing the bill for the secret service. The President and First Lady are paying their expenses."

And you know this...how, Judy_L?

Oh, and Simpleton -- we conservatives / Obama despisers don't begrudge Sandra Bullock making her millions because she isn't being paid by taxpayers. She's earning it in the (somewhat) free marketplace. But I agree with your comment about the CEO suits sending our jobs overseas.

Posted by: RedderThanEver | August 6, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

A little on the 'post-partisan ' Ruth Marcus...she's married to an Obama appointment, Jon Leibowitz.
http://www.ftc.gov/commissioners/leibowitz/index.shtml

Jon Leibowitz was designated to serve as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on March 2, 2009, by President Barack H. Obama. Leibowitz was previously sworn in as a Commissioner in September 3, 2004, following his nomination by the President and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

In joining the Commission, Leibowitz resumed a long career of public service. He was the Democratic chief counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee from 1997 to 2000, where he focused on competition policy and telecommunications matters. He served as chief counsel and staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism and Technology from 1995 to 1996 and the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice from 1991 to 1994. In addition, he served as chief counsel to Senator Herb Kohl from 1989 to 2000. Leibowitz worked for Senator Paul Simon from 1986 to 1987. In the private sector, Leibowitz served most recently as vice president for congressional affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America – from 2000 to 2004 – and worked as an attorney in private practice in Washington from 1984 to 1986.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in American History (1980), Leibowitz graduated from the New York University School of Law in 1984. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and has co-authored amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court on issues ranging from gun control to the census.

He lives in Bethesda with his wife, Ruth Marcus, and his two daughters, Emma and Julia.

Who else worked for Paul Simon???

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/mar2008/db20080314_121054.htm

Axelrod

Posted by: wac3rd | August 6, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The Post, again, throws its Lefty bias in the face to defend Obama...even using "Bush did it" as an excuse, again.

Obama is a disaster and his wife is truly a debacle.

Posted by: wac3rd | August 6, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I am so-o-o-o busted up over the prospect of being "unfair" to progressive crapweasels.

Yawn...

Posted by: HostileKnowledge | August 6, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"The same louts who begrudge this trip have no problem that Sandra Bullock made a reported $65 million this past year..."

Did Ms. Bullock get some on my tax dollars ... Well I want her to return it immediately ... It was not Ms. Bullock's money to spend and she should have recognized that and not spent it ... Oh, she earned her own money ... and didn't spend any of my money ... well, that's different ... Oh God, I'm sorry for doubting you Sandra.

Well who was it that spent my tax dollars on that trip we're taling about??? Oh, her again. New York, now Spain, where next? Well, spend it while we got it lady, cause it's also all gone ... going ... going... ALL GONE!!! ... now how do you get back ... I'll chip in for the daughter ... but she can stay there ...

Posted by: IGotAComment | August 6, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Re: "they can go wherever they want to spend their money"

They are spending our money! She can go to Spain when they are out of office and they can pay for it themselves. I don't mind a few vacations, but these people are on a vacation every few weeks! I am sick of paying for it!

Obama is a lousy president who has broken all of his campaign promises. I wish the Democrats would run somebody else in 2012 because that is the only way I will vote for them in 2012.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | August 6, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

"Part of the problem is that the Obamas are the Worst First Family ever. The other part is that so many of the "news" media, like Marcus, pretend this is ordinary behavior.
These are terrible people, on both parts."

As a conservative & Tea Party loyalist, I must protest the "Worse First ever" part. The kids seem great and the parents seem to care about them. There is no reason to bring the word "family" into this discussion. We'd be acting like liberals then, and we don't want to sink that low and be in the gutter. Know what I mean.

On the other hand, yes, "These are terrible people, on both parts."

Posted by: IGotAComment | August 6, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Desperate for readers, the WaPo hit on a brilliant idea, have it's all stars (Marcus Quinn and Milloy) publish whatever crap comes out of their heads and see what happens.

And there we have it, the only explanation I can think of for this idiotic defense of the indefensible.
since March Ms O has had 6 vacations. Two more are scheduled before the kids return to school.

This a hugs cost to the taxpayers already bleeding from her husband's mismanagement of the economy.
While we;re at it, May I say she is the worst dressed, least graceful and least gracious first lady of my lifetime.

Posted by: clarice2 | August 6, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE, Michelle's vacation is just an other example of how out of touch both Barrack and Michelle are with the American public. The economy is near collape and 14 million Americans out of work, how many golf games, parties, vacation, trips, dinner parties does he think the are nessassary? I am a Democrat, and all the Democrats I talk to say he has destoryed the party.

Posted by: Richie5 | August 6, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I do not know if Ms. Marcus can read Spanish, but, if she can, I urge her to read the Spanish newspapers coverage of this circus. For example, in the middle of the season, the authorities had to close a portion of the beach go accommodate her. This trip is an embarrassment and reminds one of the time the term ugly American was in vogue. The saddest fact is that this trip will cost you and me at least 250,000 dollars. Simply put, this trip shows how the President and his wife view ordinary hard working Americans as simply members of flyover country and not worth anything.

Posted by: jeffreed | August 6, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Redder than ever, Presidents and their family have to reimburse the government for personal expenses. This includes the food they eat at the White House. There was a cute story once about President Ford's son not realizing this and the son had some buddies over and had food prepared all night long. Papa was not happy.
For all those complaining about vacations, whether Bush worked at the ranch or not, the taxpayers footed the bill for the secret service while he was in Texas.
Presidents are never on vacation.
I'm glad we did not feel it necessary to watch Laura Bush's every move.
There is a saying That It's okay if you are Republican. I guess that saying must be true.

Posted by: Judy_L | August 6, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse


I don't think it's the vacation.

It's the overall feeling in this country that nothing is being done to protect us as jobs continue to be sent overseas and promises to end NAFTA take to the wind like a lot of other promises.

Money continues to pour into the black hole known as offshore banking and nothing is being done to stop it. I know he can't do it all, but how about starting by telling people the truth about how bad it really is?

Then other things are being shoved down our throats such as health care and the push for illegal immigrant amnesty
despite opposition by the majority of citizens.

All the while, the Obamas yuk it up on vacations in designer clothes, appear on The View and make create other photo ops in the public's face.

Whether you agree that's what it is or not, that is the PERCEPTION that's out there.

The "devil may care" attitude is getting old. Who cares about prior presidents? They no longer have the title but no doubt continue to work behind the scenes or out in the open. But that's another story...


Posted by: Tar1 | August 6, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

(Quote from Judy_L above) There was a time that one of Laura's twins made the news and Mrs. Bush was not able to respond immediately because she was vacationing with a friend. (End Quote)

Thank you for bring that up. I, too, remember that incident. Laura and two or three old friends were rafting on the Colorado River. They camped out. Some contrast with the current crowd, huh?

Posted by: goldfinch | August 6, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Why all the hate over a 4-day trip? Some of you complained about the Obamas 'exotic' trip to Hawaii. The poster who questioned them spending Obama's birthday apart probably complained when they went on a date and would have complained had he gone with them to Spain.

Just because you can't afford to go somewhere doesn't mean they can't go. They were rich before Obama took office. And they, like the Clintons, EARNED their money. They can spend it how they wish. Yes, Bush vacationed in Texas and his father frequented Maine, but I guarantee they weren't staying in a cabin or small cape cod. They were staying in thier family ESTATES. (and for the poster who said W was working in Crawford--that press conference with him playing golf shows just HOW HARD he was working and I bet you didn't say the same thing last year when the Obamas went to Martha's Vineyard) I doubt that Laura Bush raft trip was the same as a raft trip you and I would take, either. The Obamas don't have vacation homes so when they travel, they have to have a place to sleep. They shouldn't have to go to Virginia Beach or Ocean City because that's where you go.

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want a mother to take their child to see the world. My plan is for my son's to see every state and continent before they graduate college.

Complaining about the cost is senseless. ANYWHERE they go, the Secret Service goes and they use government vehicles. That's just the way it is.

What is so elitist about travelling around the world? Exposure to other cultures and places is not elite.

Posted by: 39aka94 | August 6, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

You know we truly have become a nation of whiners. Believe it or not, the First Lady could pay for a trip to Spain for her and her daughter with her own money. The First Lady will be paying for her own personal expenses so is she supposed to shutdown her life because she is s resident in the White House.
The detractors have become so caught in critism, they fail to realize that the First Lady was a successful business women in her own right. People, get your attitude's right...fix your own personal situation and become better people and we'll work our way out of our issues. Stop finding other people to blame for your poor attitudes. It's just ridiculo

Posted by: easyq02yahoocom | August 6, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the useful idiots at the WaPo, just like their predecessors in the USSR, continue to spin, fabricate and scheme on behalf of their masters. The whining, however, is getting a little tiresome.

Posted by: jcp370 | August 6, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Michelle's husband was hired to fix a terrible economic problem. 19 months into his tenure, the problem is still very very bad. So here's the deal --

Minimize the vacations. You are only on a 4 or 8 year tour of duty. As any CEO trying hard to rescue his company, we taxpayers, like shareholders, fully expect maximum effort. In fact, we should DEMAND the behavior of a workaholic. You are not in a normal job in normal times.

Secondly --- the very image of your wife spending huge amounts of money, including lots of tax dollars, for an extravagent overseas vacation is terrible. At the very least, Barry, the $$$ could have been spent in the U.S. to stimulate the damn economy.

Posted by: CREEBOLD | August 6, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The Obamas should be working 24/7 to leave the country in better shape than it was in 2008. Sadly, that isn't happening.


Posted by: sunnyday1 | August 6, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The Obama's earned their money; she by being a successful executive and he by writing books that people wanted to read. Mrs. Obama is a mother who is very aware that her children's childhood is speeding by. If the Obamas waited until after his Presidency to offer their children opportunities to expand their thinking and learn that there are good people all over the world, it would be too late. These are precious years and Michelle made it very clear from the start that her first job is her children. As for President Bush working while at his ranch, there is no comparison. Mrs. Obama doesn't have a paying job. Her husband does. He stayed home and worked.

Posted by: karela | August 7, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Beauxo | August 6, 2010 5:26 PM

This is a laugh. A "mother-daughter" trip doesn't include half of DC. Better to go to Camp David if this was truly a private family thing. The Obamas are like kids in a candy store --- just grabbing at everything they can and hang the cost.

As for Bush, Crawford was more often than not a working vacation, not at all like strolling down a fashion avenue in a foreign country. And I'll bet the flight costs were peanuts in comparison, not to mention renting rooms in an expensive hotel. Get real!

Posted by: doctorfixit | August 6, 2010 5:28 PM

Obviously, Obama's wife relishes the trappings of power and the perks of membership in the ruling class. The oligarchy has accepted her with open arms, putting the Obamas on a path to riches much like the Clintons, whose net worth exploded by 1000% as a result of patronage, kickbacks, and other taxpayer-financed corruption. It's highly appropriate that our own Michelle Antoinette chose the territory of one of history's most oppressive and arrogant monarchies - the Spaniards, to rub our noses in her glitter.
****************************************

The class envy is palpable.


Posted by: knjincvc | August 7, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

tmonahan54

Laura Bush and her daughters went to Africa on Safari while her husband was borrowing money from China and spending us deep into debt.

Didn't hear a word out of you, or Andrea Tantaros...

And NEITHER you or Tantaros has anything to say about George Bush making 77 trips to the Ranch, with Laura in tow...

Which is it...you're a hypocrite, or you are a racist.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I take it you are going to write a column apologizing to Sarah Palin for spending the RNC's (not the taxpayers) money on her wardrobe during the 2008 campaign? Well, waiting Ruthie?

Oh, and did anyone notice her royal highness stopped at an ice cream parlor? This is the woman who lectures the rest of us about not eating desert.

Hypocracy, thy name is Democrat.

Posted by: superman8472 | August 7, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

As long as the Obama's are in the White House, and let's hope it's not for too much longer, all of their actions have symbolic meaning. To me, a mother/daughter trip might be to Hershey Park or Ocean City for a few days. Spain? What a family of phony hypocrites.

Posted by: randysbailin | August 7, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Tar1

We have an unemployment number of 9.5%, which means we have an employment number of 90.5%.

Manufacturing in this country disappeared every one of the 20 of the last 30 years that a republican was in office, and republicans controlled one or both House and Senate.

The "White House" goes with any POTUS wherever he goes....First Ladies and their staff, secret service and security, families and friends have always traveled. Laura Bush and her daughters went to Africa on safari, Bush spent 490 days - more than a whole year out of his eight years as POTUS - on vacation, at the Ranch, with SS, Security and "White House" in tow... not a word from any one that has posted here.

You won't see anyone celebrating that we have 90.5 employment rather than 25% employment of the Great Depression, no one has bothered to thank this President for doing all he did to save as many jobs as he did; no one seems to even understand that the President and First Ladies of our country don't ever, really, have a day off, or time away, or days when they can vege...they're 'on duty' 24/7.

No one carped about the Bushes...understanding the nature of the job... so why don't they understand the nature of the job for the Obama's?

Why do they not know, or get their facts first, before they carp about the cost when the costs are paid out of the first family's pockets? Why such racist, angry, hateful comments when they didn't even notice any other first family's time out of DC?

Its all color.

racist hatred.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Ah ... the racist card ... how original ... I was waiting for that one. Face it you and this "post partisan" what's her face are defending an indefensible position. Camelot deux is over before it hardly even started despite the longings of those in the supposedly mainstream press. The crisis which allowed such a liberal elitist to assume power persists. Because of this (and a lot of others things) people are angry ... very angry. This little jaunt does nothing to assuage such consternation and it has NOTHING to do with one's skin color. Who's in a state of denial now ???

Posted by: cunn9305 | August 7, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

".....the hotel stay and all meals—were paid for by the Obamas and their close friends who joined them."

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-gaggle/2010/08/06/the-faux-scandal-of-michelle-obama-s-spain-trip.html

Just a bunch of racist accusations without even trying to check the facts.

shame shame shame

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

cunn9305

Angry for why?

Whinin and cryin cause they've been whipped into a froth of hate by a bunch of racist republicans?

Folks today mad at the world 'cause they didn't put aside the 6 months worth of costs they've been told to set aside for years?

LOTS of folks got reason to be angry, but not at this President...

....the mess the republicans made, and their refusal to even admit their responsibility,

....at two needless, endless wars where the world's richest and most skillfully armed superpower can't win a war against a third world gaggle of barbarians?

....at major corporations that move their home offices off shore to avoid paying their fair share for the privilege of doing business here?

....at republicans in charge of White House and/or Senate and House for 20 of the last 30 years while our manufacturing went overseas and every industrialized country in the world eats our lunch with high speed rail, energy independence, alternative fuels, and health care at half what we pay?

....at the wealthy who don't pay the same rate of taxes we do?

....at the traitorous Americans that hire illegals and NEVER get punished?

There's a BUNCH of folks out here so mad about these things they can't see straight, but they know exactly who caused the mess, and who is cleaning it up, and they are profoundly grateful we got a decent, caring, intelligent hard working President working all day, every day to get things straightened out.

Real Americans handle a political problem with their votes... not spoiled little kid fits of hate.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Don't call me or anybody else a racist for raising notice the actions of their government. It's not going to work anymore. As has been specified the costs of security, transportation and boarding for any governmental personnel are on OUR dime so ANY opinion raised by taxpaying American citizens is beyond question. I see you quoted that sterling example of mainstream journalism called Newsweek in supporting your arguments. They aren't winning many of those arguments lately as they and their highly liberal content are flat broke. Like a good netroot when you are out of options and can't dispute the facts demonize the opposition. I know ... it's part of the Journolist algorithm but the secret is out now and such false charges fall on deaf ears. I know it will hurt come November but try to soften the blow by scheduling a visit with the therapist say Wednesday ... the third ???

Posted by: cunn9305 | August 7, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

You're right dude ... real Americans handle a political problem with their votes ... and that is EXACTLY what is going to happen. there will be no spin, no excuses, only ballots. Lots and lots of ballots ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | August 7, 2010 2:10 AM | Report abuse

"El Golfo de Mejico" is for the little people?

Posted by: decsatsv | August 7, 2010 5:34 AM | Report abuse

It's true that taxpayers have to pay the cost of protecting the First Family no matter where they travel. But it is cheaper for the Secret Service to protect the First Lady and her daughter if they stay in the US rather than travel to Spain with 40 of the First Lady's closest friends. Who is paying the costs of that swanky hotel? Who is paying the costs of the plane travel? Why isn't the Post doing some of that hard-nosed investigative reporting that it did when Sarah Palin had some nice clothes sent to her during the election?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 7, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

We are not talking about 1 or even 2 vacations, they take 1 or 2 a month - Broadway, NY, Bar b que in Chicago, Acadia Nat'l Park in Maine, Los Angles with Grandma, hiking in North Carolina, Spain with friends, and when they get back Florida, and then 2 more weeks in Martha Vineyard where they have rented a whole compound at $100,000 a week. When the People realize they are paying millions for Air Force One, Security, their SUV's to be transported, staff, dog, and grandma maybe they will be just a little outraged too.

Posted by: CayC | August 7, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The LA Times has an article about the costs of Michelle Obama's trip. Here's something that really struck me:

"Though her friends arrived in Spain on their own, Michelle and Sasha Obama flew in on a type of aircraft that is also used by Vice President Joe Biden. It costs the government $11,555 an hour to operate the plane, according to the Air Force. Assuming a nearly eight-hour flight to nearby Malaga, the total round-trip cost of the flight is about $178,000.

The Obama family will reimburse the government an amount equal to two first-class tickets, Air Force officials said. A round-trip first-class flight to Malaga costs about $7,400, without discounts or restrictions."

So, it looks like you and I (a/k/a the taxpayers) are paying the remainder of the costs of flying Joe Biden's plane to Spain.

Here's another excerpt:

"Every first family takes vacations. The criticism aimed at Michelle Obama is that she chose to visit a foreign country rather than remain in the U.S. and support its fragile economy.

Last month the first lady flew to the Florida Panhandle, a tourist draw hit hard by the oil spill crisis, and delivered the message that for parents "looking for things to do with their kids this summer … this is a wonderful place to visit." "

So, I guess the Florida Panhandle is a wonderful place for all the people who bitterly cling to their guns and religion, but while Spain is the right place for Michelle.

Here's the article that Marcus should have written, if she didn't have her nose firmly placed in the Obama's nether regions:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-michelle-spain-20100807,0,4606035.story

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 7, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Ruth, you obviously don't get all the GOP spam mail. There were two or three different robo emails calling Michelle Obama a modern Marie Antionette last winter. They were filled with lies about the number of handlers and the amount of money she spent. They said she had increased all that by about a factor of 10 from Laura Bush, when she actually had the same amount.

The Marie Antoinette thing is just the repeat of a GOP robo-email full of lies. I bet millions of GOP partisans loved the lies then, and I bet they love them now. Pavlovian, no?

Posted by: baldinho | August 7, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

There are no ethics for those in public life. When presidents vacation at the homes of multi-millionaires that is a conflict of interest or has the appearance of conflict of interest. Neither Clinton or Obama have ranches or estates so they have Camp David.
Mrs Obama's behavior is that of a vulgar arriviste rather than a First Lady. That neither she, nor her husband nor any of their handlers understand the significance of her extravagance at public expense or even the appearance of such lavishness at this time is a sign of how our public officials' lack of ethics is.
The public has every right to be furious at her lack of principled behavior. A better gesture would have been to have her 40 friends and family members spend some time at Camp David and to have been in town for her husband's birthday. Or better yet, they should have gone to the gulf as she lectured us to do.
Mrs Obama's behavior has always been petulent. She is telling the public she simply does not care what anyone thinks she is doing her own thing. At a time when her husband's popularity is falling, this may be risky.

Posted by: jsands2 | August 7, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Mrs Obama's behavior is that of a vulgar arriviste.

Presidents should never vacation in the homes of others because of the appearance of conflict of interest.

Camp David is the vacation home for our presidents. Especially those without their own vacation homes or ranches.

There is no ethical conduct among our elected officials. Mrs. Obama's tasteless trip is an example of the lack of ethics in our public officials and their families.

Shame on her. She should have gone to the gulf in the US. There is no such thing as private vacations for our presidents and their families.

Posted by: jsands2 | August 7, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Wonder where My brother Marines in Afghanistan are sleeping tonight, they have been sent on Foreign travel compliments of the U.S. taxpayer also. I am sure the MRE's are as tasty as the Lobster OUR Queen is eating in Spain. It is amazing in these times how you can defend this trip!! Oh but that is right when she gets back the WHOLE family is off to the Gulf coast for more rest.

TERM LIMITS NOW !!

FAIR TAX NOW !!

DEATH TO JIHADISTS !!

SECURE THE BORDER !!

Posted by: 79USMC83 | August 7, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Entitled ...okey doke.
my vacation is my backyard, no job, my savings are dwindling, and my tax dollars paid for this.
decorum....darling.

Posted by: patrikm | August 7, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The meanness and stupidity continues. The Obamas can afford the trip Michele took to Spain. Its not like she is seen all over the world spending lots of money, never home. I am beginning to really hate americans, so small minded, closed minded, hanging onto any BS,
jealous, scared etc..... the list can go on and on.

Posted by: honeybee1 | August 7, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Ruth, thanks for reminding us that Michelle Obama is still first lady. What ever happened to that dynamic, chic, politically engaged woman who was going to be the most memorable presidential spouse since Dolly Madison? Aside from doing for zucchini what Lady Bird Johnson did for wildflowers, what's she been up to lately? Telling the mothers of pudgy children that they ought to cut back on the sugary drinks and potato chips is playing the neighborhood busybody, not making national policy. As long as Mrs. POTUS is living like a Chicago housewife transplanted to DC by her husband's work, then her vacations and all of her family's personal activities are indeed her private business. Leave her alone.

Posted by: dupremail | August 7, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Taking a vacation is one thing. Having to take 40 friends with you is another. This is the same woman that Obama said would NOT stay with him at his Washington apartment when he was senator because it wasn't nice enough for her. She would stay at a fancy hotel instead.

Posted by: IndependentJoe | August 7, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Honeybee1 wrote:
"The Obamas can afford the trip Michele took to Spain."
------------
Honeybee, you completely missed the point of the objections and complaints. The Obamas ARE NOT paying for the trip - American taxpayers are paying most of the costs. American taxpayers are also having to pay for the vacation in Maine, the vacation on Martha's Vineyard, the vacation on the gulf coast, and the almost weekly White House musical extravaganzas.

The Obamas are not private citizens who pay their own expenses! Do you really not understand?

Posted by: pilsener | August 7, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

ANYTHING AN OBAMA DOES IS WRONG

Beck said it.
I believe it.
That settles it.

Phht.

Posted by: roblimo | August 7, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus, like far too many of her colleagues at the Post, just doesn't get it. Comparing Michelle Obama's ritzy Spanish vacation with George W. Bush's working trips to his ranch in Crawford is simply ludicrous.

Equally ludicrous is the Obama family's luxurious and extravagant lifestyle at a time when far too many Americans can't even make ends meet.

Posted by: austinrl | August 7, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Give the Worst Lady a break?

When she pays back every dime she and that idiot husband of hers has stolen from us taxpayers for all their partying, acting like a king and a queen, for acting like they are owed something because they are black and half-black, and start respecting ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Not just union thugs, welfare slugs and illegals.

Ruth Marcus: Enjoy your ride as a hack for Obama because you'll have nowhere to go once the Kenya Muslim Marxist is booted out of office.

Posted by: cvicic1959 | August 7, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Marie Antoinette is tame compared to the ever despicable Rush Limbaugh.

He the media is allowing Michelle Obama to take a vacation as a form of reparations for "our slave past."

"As far as the media's concerned, Mrs. Obama deserves this," he said. "Look at the sordid past. Look at our slave past, look at the discriminatory past. It's only fair that people of color get their taste of the wealth of America too."

I don't think we can any longer describe the people who say and believe this hate the fringe. They are the Republican/Conservative mainstream - the base.

Posted by: FauxReal | August 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama once cautioned that families saving money for college shouldn't ''blow a bunch of cash in Vegas''.

Absolutely correct.

If you blow a bunch of cash in Spain, you don't have to worry about it providing cash to a local economy that actually might employee an American that does not belong to a union that contributes to Democrats.

Posted by: TECWRITE | August 7, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Please. Mrs. Obama may be a private citizen of means but the cost of her security team is paid for with my tax dollars. Her transportation on Air Force Two is paid for with my tax dollars. Compound this copious display of wealth with her husband's avowed statist policies and it's no wonder she looks like Marie Antoinette. Her husband and his cronies certainly aspire to be our new feudal aristocracy. (Just look at the Clinton's $2 million dollar wedding or Sen. Kerry's $7 million dollar yacht.) After your impassioned plea to leave this 'private citizen' alone, Ruth, I no longer want to hear about the 'greed' of wealthy people who disagree with your politics and I certainly don't want to hear about my 'carbon footprint' given all the jet fuel Mrs. Obama and her coterie have burned this summer alone.

Posted by: bn0424 | August 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Washington Post should:

Leave reports of Ms. Obama's fashion sense and clothing designers to the fashion magazines.

Leave her travel plans while on "vacation" to the travel magazines.

And leave the "hoopla" of the expense of her "vacation" to the tabloids.

If she hasn't broken any laws, none of this is news.

"The First Lady is on vacation with her daughter at an undisclosed location". - That's more than what we need to know.

Posted by: MDLaxer | August 7, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Southernbutnotstupid, it IS our business where Michelle spends her vacation. You see, she is spending OUR money, the taxpayers' money, NOT her money for the jet, hotels, food and security. If she is spending HER money, she can show an audited report with all back-ups when she gets back and I will apologize for being furious that she galavants while people in this country go hungry because her husband and the dems know nothing about economics or job building. Until proven otherwise, I believe Obama is a pretender to the presidency so Michele does not belong in the WH. She should certainly not be spending all that money on herself and all her friends. And this Marcus woman should not be standing up for her.

Posted by: annnort | August 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

dutchess2, you should get your facts straight before you start bantying the race card. But those like you who cry race never check your facts.

Also, Marcus should not comment about anything to do with the Obama administration. She has a conflict of interest.

Posted by: annnort | August 7, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Michelle's trip to Spain, with some of her best buds, sends a horrible signal.
It says she was hypocritical when she urged ordinary Americans to vacation on the gulf coast while she jets off to a fancy foreign hotel on a vacation that looks to cost nearly a million dollars for the taxpayers.

But who are we to decide, we have cake.

Posted by: spamsux1 | August 7, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

She urged ordinary Americans to vacation on the gulf coast while she jets off to a fancy foreign hotel on a vacation that looks to cost nearly a million dollars for the taxpayers.

GET A CLUE WASHINGTON POST.

Posted by: blhfish | August 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"I will not rest while our armed forces are in danger,"

"I will not rest until Americans get their jobs back."

"I will not rest until the oil well in the Gulf is plugged."

"I will not rest until all Americans have healthcare."

"I will not rest until don't-ask-don't-tell is repealed."

"I will not rest until Iran gives up its nuclear weapon ambitions."

"I will not rest until Guantanamo Bay is closed."

Posted by: Delongl | August 7, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

No Ruth, only the kool aid drinkers are giving her a pass. Her royal highness is spending a huge amount of taxpayer dollars on her Spanish jaunt - as well as the other seven vacations she has taken or will take this summer alone! And if you equate expenses for a Crawford TEXAS trip with the coast of Spain, you must never have taken a vacation. She tells us we have to give up a piece of our pie so that others can have more - but not her pie, I guess. ( I will refrain from the obvious joke about pie and the size of her rear end.) Someone should tell her that America doesn't have royalty, and that her husband works for us - we don't work to subsidize their extravagant lifestyle. So tacky and gauche!

Posted by: Ctmom4 | August 7, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama's spectacular Spanish vacation only proves what a big-hearted person she is. If it cost twice as many taxpayers dollars it would be worth it to provide the little people with some diversion and entertainment in this, their hour of pain and need.

Posted by: saxonamerican | August 7, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

There is no defense of a trip this costly to the tax payers and which involved so many 'private citizens'.

What an incredible waste this pair of greedy, self-indulging, bungling grifters turned out to be. But then again what did people expect electing a bitter couple from Chicago?

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | August 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

First of all - the hotel and meals for the First Lady and her daughter are being paid for by the Obama's.

Second - would you like her to travel by regular air flight? Would you feel safe aboard such a flight? What about having to be screened by the Secret Service before you board the same flight she does?

Even if she went to the gulf, guess what? Those Secret Service and staff all go with her.

So I guess you are all saying that she should just stay at home and have no vacation for the time her husband is president.

You know? If she went over to Georgetown for her vacation, you guys would find fault in it.

Posted by: Renshaw | August 7, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess nobody's every heard the parable of the Boy who Cried Wolf? If you criticize EVERY act of the President & First Lady, eventually nobody listens to your ravings (except, of course, the media which needs SOMETHING/ANYTHING to fill their 24-hour cycle).

Posted by: ChrisMacy | August 7, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the cost – which has to be exorbitant for secret service, use of US AF aircraft, and one of the most extravagant hotels in Spain – was somewhat shocked at the lack of pure judgment and logic of this trip! It was not as if the Obama’s had not had a vacation – in fact, they have had at least one a month for the past three months, with two more on the docket (Panama City and Martha’s Vineyard) later this month. At a time when the majority of the Country is suffering from a RECESSION, and with the LOOMING TAX HIKES FROM TEAM OBAMA in JANUARY, it just seems prudent that the FLOTUS
would not be flaunting waste and abuse. (BET SHE IS JUST GETTING ‘PROUDER’ OF BEING A US CITIZEN!!) Pretty sad, and what is worse, she had been a bright spot in an otherwise incompetent White House! WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Posted by: wheeljc | August 7, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

bryanmcoleman is obviously deluded. He describes the Obamas as "greedy, self-indulging, bungling, bitter". Perhaps his perceptions would improve if he'd remove the aluminum foil from his head! One might disagree with the President's policies, but only a certified lunatic would describe either of these sophisticated, competent & optimistic Americans in those terms!

Posted by: ChrisMacy | August 7, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

how do you compare the ranch in Crawford, TX and Spain?

Posted by: morena77 | August 7, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ms Marcus- you are SOOOOOOOOO predictable. Love the democratic women no matter what they do - hate and trash any republican woman who breathes. You are at point where many are questioning why they even bother reading you I am sure. I know I read only to see that my predictions of the slants of your stories are as I presumed they would be and you never disappoint.

Posted by: justmyvoice | August 7, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

This trip may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The American people are fed up to the gills with this pair and their entitlement mindset! Being President, or in any other elected office, is supposed to be a sacrifice that is taken on because of love of country and a desire to serve the citizenry. It is not supposed to be a ticket to the high-life. If Michelle Let-Them-Eat-Cake is not willing to take on the "duties" of First Lady (a traditional obligation only), she should stay out of the limelight and avoid wasting the taxpayer's money until her husband's term of office is over in two more years.

The amount of money they have spent on entertainment, and personal "FUN" is OBSCENE. Taking a nine-year-old to Spain for a mother-daughter outing is almost laughable, on the taxpayer dollar, when you have millions of AMERICAN families who are out of work, or who work in places that depend on tourism. A nine year old would have had just as much fun, playing in the water, anywhere. We have how many vacation spots in the U.S.? How many jobs, whether temporary or permanent, could be created, with the money these people waste?

Michelle Let-Them-Eat-Cake Obama is a looter in the classic Ayn Rand sense. The end is near for them so she's smashing and grabbing all she can while the grabbing is good. $66 tapas, lobster for her and her entourage, streets and beaches cordoned off. She ordered a cream coat from a London designer. What's wrong with American designers?

Shame on both Obamas!

Posted by: elby | August 7, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama theme song by Quincy Jones:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WqazleR3FE

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | August 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

OK I"ve got to say it; many of these comments, such as the one with the Jefferson's theme song, seem to give the impression that the Obamas are interlopers in the White House, that maybe they don't belong there and have no right to be there - the only comparison I can come up with is a pastor's family who exists due to the good will of a congregation. Get over it, you do not own the President's family and cannot choose their vacation spots for them.

Posted by: SusanSC | August 7, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

OK I"ve got to say it; many of these comments, such as the one with the Jefferson's theme song, seem to give the impression that the Obamas are interlopers in the White House, that maybe they don't belong there and have no right to be there - the only comparison I can come up with is a pastor's family who exists due to the good will of a congregation. Get over it, you do not own the President's family and cannot choose their vacation spots for them.

Posted by: SusanSC | August 7, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

After watching Dems viciously attack George and Laura Bush on a personal level for eight years, I am not moved much by Ms. Marcus' appeal to give the Obamas a pass. Paybacks a b****, isn't it.

I wonder how much of an impact it would have had on tourism if Mrs. Obama had taken her vacation at a Louisiana beach? But then that would have been a personal sacrifice and Dems always want others to pay for their ideology.

Posted by: grohlik | August 7, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

These people (writers and Obama supporters alike) keep blaming or justifying everything related to the Obama administration on George Bush. Give it a rest already. I do find it commical that Obama supporters find it necessary to compare everything Obama does now to what Bush did or what he would have done. :-)

Posted by: savannah4 | August 7, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

morena77

Secret Service folks are highly trained, on salary, available 24/7, whether you use them or not, regardless of what country... it is just a slimin lyin untruth to say that the trip to Spain cost more due to Secret Service...

They don't pick them up as day laborers on the street... they're on board and on duty no matter what or where.

You also don't get to choose what hotel/motel you'll stay in.... the Secret Service decides what makes the best protection for the POTUS and/or family, and that is what is... fact of life.

Everyone carping here has been told over and over again, and most seem able to Google it like the rest of us... that everyone paid their own way, the Obama's included for whatever is beyond the usual safety and protection of first families...

And it made no difference to anyone... they're still griping... because that's how racists act.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

austinrl

Why so?

77 Air Force 1 flights to Texas... Secret Service, Security, Communications, staff, chef, Laura, the Twins, their friends if they got invited...Lots of Dick Cheney time there, and Trent Lott, various key Congress critters... several planes full of cars for presidential motorcades...

How do you think they got there?

490 days vacation for George W. Bush and Laura, Laura and the twins on safari in Africa...think they flew commercial? Took a bus? Went without Secret Service?

Think again.

Didn't hear a peep out of you then.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

austinrl

Why so?

77 Air Force 1 flights to Texas... Secret Service, Security, Communications, staff, chef, Laura, the Twins, their friends if they got invited...Lots of Dick Cheney time there, and Trent Lott, various key Congress critters... several planes full of cars for presidential motorcades...

How do you think they got there?

490 days vacation for George W. Bush and Laura, Laura and the twins on safari in Africa...think they flew commercial? Took a bus? Went without Secret Service?

Think again.

Didn't hear a peep out of you then.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

grohlik

Payback?

Have you no shame?

George W. Bush has been declared among the worst POTUS ever... debt, borrowing, spending, two wars, huge tax cuts for the wealthy, manufacturing jobs overseas, every other industrialized country eating our lunch with green manufacture, alternative fuels, energy independence, and health care for half what we pay...

You surely to God are not going to tell us republicans were happy with him... we've seen his approval ratings tanking for years.

President Obama, on the other hand, is doing exactly what 65 million Americans hired him to do. He does not deserve, nor does his wife, the racist ranting we've seen here just because you lost the election. He has not done anything as destructive as George W. Bush did, nor has he created so much debt.

This is not 'payback', it is just pure racist hate.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 7, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the First Lady taking a vacation with her daughter and a "few" friends. However, what I do have a problem with is a ritzy vacation. At a time when many Americans can't afford the cost of gas & food to pack up the kids and take them on a simple camping trip, she decides to go to Spain. I'm sure she and her friends are doing lots of shopping and eating out, but that money would be just as well spent here in the U.S. where the workers are struggling.
I read some of the comments about President Bush's vacations, I worked in the News Media during the Bush Administration, and if I recall, a lot of those vacations to his ranch, where "working vacations". As for the Laura Bush trips, most of her trips were working vacations. When she went to Africa with her daughter Jenna, she also visited her daughter Barbara who was living in South Africa at the time working with children who were suffering with AIDS. She also attending a conference speaking to women in Africa who had AIDS. She was also did other humanitarian work while she was over there. I recall many of Mrs. Bush's trips had purpose, not personal. She took on the role of a First Lady, and did it very well.
Michelle Obama deserves a vacation, but as FLOTUS in these Harsh Times,don't go overboard. I hope she makes a better choice next time. Hey, was she taking trips like this before she became First Lady? Nope. I think they vacationed a lot in the U.S.-- Hawaii I think.
Pray for the U.S.A. and the President.

Posted by: shinyvee1 | August 8, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Ms.Marcus, your hypocrisy is transparent. Of course if Mrs. Bush had taken a holiday abroad with an entourage of 40 "friends" (I think I even saw Desiree Rogers in one of the pics) while George was celebrating his birthday back home in Texas you would be all over this like you know what. Aside from the extravagance which must seem like an "in your face" gesture to most working Americans I know that if my wife or I wanted to go on a separate vacation instead of celebrating our birthdays together we'd start to wonder about our relationship.

Posted by: ExPatYankee | August 8, 2010 2:56 AM | Report abuse

When all is lost ... play the race card. Pathetic. Just wait 'til after the elections though. The "narrative" of the Angry White Man as the reason for the GOP blowout will be plastered all over WaPo and NYT. If Barry's election did ANYTHING good it took the race card out of the Democratic playbook basically for good. It will just take awhile for folks of a certain persuasion to accept it.

Posted by: cunn9305 | August 8, 2010 4:18 AM | Report abuse

What hypocrisy. Ruth was terribly snide and mocking when Sarah Palin went to Neiman Marcus and spent RNC money on an expensive wardrobe and traveled with her children to a women's leadership conference in NYC staying at the Essex House (modest compared to anything in Marbella) from Alaska.

Further it's rather dishonest to state rooms start at $330 at the Villa Padierna. The Villa Padierna is a RITZ Carlton property and the room probably cost around $6,000 per night. President's make a lot of money but not that kind of money. Not only is this insensitive and arrogant but these expenses will probably be gone over with a fine toothed comb once Republicans regain the House - and this kind of arrogant behavior is going to send quite a few more voters to the polls in anger to further that outcome.

Posted by: ophelia3 | August 8, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

so Clinton and Obama are both well known for burning the nidnight oil, getting only four to five hours of sleep a night, etc... yet Bush, who took more vacays than any president, shut the WH down by 9pm. how come there was no outcry about Laura going to Burma? or how about the jaunt around South America for the twins where one of them had their purse stolen? didn't taxpayers pay for those Secret Service people? how absurd for you all to swallow everything Rush tells you!

Posted by: katem1 | August 8, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

The larger issue here is this: Why does the Washington Post bend over backwards to gush over Michelle Obama?

Look at yesterday's headline:

"No matter where in the world she goes, Michelle Obama is sure to look good."

Whether it's Sally Quinn's tribute to Michelle Obama's arms, or Ruth Marcus's stretching defense of Obama's Spain junket, the Post's coverage is at a point where it's no longer credible. It's hard not to wonder: Is gushing coverage of Michelle Obama really worth abandoning any standards of journalism and credibility that the Post has left?

Posted by: diehardlib | August 8, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm a conservative who likes the President personally but hopes he serves only one term. I completely agree with Marcus. I hope Michelle and Sasha enjoyed the trip. Everybody shut up about the cost. That's what it costs. America can afford it. She's the First Lady. Grow up.

Posted by: Roytex | August 8, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Stop pickin' on Barack's Klingon War Bride. They are US Royalty. We are their servants. Act appropriately. Bow when they pass and beat your chest 3 times saying "mea cupla, mea culpa, mea maximea culpa".

Posted by: CoachEJK | August 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

And remember: After the first lady returns home, she and her family will travel to the Gulf Coast for the weekend of Aug. 14, followed by another (this time 10-day) vacation on Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

Posted by: CoachEJK | August 8, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The real issue is NOT whether or not Michelle is entitled to a vacation. The issue is why was it necessary to take a so-called vacation with 45 or more "family and friends" other than her husband and other daughter?

That, along with the excessive number of Secret Service agents, is what is totally insane.

The Obama's could have used George Soros's New York ESTATE, probably for free, and saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | August 8, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

No matter how anyone tries to explain or justify the trip, the "optics" are terrible.What ever happened to the fine tuned political judgment that propelled Obama to the White House?

BTW, others have reported that 40 or 45 friends on the trip is a wild exaggeration and that the few friends who did go paid their own way, flew separately and stayed in a different hotel. So what's accurate?

Posted by: colton | August 8, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus

What message do you think the First Lady's visit to Spain sends when it occurs within a week of Spain issuing arrest warrants for US service members stemming from operations in Iraq? I submit the message, to spain, and to the US military, should be reconsidered.

Spain reissues US troop warrants over Iraq death The Associated Press Thursday, July 29, 2010; 7:07 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/29/AR2010072901667.html

Posted by: mari3 | August 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The trip is tacky and excessive. The visuals define arrogant and nouveau riche climber. This column was written by a subservient sycophant. The whole sorry episode is pathetic.

Posted by: Mormaer | August 8, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The tin ear oDumbos are at it again.

That trip to Spain cost $11,351 an hour of fuel at 14 hr round trip or $160,000.

Michelle will reimburse the US government the cost of 2 first class tickets about $10,000.

And we taxpayers will pay the rest of the fuel cost, about $150,000. What other costs of the private vacation are we paying?

And the White House instructed us that it is a private citizen trip by Obama mother and daughter.

I don't think so. That is another blatant lie.

It is totally insensitive to the economic conditions that the rest of us face. There is no defense for this jaunt to Spain.

Posted by: mlemac | August 8, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

There's absolutely nothing "unfair" about the "attacks" on Michelle Obama's vacation. She deserves to hung out to dry for thumbing her nose at her own people. She could just as easily bond with her daughter and teach her a valuable lesson at the same time: Sometimes we need to choose what's right over what we want.
"But I also don't begrudge Michelle Obama the trip"-- Really? You SHOULD begrude her for her choice. Yes she needs downtime, but does she need to do it in a foreign country in a lavish way? There are many, many beautiful places in the US that she could be promoting that I'm sure she's never been to.
"If Michelle and Sasha had hung out at home, not one more American would have a job"---Really? What about all the press and interest that would be brought to the chosen destination? How do you know it wouldn't save a job? Even if didn't save a job it would make people FEEL like she cared a little.
This is an asinine article written by someone who wants justify her own poor choice. The First Lady should be doing anything and everything to make Americans feel that the White House understands what we're going through. She's a private citizen, my foot. She has an obligation to act in an appropriate way. It's the little things like this that show that the Obamas don't have their priorities straight and anyone that defends actions like this have zero credibility in my book.

Posted by: spelevink | August 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus must still have a bad case of the "Otrauma love pole up the tuchie syndrome". Butt puppets impaled this way have a poor record of freeing themselves.

This piece os "journalism" is astounding in its total abdication of an unbiased thought process and reason. The way the press hounds Bush and Palin for every little pecidillo, real or contrived, is bad enough.Then Ms. Marcus comes along and has the unmitigated audacity to give their own offenders a blanket "Get-out-of-jail-FREE" card is truely disturbing but par for the WAPO course.

On the other hand, I'm really enjoying the sights and sounds of a failed political party (yes .. the whole putrid entity) as it swirls around the outlet at the bottom of the crapper approaching the event horizon that will surely deposit them at the well earned "Blue Plains" level of relevance and respect.

And don't foget, fellow WAPO Opium Den/Echo Chamber camp-ers .. flush twice as it's a long way to Washington.

The Washington Post: If you don't get it - You got it!

Posted by: MDDem1 | August 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus, you and the rest of the obsequious folks are mistaken when you call yourselves "journalists"; what you should call yourselves is "propagandists." I seem to recall that the Democrats pledged to do something about global warming and the nation's rampant fossil fuel additions. Not only do we have Mrs. Obama's various European vacations, but Sen. Kerry's new $7 million dollar boat, John Edward's 30,000 sq. ft. mansion, and Al Gore's equally large house, and then there's Nancy Pelosi's trips on what amounts to a private 747 back and forth to California. All of these are excessive expenditures of carbon. What is it with Democrats? They accuse the Republicans of being arrogant and disdainful of the attempts to curb carbon usage, but look at what they do. Does the word "hypocracy" have any resonance with you and the rest of the WaPo writers (I won't use "journalists" for the reason listed above). As far as I'm concerned, politicians in both parties are nothing but self-absorbed liars who tell everyone else to curb their energy consumption, then they do as they please--the nation be damned!

Posted by: LFS1952 | August 8, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Colton wrote: “BTW, others have reported that 40 or 45 friends on the trip is a wild exaggeration and that the few friends who did go paid their own way, flew separately and stayed in a different hotel. So what's accurate?” ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colton, If you’re expecting the WAPO to do ANY investigative pieces that might shed even the smallest amount of “bad light” on Otrauma and company, you are in for a serious disappointment, mi amigo as you are knocking on the wrong door.

Posted by: MDDem1 | August 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Defending the indefensible. Michelle Obama is having the time of her life on taxpayers dime while the unemployment rate is soaring in most states. This woman takes a vacation every few days. She lives in the best hotel in the world where her mother also chows down everyday. Her kids are in private schools. Her husband tosses parties every week and flies AFI to fixed adoring crowds secretly gathered by Obama supporters to cheer him on and then he really pleases them with scurrilous attacks on his perceived enemies. The two of them are drowning in good times, while our population suffers.
"The king, a keen yachtsman, has for decades spent August vacations at the palace with its dramatic cliff-top views of the sea on the Balearic island's southwestern coast near Palma de Mallorca.

Lunch was Andalusian-style chilled gazpacho soup, chargrilled turbot, veal escalopes with mustard, Oriental rice with sauteed mushrooms, a Mallorca-style vegetable ratatouille and sliced fruit with ice cream, accompanied by wines from the northern regions of Rueda and Rioja, the palace said.

The lunch meeting marked the end of a five-day private visit to Spain by Mrs. Obama, who toured beauty spots in the southern region of Andalusia including Marbella, Ronda and the Alhambra palace in Granada.

The king gave Mrs. Obama some seeds for the White House garden as a parting gift, while the queen made a present of handicrafts typical of Mallorca, the palace said.

After lunch the first lady's party was due to fly back to the United States aboard Air Force Two."

Let us all eat cake she says.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | August 8, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sacrifice is something that many Americans are becoming all too familiar with during this economic downturn. It was a key theme in President Obama's inaugural address to the nation, and he's referenced it numerous times when lecturing the country on how to get back on its feet.

But while most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns - or forgoing them altogether - the Obamas don't seem to be heeding their own advice. 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.

Perhaps it could be that the Obamas, who seem to fancy themselves more along the lines of international celebrities than actual leaders, espouse a different view of sacrifice. When Michelle Obama accompanied her husband to Copenhagen along with best buddy Oprah Winfrey, she billed the trip - an ultimately unsuccessful bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago - as follows: "As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the President to come for these few days, so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home."

A quick jaunt to Denmark is a sacrifice? What portraits in courage!

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.

Incredibly, the Obamas have long portrayed themselves as precisely such commoners. Just this month, Obama told ABC the First Couple is "not that far removed from what most Americans are going through." And that "it was just a few years ago that we had high credit card balances, we had two kids, thinking about college. We had our own retirement accounts, wondering if we were going to be able to get enough assets in there."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/08/04/2010-08-04_material_girl_michelle_obama_is_a_modernday_marie_antoinette_on_a_glitzy_spanish.html#ixzz0w1uFpmjO

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | August 8, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

If I didn't have kids, this national pratfall would be hilarious.

Posted by: happyacres | August 8, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus could not be more wrong. I do not begrudge the Obama a summer vacation. It's the VACATIONS that are really annoying. Let's categorize shall we;

1. LA for the NBA Finals / Beverly Wilshire Hotel /Presidential Suite starting at 3000$/night
2. Weekend in Maine. THE DOG IS FLOWN IN ON HIS OWN PLANE.
3. Weekend of the Fourth at Camp David, a home/ compound built specifically for the First Family to vacation at.
4. Weekend in Spain
rooms for Michelle starting at 2500$ per night(don't kid yourself she is not staying in the 300$ per night rooms)

rooms x 30 = 60,000$
cost of her air travel 147,000$
cost of secret service (275$/day x 5days x 70 SS)=96,250$
cost to fly 15 vehicles to Spain ?400,00-500,000$

Low Ball Estimate (before hair, food, assistants, etc.)=703,500$
FOR A WEEKEND!

5. 10 days on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard
Rental cost 60,000$/week=8571$/night
(THIS IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE RENTAL ON THE ISLAND OF MARTHA'S VINEYARD - THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING)
10 days = 85710$
cost of secret service (double above figure) = 200,000$
cost to fly vehicles to MV = 400,000$
cost of flight = 150,000

Summer Vacation Budget for Michelle (conservative estimate)=
2 MILLION DOLLARS

And she is NOT putting this money up herself.

She deserves every single bit of grief that she is getting. Probably more. In fact, the media is being a little too nice.

Sort of like the Don Henley lyrics;
"this tired old man that we elected King" referring to Reagan

The new lyrics;
"these opportunistic people that we elected King and Queen."

I was an ardent supporter of Barack Obama in 2008 - donated money and time. Spent time in Florida and Ohio volunteering on his behalf, and thrilled with his eventual election. I could not feel more PLAYED by this First Family.

"Let them eat TAPAS! I'm having the Kobe steak." - MO


Posted by: docdoncal | August 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What nonsense! So what the First Lady went on vacation with her daughter and some friends to a beautiful resort for a few days. She has every right to get out of town (States) if she so chooses. Getting a break from all the negativity she is bombarded with daily it will do her good! And good for her! And as far as being the worst FirstFamily...thats a real stretch. Brush up on your history...and lazy...I think not.

Posted by: Truthbetold9 | August 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

As a US taxpayer, I accept that we have to pay for the vacations of the US President and his family when his wife and children travel with him but I object to my taxes paying for Michelle Obama's personal vacations when she is NOT traveling with the President. VACATION FROM WHAT? She doesn't work, certainly not for US taxpayers. She doesn't even dress herself: her stylists do that for her. This woman's life is one long vacation and photo op! If she travels with her husband, a public servant, on HIS vacation - fine: the President is employed by the American people. He's the one who "works." But why should taxpayers pay for Michelle's huge security & logistical expenses on vacations when THE PRESIDENT IS NOT TRAVELING WITH HER?

By Labor Day in September 2010, Michelle Obama will have taken EIGHT (8) VACATIONS this year alone.

Posted by: marvillou | August 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a big fan of mother-daughter -- or father-daughter, for that matter -- trips. I'm a big fan of foreign travel." This is not just a trip or foreign travel. It is an exorbitantly expensive trip to a foreign country. And if it had taken place to the Gulf, it would have been what Michelle urged others to do. All this is obvious, except to Marcus. But the more interesting question concerns the relationship between Michelle and her husband, who of course must have known how absurd her decision was.

Posted by: gmdim | August 8, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The White House said Michelle's visit with the Spanish king and queen was "official." That was a fig leaf to justify billing the trip to the US taxpayers paying. Also, the White House said the trip was "private" which means that the taxpayers will not learn anything about who paid and how much. I wont be satisfied until the White House presents an itemized account of who paid for what on this trip.

Posted by: Paaa | August 8, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I think this vacation best illustrates the total disconnect in the White House. No First Lady with an ounce of class would consider spending lavish vacations overseas while the economy is this bad. Of course we are talking about Michelle Obama who fancies herself special. I can not wait for November to neuter Obama. Then only two more years until the 2012 election when he's gone.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | August 8, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are pretty stupid when it comes to the internet and what power there is in the chatter.

Every week I get at least two emails full of garbage from the rightwing loons. This past week it was Obama the socialist, with that tired old yarn about the professor, socialism and grades teaching his students that socialism is bad and Obama and the Democrats are infusing the government with socialism.

NEVER have I received a rebuttal to this garbage from the left - and this is what is poisoning the well. Every braindead rightwingnut pushes these emails to hundreds of supporters -where's the Democrats who can do the same?

If the Democrats want credit for the good things they've implimented, they need to show them off! They need to compare todays response to the recession to Reagan's response to 1982. They are identical, even to the TARP.

It's an underground propaganda fest and the Democrats have not fired one shot, while the Republicans are firing howitzers into the crowds.

Take the fight into the cyberspace, or lose your seats to the GOP.

Posted by: maxtor0 | August 8, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are pretty stupid when it comes to the internet and what power there is in the chatter.

Every week I get at least two emails full of garbage from the rightwing loons. This past week it was Obama the socialist, with that tired old yarn about the professor, socialism and grades teaching his students that socialism is bad and Obama and the Democrats are infusing the government with socialism.

NEVER have I received a rebuttal to this garbage from the left - and this is what is poisoning the well. Every braindead rightwingnut pushes these emails to hundreds of supporters -where's the Democrats who can do the same?

If the Democrats want credit for the good things they've implimented, they need to show them off! They need to compare todays response to the recession to Reagan's response to 1982. They are identical, even to the TARP.

It's an underground propaganda fest and the Democrats have not fired one shot, while the Republicans are firing howitzers into the crowds.

Take the fight into the cyberspace, or lose your seats to the GOP.

Posted by: maxtor0 | August 8, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are pretty stupid when it comes to the internet and what power there is in the chatter.

Every week I get at least two emails full of garbage from the rightwing loons. This past week it was Obama the socialist, with that tired old yarn about the professor, socialism and grades teaching his students that socialism is bad and Obama and the Democrats are infusing the government with socialism.

NEVER have I received a rebuttal to this garbage from the left - and this is what is poisoning the well. Every braindead rightwingnut pushes these emails to hundreds of supporters -where's the Democrats who can do the same?

If the Democrats want credit for the good things they've implimented, they need to show them off! They need to compare todays response to the recession to Reagan's response to 1982. They are identical, even to the TARP.

It's an underground propaganda fest and the Democrats have not fired one shot, while the Republicans are firing howitzers into the crowds.

Take the fight into the cyberspace, or lose your seats to the GOP.

Posted by: maxtor0 | August 8, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The Dems are really out of touch with the American people. John Kerry buys a $7 million boat and tries to avoid paying tax on it. Bill and Hillary spend $3-$5 million for daughter Chelsea's wedding. And now Michelle Obama spends her vacation with 40 of her best friends in an exclusive resort in Spain, at a cost to the US of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Truly, John Edwards was right. There are two Americas. One for Dems and one for the rest of us.

Posted by: amazd | August 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I was struck by the photo of the graceful reception which King Juan Carlos and his queen gave Mrs. Obama and Sasha. The Spanish royal family usually spends its summer vacation, not in hot and dustry Madrid, but on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. For the King his wife to personally invite the wife and daughter of an American president to visit them in their living quarters is a singular honor. This is especially true when one realizes that in February 1981, it was the same King Juan Carlos who was instrumental in helping Spain transition from the Franco dictatorship to a parliamentary democracy, when he showed great personal courage in facing down an attempted military coup. His courageous engagement for democracy probably saved the democratic experiment for Spain. No American presidential wife should feel the need to apologize for accepting an invitation to stop by and visit such a rare public figure in his vacation home. It was also heart-warming to see photographs of signs, seemingly handmade, by Spanish mothers and their daughters welcoming the first lady to their country. This kind of heartfelt reception for an American presidential family has been too rare in recent years.
Perhaps because it is all too rare, we do not know how to react to these gestures of friendship and acceptance.

Posted by: reithl | August 8, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

We are not really sure of Obama's last name..is it Obama, Soetoro or Soebakah. Someone needs to look into this.

We know he is not a natural born citizen based on the citizenship of his father.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | August 9, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Beauxo Worye:

As for Bush, Crawford was more often than not a working vacation, not at all like strolling down a fashion avenue in a foreign country. And I'll bet the flight costs were peanuts in comparison, not to mention renting rooms in an expensive hotel. Get real!

------------------------------------
Air Force one costs approximately $75,000 per hour to fly.

DC to Crawford is a three hour flight.

One round trip flight between DC and Crawford on Air Force One = $450,000

77 trips to and from Crawford via Air Force One = $34,650,000.

This does not include the extra Aircraft required for logistial/security support.

Posted by: ginabw | August 9, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Please, please stop comparing the costs of the President's wife and those of George. Sure he spent his money in the U.S. There was little left after he was having his country pay 10 billion dollars a month on a horrible, unnecessary, war in Iraq that he - yes, he George - started. But the money is the least of our complaints. How about the loss of so many of our sons and daughters? Can George make up for that????

Posted by: Formerrepublican | August 9, 2010 5:06 AM | Report abuse

Ah Ruthie you old bat - thanks for riding in to try and defend the indefensible. Your credentials as a left wing hack remain in tact.

Posted by: gorams1 | August 9, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

El problema no es acento Michelle Obama, el problema es con su "fracaso no hacer nada" marido para ayudar a los hispanos de obtener una vía rápida, fácil de ciudadanía de EE.UU.. Los inmigrantes a los EE.UU. buscan una mejor vida, nuevas oportunidades - al igual que todos los estadounidenses lo hicieron los antepasados. En cambio, el gobierno de Obama perpetúa el problema y no hace nada para ayudar a la gente trabajadora española encontrar un camino en esta gran nación.

Posted by: 2012frank | August 9, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I really don't have any problem with the first lady going on vacation but just do it on her own dime. THis woman is running the most expense first lady staff in the history of the White House and is abusing her position just like she did in Chicago. Does she still show at J Crew How about trying Sears Pennys or Wal Mart.

Posted by: rvoller369 | August 9, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Marcus I could take your column serious if you had not said "...posse...". That's stupid and perhaps racist.

Posted by: rlj1 | August 9, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

In recent years the White House bunch, either side of the aisle, has begun to act like royalty, which they are not. So if the WH occupant wishes to conduct their lives as royality, then why isn't there a prime minister, a parliament with the power to render a vote of "no confidence"? George Washington's Farewell Address to Congress should be featured on CNN, Fox News, and Nightly News, all networks.

Posted by: IowaLad | August 9, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Marcus I could take your column serious if you had not said that First Lady Obama was traveling with a "...posse...". That's stupid, unprofessional and perhaps racist.

Posted by: rlj1 | August 9, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Private citizen, private trip....my money.

Posted by: twann9852 | August 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Both the President and the First Lady are completely "out of touch" with ordinary, everyday American citizens. They choose to live above us all and only come down to our level when they want our votes. The American people are not stupid. And they deplore being patronized. If you disagree with this analysis, just go ask anyone barely getting by on the Gulf Coast, or the hard-working father who now stands in line with his family at a soup kitchen, or the American soldier whose government spends $1 million to keep him in war, but won't provide the needed medical treatment when he comes home. Just go talk to them Mr. President and First Lady! We're tired of celebrity basketball games and fashion shows in Spain. GET REAL!

Posted by: mpwynn | August 9, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

She is Our First Lady, she has nice children. How would you liked to be hostage to that fish Bowl in Washington. I am no Obama supporter, but have zero trouble, separating the first Lady and her daughters, from whatever BO is up to. When Bill becomes first Man, he has plenty of scratch to pay for his travels.

Posted by: dangreen3 | August 9, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Gee, somehow I get the impression that it is wealth that President Obama sees as a problem, Ruth, you need to read more diversely.

Posted by: MikeMcLamara | August 9, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Like it or not, the Secret Service has to protect the First Lady. It was my understanding that she and her friends paid for their own rooms. So it is the security that is costing us. I certainly don't grudge her that.

Posted by: bertram2 | August 9, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It is frustrating to see that so many folks defending this trip or opposing, focus on rational for trip. The First Lady is not a private citizen when she and children and sometimes pets travel or consume at tax payer expense...add "friends" also. Expense does not begin at departure and end at return. Preparation begins long before and continue long after trip...more expense. Local area contractors provide various services. They are contracted without competition, probably on time and materials contracts, the most expensive format. Labeling this particular trip "Privite Citizen" is a slap at all, pro or con.

Posted by: flameforest | August 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I hold michelle to the same standard as barbara, nancy , and laura.

Her trip was wrong.
After telling the "commoners" to vacation in the gulf, she flew , on my dime, to spain to have public beaches cleared of other "commoners", to party, etc.

it's disgusting.

Posted by: newagent99 | August 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I have long regarded First Ladies as the closest thing to slave labor remaining in this country. We don't pay them a dime but many people think we own thier time, thier wardrobe selection, etc., etc., A number of first ladies have taken extravagent trips abroad and some wore far more expensive clothes than the current first lady. Remember Nancy Reagan's trip to the Royal Wedding of Diane and Prince Charles. And Jacqueline Kennedy's numerous trips abroad and her adulation on a trip to France. Other first ladies had been accompanied by a daughter on paid for trips; I seem to remember a trip to India, But this President and his family and uniquely expected to live like paupers. Wonder why that is? Despite having paid for her own trip Michelle did take time from her vacation to dine with the King, another incident of unpaid work hours. They could all spend thier time back as home as Bess Truman elected to do with most of her time; as I said we don't pay them a dime and all of the free labor we get from them - all of them - is a gift.

Posted by: withersb | August 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Marcus sees the hypocrisy and arrogance of those protesting Michelle Obama's and her daughter's vacationing in Spain. Still, this is one of the lamest defenses of the First Lady I've seen, though it is much better than the petty and sexist take on it by Maureen Dowd in the NYT.

Posted by: DWSouthern | August 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I never even knew Michelle Obama had gone to Spain until I read this article. Some of the comments bring up Laura Bush. Good Point! but I honestly can't tell you where Laura Bush went on vacation or if she ever went anywhere without her husband. Same holds true for Hillary, Nancy, Lady Bird, Mamie, etc.

The US First Lady is a goodwill ambassador for America. In general, the world loves these women, without exception. The professional pundits who make personal attacks on the first lady for looking beautiful, or for being smart, or for taking a vacation are really just cheap shot wannabes.

Posted by: LeftGuy | August 9, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone be surprised that the President's opponents seized upon yet another opportunity to bash him and his family? If they put the left lace over the right when tying their tennis shoes, someone on Faux Noise starts screaming that it's another left-wing extremist plot. The family can afford this trip; their greatest source of income is President Obama's books; every other President's family has taken private trips (I seem to remember Laura and the girls traveling overseas and Faux Noise merely fawned over those trips...) -- so LEAVE THEM ALONE ALREADY, WOULD YOU PLEASE, and focus on REAL news for a change.

Posted by: marcywrite | August 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The president does not take time off to spend with his family and people complain about them when they have been well received everywhere showing a youthful, stylish, first lady. Dubya spent too much time in Crawford having Darth Vader drive the country into a ditch while he cleared sagebrush.

Posted by: jameschirico | August 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The Party of the Rich ?

Is the Democratic party now the choice of the very rich ? who see no dichotomy between their own enjoyment of the highest life and public remonstration against the wealthy?

A pattern has certainly emerged: John Kerry’s Yachtgate, the populist Clintons’ multi-million-dollar wedding extravaganza, John “Two Americas” Edwards’s mansion, green/live-within-our-limited-means Al Gore at home in Montecito and various other digs, and our “spread the wealth” and “redistributive change” president’s fondness for celebrity-studded banquets, golf, and exclusive vacation hideaways.

At some point, all the soak/attack-the-rich talk from the Obama administration (e.g., the lectures about going to the Super Bowl, the caricatures of Las Vegas, the attacks on executives and surgeons) begins to clash with all this conspicuous consumption, especially given that Obama has made a trope of “at some point you’ve made enough money” (a point that someone capable of buying a $7 million accessory has reached, perhaps).

What Kerry calls a family “investment” would, in intrusive liberal orthodoxy, appear to others as an indulgence at a time when unemployment lingers near 10 percent and we are struggling to get out of recession.

Who knew ?

Posted by: Petras123 | August 9, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Michelle, I would like to give you some advice if I may be so bold. Enjoy your vacation and ignore these jealous, angry, critics. You husband won the election and you are certainly entitled to go vacation anywhere you darn well please. So what if you spend taxpayers money on security. Thats the way it is. Your daughters are only young once and are entitled to as many learning adventures as possible.

You are not responsible for the unemployment rate. You are not responsible for the jobs been shipped overseas. You are not responsible for the misery of the american people. That people tend to project their anger on you is just part of the deal being first lady. Have a great time and enjoy a tapas for me. Salud!

Posted by: sandnsmith | August 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Before taking this trip the Obamas must have given it some consideration. If after thinking of the consequences that this escapade would bring and decided to go ahead with it shows how out of touch they are with the economical pain the country is feeling. Why not wait until they are out of office and then go not only to Spain but all over the world if they want to.

Posted by: fancydog | August 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Obama's act like they are royalty. They are not, not even close. Just two self serving jerks out for themselves, using all the freebies we pay for as often as they are able. And what do we get for it all? Their big mouths flapping all the time about what everyone else should do! For what they have done to prolong the recession and keep people out of work they both deserve 20 months on a chain gang!

Posted by: catotheelder1 | August 9, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, America is a downright mean country, as Michelle one said. How dare you, unemployed working stiffs, question lavish expensive foreign vacation of the royal family after you all were called to sacrifice?! Don't you realize that these God sent people are different than you clinging to your rifles and religion?!
Mean, mean, mean! How mean of you evil tea bagging NAZIs who just should shut up!!!!! Gwaaaaah!

Posted by: pihto999 | August 9, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The ignorance and hypocrisy of the people dissing Michele Obama is just one more sign that the apocalypse is almost here.
It's no wonder America continues in a free fall in education, jobs, medicine, etal.
The slobbering single-minded, hating republican attack dogs are too concerned with a vacation and not concerned enough about what really matters in America.

Posted by: easysoul | August 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"It was true when George W. Bush made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford and spent all or part of 490 days there during his presidency".

And the money spent doing so remained in the United States.

Posted by: franko42
=================================
YUP sure did..!!
and
Bush DID NOTHING USEFUL as usual!!
because
Bush was not welcomed anywhere else!!

Michelle's trip was educating, met with dignitaries, everyone had a great time
and
did not need the entire Secret Services to protect her like BUSH and Cheney.
WHO
were hated everywhere they went.

Instead Michelle trip had a cooperative security planning and implementation between Spain and USA security.

This administration travels are so different, far less stressful, far more enjoyable, less expensive, than anything Bush and Cheney did.


ISA

Posted by: vettessman | August 9, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I bet people who see nothing wrong with Michele behaving like a stupid French queen are also supporting the Cordoba Mosque on the bones of 9-11 victims.

No point argue politics with people like that. We need a medical examination for everybody to have the right to vote.

Posted by: pihto999 | August 9, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

TO: pihto999 who wrote:
“I bet people who see nothing wrong with Michele behaving like a stupid French queen are also supporting the Cordoba Mosque on the bones of 9-11 victims.
No point argue politics with people like that. We need a medical examination for everybody to have the right to vote.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Do you also think all of the other First Ladies behaved like “stupid French queens” or just the black First Lady?

Personally, I think if they were going to build a mosque near ground zero it should be built on the bones of Osama Bin Laden, but the Republicans first helped Bin Laden’s Family get away after 9/11 when they flew over 100 members of Bin Laden’s family to safety, when no American could fly, then Bush’s buddies helped Bin Laden escape our attack on Tora Bora.

The freaks have tried to convince everyone that they’re not racists, but your attack on the First Lady makes me sick.

No one complained about Laura Bush or any other First Lady taking any trips, but you want to complain about Michelle Obama!

Seems very suspicious to me why you’d hate just the black 1st lady.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 9, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Why does this or any other media feel it is necessary to even comment on non-news when we have really serious things to report, such as a political (GOP) party doing it's best to sabotage our economy for political gain? Suddenly a mother with the financial means to do so can't take a trip with her own children?

Never mind the secret service...they will now be with her to some extent for the remainder of her life whether she goes to Spain or Disney World or to Mom's for Thanksgiving dinner. Should this preclude her ever going anywhere so long as she lives because she is married to the President? That is an expense to protect national security, not specifically to protect the first lady. Should she be compromised, so too is the president himself.

Posted by: PaulKruger | August 9, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break. Did you hear the words "personal"???. My guess is that she paid for all the parts of the vacation that she could and should have and the trip was with a bunch of her friends and their daughters, not just Michelle and Sasha. And I'm sure they paid for their parts also. She has to go out of the country to get even a minutely decent private personal vacation with her friends and why shouldn't she do it in Spain. Maybe they chose the location and she just said ok. And I'm sure if she didn't have to have secret security and a special plane she would be delighted. I am wondering why she chose to be gone for Mr. Obama's vacation? Don't forget she is a lawyer and supported her family for many years when Obama was getting started in politics so she can certainly afford to go on a vacation when the opportunity arises. I don't see any Republican not going on vacations because of the economy. give me a break

Posted by: ncarvill1 | August 9, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Barry and Michelle and their socialist friends should take a lavish vacation every week. That would demonstrate to everyone, even their lackeys at the Washington Post, that they are just a bunch of hypocrites. We sacrifice so they can live in luxury. Hopefully, the Barry regime will reap the rewards of their excesses in 2014.

Posted by: groovercg | August 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"I don't give a flying frig where Michelle Obama spends her vacation; no more than I do where Rush Limbaugh spends his - it really isn't mine or anybody else's business - the people who like her will understand; the people who hate her will condemn her, and none of it means "feces" - the bottom line is they are wealthy, and as the wealthy do, they can go wherever they want to spend their money; and it isn't anybody else's business - get a life!
"
Posted by: southernbutnotstupid

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rush Limbaugh doesn't use my tax money for lavish vacations. BTW, you need to change your name. That "butnotstupid" needs to be dropped.

Posted by: groovercg | August 9, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Lindalovejones wrote: "Do you also think all of the other First Ladies behaved like “stupid French queens” or just the black First Lady?"

xxxx

Grow up! That "don't criticize a black person or we will call you racist" is wearing thin and shows that you are a bigot. Get that chip off your shoulder. Your hate is like a cancer.

BTW, what crimes were Bin Laden's family guilty of on 9/11? Are you suggesting that they should bear responsibility for Bin Laden's crimes? That's not very liberal of you. You probably have a problem with them because they are moslems. How intolerate of you!

Posted by: groovercg | August 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Are you nuts, or are you just pretending to be? First, Michelle is NOT THE PRESIDENT! Second, THE PRESIDENT DID NOT GO ON THIS TRIP! and Third, are you nuts? 16.5 percent of America's work force either does not have a job at all or is only partially employed. Worse yet, she goes out of the USA to spend tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars, a large portion of which is US taxpayer money in the first place, with her "friends", money that certainly could have and should have been put to better use right here in the USA, providing job support for at least a few of those poor unemployed and employed folks right here at home.
And what message is this bimbette-in-waiting sending to the millions of folks back home? That she is a privileged woman, who cares not a whit about the average American's plight! "Let them eat cake." I need some Spanish designer rags to wear! Did I anoint her "Queen" Michelle when I voted for her husband who in his own right has turned out to be an even bigger disappointment than I could ever have possibly imagined? (I voted for Ms. Clinton if you must know -- she had and still does have the brains, brawn, and experience to get this country back on its feet. Unfortunately, she will never get the chance to prove it.)

How can Obama and the Democrats now hope to portray the Republicans as hopelessly out of touch with the average person, when the dolt cannot even control his own wife's aberrant and excessive behavior?

Posted by: weedtort | August 9, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

George Bush's vacations totaled more than 30% of his total days in office. Would I have this much vacation leave. Countless flights to Crawford Texas cost the US Taxpayer many millions yet Republicans the hypocrites that they are constantly talk about the Obama's vacations, which happen to be far fewer the Bush took, matter of fact alot less. I recall one of George's many vacations just days before Katrina hit New Orleans. Everyone knew it was coming and old George went fishing. There's a famous photo of him holding his catch up over his head the very day Katrina slammed into Louisiana and hundreds lost their lives. As for Presidential vacations go, the Republicans should really pick another subject.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | August 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Not only is it unfair, but it's mindless, witless, boring, trite, and lacks class to criticize Michelle Obama for traveling to Spain. She's not only having a well-deserved vacation and spending quality time with her daughter, but she's gaining friends for the USA overseas. When Jackie Kennedy travelled, looking stunning, we gained friends. It might be shallow, and it might be summer fluff, but you can be sure that Europeans looked at the photos and admired the Obamas. Why Americans cannot be proud of our beautiful first lady and her cute daughter, I have no idea. The comments posted here are boringly the same constant attack on our lovely first family, and I for one am sick to death of the personal nature of the attack. I can't help but assume it's got a racist undertone, because there's no other reason to be so savage and unfair and mindless and idiotic. I'm a Democrat, but I never would have said the same things about Laura Bush, and in fact, I remarked many times that I admired her. To attack in this personal way is disgusting.

Posted by: cturtle1 | August 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The Obamas should be working 24/7 to leave the country in better shape than it was in 2008. Sadly, that isn't happening.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | August 6, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

--------------------------
I'll settle for "The Obamas should be working 24/7 to leave the country" part of that sentence.
Maybe they can take apologist twits like Marcus along with them.

Posted by: luca_20009 | August 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Tsk, tsk. All these jealous people.

Posted by: bertram2 | August 9, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

YES YOUR PRESIDENT IS BLACK SO IS YOUR FIRST LADY,YES THEY DO LIVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE,RANTING AND RAVING IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE THAT FACT GET OVER IT THEIR IS NOTHNG YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT,SO STOP WHINING ABOUT IT AND YOUR OWN MISERABLE LIVES.

Posted by: doubletake69 | August 9, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

YES YOUR PRESIDENT IS BLACK I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO FACE IT BUT THAT IS REALITY GET OVER IT AND FIX YOUR OWN MISERABLE LIVES.

Posted by: doubletake69 | August 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

TO: sunnyday1 who wrote
“The Obamas should be working 24/7 to leave the country in better shape than it was in 2008. Sadly, that isn't happening.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

They are.

What’s sad is, we can never say the same thing about Republicans.

Everytime a Republican leaves office, we have to elect the Democrats to come in and clean the Republicans' mess.

Whenever the GOP gets in, they run up the debt, run up the deficits, and the only people Republicans ever help out are the ones living overseas who are NOT American citizens.

It is so disgusing and un-American how Republicans scream their heads off if one single penny of American Taxpayer Dollars are actually spent in America, and on the America People, who Republicans are taking the money from in the first place.

We sure don't want the Republican Destroyers back in office just so the GOP can kick America again.


Posted by: lindalovejones | August 9, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

TO: groovercg who wrote:
“BTW, what crimes were Bin Laden's family guilty of on 9/11? Are you suggesting that they should bear responsibility for Bin Laden's crimes? That's not very liberal of you. You probably have a problem with them because they are moslems. How intolerate of you!”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Oh, I thought when we were attacked on 9/11 we were at war, but obviously not at war with the terrorists who hit us, according to terrorist sympathizers, such as yourself.

So, you don’t even think they should have been questioned by our FBI or our Secret Service. Obviously, you’re not American.

Yep, I have a real big problem with terrorists who attack the United States, and yep, I surely do believe we should have held them in jails until Bin Laden was captured, or surrendered, or was killed.

I believe we’d have Bin Laden by now, if we had held on to those people instead of flying them to safety.

As far as what did THEY do – let me ask you this, what did the 3,000 innocent American lives that were lost ever do to harm anybody? And American civilians who were kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq and Afghanistan, what did they ever do that caused them to be harmed?

That’s why Republicans can’t ever catch a bad guy, because Republicans are too busy sympathizing with terrorists.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 9, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

This trip at least as tasteless as Tony Hayward's sailing trip. Didn't he deserve a father-son trip despite the mess in the Gulf? Honestly, it shows questionable judgement. I don't think anyone would begrudge a mother-daughter trip, but why not something a little more in step with the American citizens rather than European royalty or celebrities? Perhaps visiting the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or any of the other magnificent wonders that this country offers.

And the dismissive comment about 'stay-cations'? Well, Ms. Marcus, that's how many Americans are spending their time these days.

Posted by: gardedgarton | August 9, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Michelle and the girls stayed on in Europe after the President returned to DC from a State Visit last summer. That's my kind of vacation. I don't think there was any brouhaha around it. This was extravagant, US taxpayers paid for some of it, how much we don't know. The President travels enough internationally for them to piggyback on these trips. The cost is much lower.

Posted by: noodles_20009 | August 9, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

$50000.00 a day +

Of taxpayer money. Money that could have been spent in America. On a vacation that would have cost half as much.

Yet in Jan, when the tax cut expires, and the health care bill kicks in, I have to lay off 6 people. And they barely make 50K a YEAR. Between two of them.

I will call the White House and maybe Michelle can explain it to them.

Marie Antionette is alive and well.

Posted by: kentuckythunder | August 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

$50000.00 a day +

Of taxpayer money. Money that could have been spent in America. On a vacation that would have cost half as much.

Yet in Jan, when the tax cut expires, and the health care bill kicks in, I have to lay off 6 people. And they barely make 50K a YEAR. Between two of them.

I will call the White House and maybe Michelle can explain it to them.

Marie Antionette is alive and well.

Posted by: kentuckythunder | August 9, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Ruthie - Private vacation, my ass. What planet are you living on? Gibbs is blowing smoke and spewing his usual snake oil. Michelle is just as bad as Barack at not practicing what she preaches. She tells the rest of us riff-raff to vacation in the Gulf, but she galavants off to Spain with an entourage (that we as taxpayers are paying for) that reeks of rich-and-famous elitism. I've had enough of the Obama's duplicity, demagoguery, hypocrisy and autocratism. And you, Ruthie, are just another Left Wing Liberal defender of the indefesible. I guess Michelle is suddenly no longer proud of her country, hence the vacation in Spain. Maybe she should vacation in the people's paradises of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Palestine. Ruthie, baby, don't criticize W for vacation at the Texas ranch. It was HIS ranch and here in the good, ole USA. But I shouldn't expect otherwise. You Liberals can't accept that Obama has ineptly manned the helm since 2008, and Pelosi, Reid and the Democrats have controlled Congress (aka "the swamp") even more incompetently since 2006. They have made a bad situtation even worse on the economy, national security, health care, student loans, the automobile industry (question: Why isn't Barack trumpeting Ford's remarkable success? BECAUSE THEY DID IT WITHOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S HELP!!!) So, Ruthie, you need to face facts - Barry baby and Michelle baby are incompetent, arrogant, hypocritical demogogues who are nothing more than political Lindsey Lohans and Kim Kardashians - All form and absolutely no substance. You in the Lamestream Media made them Too Big To Fail, and you will never admit you were wrong about the Obamas. As usual, American voters will undo the damage you Liberal Lamestream media types perpetrated.

Posted by: ConservativeBL | August 9, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

lindalovesjoyce, you are a idiot. I notice you didn't say what crimes bin laden's family committed.

Posted by: groovercg | August 9, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Michelle when you hit the campaign trail to help stump for Democratic candidates in the November election I will bet you deeply regret this trip to Spain. It will come back to bite you again and again and again. This Marie Antoinette vacation doesn't sit well well with voters.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | August 9, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

she should have gone to the 'redneck riviera'; they could have used the money...

Posted by: UpAndOver | August 9, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I hope Mrs. Obama and Sasha had a GREAT time.

All of the hoopla is just a continuation of the efforts to de-legitimize this Administration.

Shut up and get a life. If Mrs. Obama goes anyway, the plan and the Secret Service goes with her. She pays for her flight, rooms, food, clothes, and entertainment. Her friends pay for theirs. Her trip is a NON-ISSUE

Posted by: blrpalms | August 9, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Victor Davis Hanson:

The problem with Michelle Obama’s Marabella-to-Martha’s-Vineyard August is not that the first family doesn’t deserve time off but that Michelle, in the past, has gone on the record that the country’s elite (of which she claimed not to be a part) had created one nation for themselves and quite a different for most others — at least that’s how I interpreted “downright mean country,” “raise the bar,” and never having been proud of her country until the rise of hope and change.

So the Versailles-like aura around her trips suggests that her prior angst arose not because millions were not able to share the lifestyles of the elite but that she herself had not yet quite partaken in the sort of life she felt she deserved — which she is now apparently enjoying to the fullest. The fact that her Costa del Sol trip coincides with hard times back in the states, comes on the heels of the Kerry yacht and the Clinton wedding, and clashes with her husband’s anti-wealthy rhetoric (e.g., “at some point you’ve made enough money”) makes it all the more weird, both for her adminstration’s equality-of-result politics and for the larger liberal narrative of talking truth to power.

Posted by: luca_20009 | August 9, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's look back a bit. George W. Bush's friends chipped in so he could have a "ranch" to retreat to anytime he wanted. Laura spent a lot of time there too.
Bush's mom and dad had Kennebunkport, the family compound in Maine, where they would vacation all the time. I clearly remember Pres. GHW Bush going out on his famous "cigaret" speedboat that was available anytime he wanted to zoom around the bay.
Ronnie Reagan also had a ranch and would spend weeks and weeks there clearing brush the Secret Service trucked in for his amusement. Nixon had San Clemente and Key Biscayne and his crony Bebe Rebozo. Ford had a compound in Palm Springs. JFK had Hyannis.

The point is...all of our Republican presidents in the last 50 years, and JFK too, had family-owned vacation spots they could go to anytime they had the urge. Like the Clintons, the Obamas were relatively poor before moving into the White House. The Clintons never owned a house. The Obamas bought their house in Chicago just a few years ago. It was not "in the family". They are not "old money". They are, basically, "no money".

So now that they're in the White House, when vacation time comes around, they need a place to go. Or a few places to go. Martha's Vineyard, Jackson Hole, Pensacola, Spain, it's all OK with me. They don't own a vacation retreat, so I think we should cut them a little slack. (Which is something no Republican will ever do, but we can dream.)

Posted by: redballoon | August 9, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

This whole debacle isn't about Bush or Obama. It's about appearance and about being out-of-touch with Americans. There is no viable way to justify going on such a lush vacation when there are people in our very Nation who haven't had the word "vacation" in their vocabulary for years because they have too many obligations in order to survive and provide for their family. This was a terrible move, bottom line. But the scariest part of this whole thing is that it shows such an out-of-touch reality for this President and Administration that this lavish vacation was thought to be okay and without harm.

Ms. Marcus, you may try to justify all of this and make it seem all blown-out-of-proportion, but your efforts are futile and will fall on deaf ears for the vast majority of Americans.

Posted by: barrettkwatson | August 9, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Laura Bush and other First Ladies did take trips overseas, Laura and her twins were in Africa in 2007, they claim it was offical business, but didn't look offical to me with them riding on that elephant. If you didn't complain when the other First Ladies travel at the taxpayers expense, I wonder why are you complaining now? Let me see if I can figure that out. Could it be, because. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it didn't cost the taxpayers a dime when the other First Ladies did their traveling, let me see now, Laura travel on Greyhound and stay at Motel Six. Any Secret Serviceman? Times are hard, well times have always been hard for some people. I work, I struggle from pay check to pay check, but this trip to Spain didn't bother me one bit. I hope Mrs. Obama, Michelle Obama, that's her name. I hope she and her sweet daughter Sasha had a wonderful time.

Posted by: madpooh | August 9, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

So sorry, Dame Marcus, that you wouldn't want someone commenting on your vacation. You probably don't care, because like most of the people that don't, you aren't worried about money. You write a blog for an entity that loses money every year yet still pays you.

The rest of us got laid off when their employers lost money, and as nice as a European family vacation is, it is decidedly tone-deaf from a political perspective.

I suppose if I work for the government or for a failing newspaper I don't have to worry about money. Everyone else does.

Posted by: nashbridges | August 10, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

So sorry, Dame Marcus, that you wouldn't want someone commenting on your vacation. You probably don't care, because like most of the people that don't, you aren't worried about money. You write a blog for an entity that loses money every year yet still pays you.

The rest of us got laid off when their employers lost money, and as nice as a European family vacation is, it is decidedly tone-deaf from a political perspective.

I suppose if I work for the government or for a failing newspaper I don't have to worry about money. Everyone else does.

Posted by: nashbridges | August 10, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

So sorry, Dame Marcus, that you wouldn't want someone commenting on your vacation. You probably don't care, because like most of the people that don't, you aren't worried about money. You write a blog for an entity that loses money every year yet still pays you.

The rest of us got laid off when their employers lost money, and as nice as a European family vacation is, it is decidedly tone-deaf from a political perspective.

I suppose if I work for the government or for a failing newspaper I don't have to worry about money. Everyone else does.

Posted by: nashbridges | August 10, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

So sorry, Dame Marcus, that you wouldn't want someone commenting on your vacation. You probably don't care, because like most of the people that don't, you aren't worried about money. You write a blog for an entity that loses money every year yet still pays you.

The rest of us got laid off when their employers lost money, and as nice as a European family vacation is, it is decidedly tone-deaf from a political perspective.

I suppose if I work for the government or for a failing newspaper I don't have to worry about money. Everyone else does.

Posted by: nashbridges | August 10, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Quite frankly, I'm sick of paying for her trips - and her concerts and steak dinners and her dog!
Posted by: thinker16
************************************************Sounds like you're 6! The Obama's had money they earned before he ever saw D.C. as a politician, or didn't Rush Limpbaugh tell you? Did you think they spent it all? Yes, that's the line you'll take. Hey dummy, they get money in other legal ways too - wait minute - yes, the whole book royalty thing and investments - ah neva mind you can't think that fast. Keep hating - see next life time.

Posted by: adrianarnold | August 10, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Thank you R. Marcus, for your article. I also think it is unfair attacks on Mrs. Michelle Obama. Before this trip I thought she was a wonderful First Lady, and nothing has changed.

Posted by: madpooh | August 10, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

This whole debacle isn't about Bush or Obama. It's about appearance and about being out-of-touch with Americans. There is no viable way to justify going on such a lush vacation when there are people in our very Nation who haven't had the word "vacation" in their vocabulary for years because they have too many obligations in order to survive and provide for their family.Posted by: barrettkwatson
**********************************************

So what? There always will be! But if you have the chance to go outside your own country, GO! If you don't take the chance, shaddup! If you don't get the chance, read about it! We average Americans go on these trips too. I've been a to a lot of countries, yet never made a 100K in salary in my 30 years of working. Paid all my bills and supported my family too! It's called planning, saving, budgetin, and "doing"! Out of touch my tush! BTW I am going on a cruise in three months, see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

Posted by: adrianarnold | August 10, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

If Michelle and Sasha had hung out at home, not one more American would have a job, not one-hundredth of a decimal point would be added to the gross domestic product. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/08/unfair_attacks_on_michelle_oba.html

...not one dime would have been added to the deficit, not one extra secret service man would get overtime, not one conservative would be reveling in this blunder, not one voter's eyes would be opened to these elitists' lies... why go on?

Posted by: bornorange | August 10, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Obama came in for criticism here in the U.K. for the trip for all the reasons quoted. However the main complaints related to the number of Secret Service men with her, probably 10 times as many as our Queen or Prime Minister would have, and also the disruption to other paying holiday-makers as large parts of the resort were closed off.

Posted by: sipain | August 10, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Obama came in for criticism here in the U.K. for the trip for all the reasons quoted. However the main complaints related to the number of Secret Service men with her, probably 10 times as many as our Queen or Prime Minister would have, and also the disruption to other paying holiday-makers as large parts of the resort were closed off.

Posted by: sipain | August 10, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Obama came in for criticism here in the U.K. for the trip for all the reasons quoted. However the main complaints related to the number of Secret Service men with her, probably 10 times as many as our Queen or Prime Minister would have, and also the disruption to other paying holiday-makers as large parts of the resort were closed off.

Posted by: sipain | August 10, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Not very long ago the Obamas spent a weekend in Maine. The critics in the media and the right wing screamed that they should have holidayed in the Gulf states. I would suspect that the attacks determined the decision by the First Lady to enjoy a brief holiday with her daughter in a non-US location. And, considering the fact that neither of them was elected, but have to take the sass from so many very stupid, envious, and incompetent whiners on an hourly basis, it was a perfect place to go. Leave the Obama family alone...the President is strong enough to deal with the real issues and is doing, in the world's eyes, a superb job, hampered by the squawkers and talkers who obstruct and deny and whine when his attempts fail...failing to recognize, due to their own incompetence or malignity, that they create the altered circumstances that make the Administration stumble. From here, their attempts seem to be deliberately obstructionist...because they want his job, and his power, and they'll lie to get it. So they are lying. Face up to the fact that some Americans are blind to their own shortcomings; they had the power before Obama and didn't make a single decision that benefited the great democracy that they purported to love. Do you need further proof of stupidity??

Posted by: rationaleditor | August 10, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

sipain

Ah, but, the republicans have deliberately riled up the racist haters until this Presidnt and his family get many times the threats as any other head of state.

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 10, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I am sad that I am not amazed by the hatefullness of a lot of the already posted comments. The vitrolence towards this first family and towards the previous first family is awful and uncalled for. Every family is different. I think that a lot of you out there are miserable people who are jealous and envious of what everyone may or may not have or do. I am happy that Mrs. Obama has the opertunity to do this with one of her children. My husband was in the airforce and we got to go live on an airbase in the pacific. My children will never forget the experience.
Shame on all of you for the nastiness you have shown. Get a life!

Posted by: lraandi | August 10, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

MARCUS! I THINK YOU ARE NUTS AND TO CONDONE THIS TRIP,BEYOND ANY DOUBT, PROVES IT.

Posted by: jackwbarnes1 | August 10, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Some of the hate expressed is racial, no doubt about it but the rest is class envy. Blacks are not supposed to have the ability/opportunity to travel to Europe before some whites.

BTW, Laura Bush took trips with her daughters as well but the media didn't treat is like a circus.

Sooo ... why is First Lady Obama receiving so much scrutiny from the media.

Posted by: knjincvc | August 10, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Mother-Daughter trip? Didn't the White House Press Corps say the purpose of the trip was to console a good friend of the first lady's who suffered a loss recently? The rationale for the trip isn't the important thing -- what is important is that my grandchildren and their children will be paying for it.

Posted by: joe59 | August 10, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Mother-Daughter trip? Didn't the White House Press Corps say the purpose of the trip was to console a good friend of the first lady's who suffered a loss recently? The rationale for the trip isn't the important thing -- what is important is that my grandchildren and their children will be paying for it.

Posted by: joe59 | August 10, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

With each passing day, my heart aches for a country with so many people who make pronouncements based on no evidence, who take the "other" side (no matter what that is) simply because it IS the other side, who obviously don't give a rat's backside what happens to this country as long as decisions support their own self-interest, who attack every policy or suggestion or idea the other side makes while offering no solutions of their own, who blindly follow candidates so lightweight in education and background and skill that they can't possibly govern wisely, who are terrified of political possibilities they can't even define (socialism, elitism, liberalism, conservatism), and who band together in screeching groups that get them media coverage while solving none of the problems this country is facing. What happened to the country that (Yes, it was something of a myth, but we believed in it somehow and almost lived up to it sometimes!) had a basic humanity and solidarity underpinned by innovation, resolution, and a wonderful can-do spirit?

Posted by: peapod1 | August 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

When George Bush's daughters were rescued from the bag snatchers of Tarifa, Spain, by two members of their expensive 'entourage', no-one suggested they should not have been there.

Posted by: zandersbite | August 10, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama didn't go on this trip.
He was in the US. But those of you on the Right will have something to say about him going to Chicago and playing basketball, etc. I thought that a mountain was made out of a molehill when Nancy R. bought the China. They complained about Jackie Kennedy taking a trip. Laura and her daughters did take a few trips together. If you are inclined to feel that Michele O. feels that she's entitled then no one can change your minds. You already had that opinion when Obama was elected President. The Obama's are d... if they do and d... if they don't. I'm looking for more complaints from the Right when the Obama's go to the Gulf Coast. The Right will have something negative to say because they just can't seem to help themselves.You have no idea how tiresome some of your complaints are about the Obama's doing anything.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | August 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

mcdonalsherry wrote: "I thought that a mountain was made out of a molehill when Nancy R. bought the China."


xxxxxxxx

The White House china was paid for by the Knapp Foundation, not the taxpayers. However, facts sometimes get in the way of a good rant.

Posted by: groovercg | August 10, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

knjincvc Wrote:

Some of the hate expressed is racial, no doubt about it but the rest is class envy. Blacks are not supposed to have the ability/opportunity to travel to Europe before some whites.

BTW, Laura Bush took trips with her daughters as well but the media didn't treat is like a circus.

Sooo ... why is First Lady Obama receiving so much scrutiny from the media.

xxxxxxxxxx

Your premise is absurd. What is your evidence that some of the criticism of Michelle is racial? Can't do it, can you? You just have a chip on your shoulder.

Sooo....why is Michelle receiving so much attention? Because she is a hypocritical socialist who is spending my money on a lavish lifestyle when the economy is in such shambles.

Posted by: groovercg | August 10, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Ruthie, but this attempt at Obama spin just doesn't cut it. No one is saying that Ms Obama isn't entitled to a vacation, but the critics point out what this trip costs the American people at time of nearly 10% unemployment and trillion dollar debt. Ms Obama has not been vacation free either. Recently she was off to Maine, now Spain, in a few weeks to Martha's Vinyard (plus a recently added photo op vacation to the Gulf coming up shortly).Last Christmas it was Hawaii. What angers people is the incredible sense of entitlement she seems to have. Whether it is a Saturday night quick trip to NYC for the theatre, extra days in Paris after an official trip for site seeing & shopping with the girls, a quick LA visit, etc etc etc she shows an arrogant sense of entitlement. Frankly if it was Laura Bush, you & your fellow Obama apologists & spin masters would be sceaming from the rooftops. Your attempt to compare her days on the beach to George Bush's trips to his home to Crawford is both laughable & sad. Crawford was Mr Bush's home & while there he continued to deal with the business of government.Since Secret Service protection there was no different from that he receives daily at the White House, his visits there were no different than LBJ's to the LBJ ranch or JFK's to the family compound on Cape Cod (funny none of that was mentioned in your piece, perhaps because they were Dems or am I just being cynical).
You also seem to ignore that Michelle's critics are not limited to Republicans. You might want to read Maureen Dowd's take on this in the NY Times.Frankly Michelle's behavior is far closer to the "let them eat cake" elitist mentality than that of Mother Theresa.By the way if she was traveling as a private person, why lunch with Spain's King as an official act? While Spain cheered her visit claiming it a boost to their economy & encouragement of its sagging tourism industry, Americans should be free to wonder how such a visit to an area whose tourism is hurting here may have aided that local economy, after all it is those same Americans who will pick up so much of this bill including those living in areas where tourism has been damaged.I might also add that a visit to a museum on the Mall or to Mt Vernon might have given Michelle & her daughter some quality time together much in the same way other American mothers & daughters spend time together or would that just be too declassee for le grand Michelle?

Posted by: arnnyc | August 10, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
10 August 2010

Killjoys! That's who they are, these people who criticize Michelle Obama for taking a much-deserved rest in that resort in Spain with her two daughters.

Mrs. Obama has been very busy during the last several months since her husband's inauguration, like launching this good program for Americans to exercise regularly, and like her othe program to get Americans to eat healthy--even turning part of the White House lawn and converting it to a vegetable garden to prove her point.

So what's really the problem about Michelle Obama taking a break from her busy schedule and her other commendable exertions?

Could it be jealousy? Or just plain politics?

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | August 10, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

For heaven's sake, who cares? Pick, pick, pick. Don't you people have something better to do? Like try to make your little corner of this country a better place, maybe?

Posted by: betcha1 | August 10, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

to all stinky little DIMocRAT apologists for BHO:

playing "the race card", every single time that BHO & the LAME-brained "leadership" of the DIMocRATS party is criticized, makes you LOOK ignorant of the truth, STUPID & too incompetent to be in charge of anything more complicated than a hot-dog stand.====> when the average Joe starts making fun of you doing anything, "you've had it".
(that time is NOW!)

FACE IT DUMMIES, hardly ANYBODY cares what "color" the Obamas are.

we DO care that BHO & the DIMocRATS in Congress are bankrupting this nation with hundreds of expensive/STUPID, needless BOONDOGGLES & "RIP-OFFS" that ENRICH the union bosses, the party faithful & the LEFTIST, SELF-important ELITES at the expense of every other American.

further, in about 2.5 months, we "regular Americans" (you know the ones from "flyover country" that BHO, the DIMocRATS in Congress & the media despises as being "beneath us socially") are going to CLEAN HOUSE.
(and the SENATE too!)

then we will start working on DUMPING EVERY liberal congress-critter & RINO in 2012, including the DUNCE, who currently resides at the WH.
(frankly, i doubt that we "TP folks" will have a chance at defeating BHO, as i don't think that he can even win "the DONKEY primary", given anopther 22 years to LOOK weak, dumb, ARROGANT & ignorant.)

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 10, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mariano says: "So what's really the problem about Michelle Obama taking a break from her busy schedule and her other commendable exertions?

xxxxxxxxxxx

Poor, poor baby Michelle. She works sooooo hard. Most Americans don't work as hard as she does. She deserves to take a vacation to a foreign resort and have the taxpayers pay for it.

I used to think that liberals were just pretending not to get it. Now, I think they really believe what they say. That's scary!

Posted by: groovercg | August 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

at the end of 18 months in office W had been on vacation 42% of the time. 42% people!!!! I don't care if they're "working vacations" or not. These people are complaining about the vacation the current president's family takes. AND they're complaining about the wasteful spending to the tax payer. I've got wasteful spending for you. It's called Iraq. Fueled by lies, now running into a trillion dollars. There's a compound word for these people so willing to be led by demagogues that they don't know a made up story when they see one: rabidsheeples.

Posted by: tomomi1 | August 10, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

tomomi1,

fwiw, at his WORST (and fwiw, i'm NOT a bush-fan) GWB & his father as well were at least TWICE as comptent/intelligent/honest/decent as the arrogant, America-despising, DUNCE that we have in the WH now.

furthermore, BHO is the first POTUS in memory who makes Carter look SMART & Nixon look HONEST.

this MULTI-Million dollar BOONDOGGLE is just the latest in a string of DISHONEST, money-wasting NONSENSE that BHO & family have engaged in.

get it though your head: BHO looks DOWN on people like you/me
AND
sees us "ordinary folks" as "socially & intellectually inferior" to people like him & his miotley crew of elitists/crooks/scheming, shyster lawyers/bureaucrats/union bosses/academics/media talking-heads/etc.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

as for the war in Iraq, we went to war

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 10, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

tomomi1; all,

to continue my pervious comment (i hit the post, rather than the preview button. - mea culpa.)

as for the war in Iraq, we went to war for JUST & GOOD causes. = to FREE the Iraqis from the Bathist thugs, to depose a cruel dictator (who had slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent, civilian, peasants) & to assure that WMD were NOT used AGAIN on us or upon our allies.
(YES, there WERE many WMDs in Iraq.)

fyi, my brother-in-law saw & photographed some of the POISON GAS rockets/bombs, as did CNN & at least two foreign news crews.
in point of fact, HEADLINE NEWS had pictures of those UNLAWFUL weapons on their TV news show for over 24 hours. = when it became "politically inexpediant", those pictures "mysteriously disappeared".
(funny how that happened, when the actual pictures did NO longer fit "the story" that the LEFTIST/LYING media wanted to tell!)

face it, the media LIES! - it's NO more complicated than that, just as they LIED constantly about the war in RVN.
(i have trusted NOTHING, absent independent PROOF, that the main-stream press said, since VietNam.)

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 10, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I think it's kind of funny that this columnist seems to be portraying this as a somewhat private mother/daughter bonding vacation. Why then are 40 other friends going along? Are they all REALLY paying their share of the flight to and from? The hotel bills? The dining? I am trying to imagine the conversation where Mrs Obama asks all of these people to go on this trip with the stipulation that they are all 'splitting the bill?' Really??

Posted by: Catbert1988 | August 11, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

What is this?! Do you haters just surf around finding ways to post your venom against the President and First Lady? Such ignorance and intolerance! If the First Lady had gone to the Gulf it would not have been a vacation it would have been work for her. She would be there to meet and comfort the people who have suffered from the disaster not on her well deserved holiday. It is her role to represent the US in the world and she is entitled to her safety and comfort as she is not paid for all the good work she does as a First Lady. She gave up a lucrative career that she worked very hard to earn- it was not given to her. She earned it against great odds. Unlike George Bush who was handed everything in his life by his father including the Presidency! I have never been prouder of a First Family in my lifetime. They actually represent true family values in their loving treatment of each other and their compassion for others. Actual compassion not some Rovian focus group phrase which has no meaning. She traveled with a friend who recently lost her father and because of her duties as First Lady she was unable to attend the funeral last February. That is the kind of gesture friends make for each other. Seriously, how can you be so hateful and critical?!

Posted by: House3d | August 11, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

House3d says: She gave up a lucrative career that she worked very hard to earn- it was not given to her. She earned it against great odds.

xxxxxxxx

Yeah, she had a rough time getting those affirmative action jobs. Also, it must have been rough getting a job when your husband is a senator. Those are some rough odds to overcome. Poor, poor overworked Michelle. Let's all cry for her. Baaaah! Waaaah!

Posted by: groovercg | August 11, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

house3d said: "I have never been prouder of a First Family in my lifetime."

xxxxxxxxxxxx

Either you have very low standards or you are very young.

Posted by: groovercg | August 11, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

What they are not telling you is the truth. The truth is Obozo was suppose to go to Spain. As a matter of fact they confirmed he was going to meet with the King of Spain...they actually had the entire hotel rented out for them. When the news found out they decided it was better he stay home because the cost for him to also go would be in the millions. I know somone in the consulant who confirmed.

Posted by: bailey50 | August 11, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Not to worry! I read that after her Majesty returns from Spain the family will be spending some quality time on the Gulf Coast for a couple of days before some serious vacationing on Nantucket and spend some dollars here in the USA. Let's see. How many vacations will it take for a first family to set the all time record?

Posted by: ExPatYankee | August 12, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

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