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The Brouhaha over Mom Michelle Obama in Spain

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Wendy Walsh: A chunk of recession-weary Americans are taking aim at a working mother's four-day vacation. Please, people: Take a chill pill. While Michelle Obama spends a whopping four days on her own nickel in Spain with close friends and family, some Americans are likening her to Marie Antoinette, the French queen whose teenage overspending, gambling and partying led her to the guillotine, despite her passion and excellence as a mother.
 
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I think the real target for people's unhappiness is the slow recovery of our beleaguered economy. People are hurting -- big time. Reports are that one in six Americans are in default on their mortgages, and those of us who are shopping new mortgages are being turned down by banks frozen with fear. So a smiling matriarch in a pretty dress in a Spanish beach town has our feathers ruffled. Undoubtedly, working mothers feel the sting most, as they (we) are being pulled in many, many directions and can see no light at the end of an ever-blackening tunnel. 

I get it. I understand. But to slam a member of our girls' club -- the babe who has the ear of the President -- isn't going to help. My suggestion: Let the First Lady take a breath, gather her energy and come back with gusto. Four days is not a sin. The First Family hasn't been abusing vacation time. According to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush spent more time on "vacation" during their first years than President Obama did. (Full disclosure: Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton spent less.) 

Every mother deserves a break. Even Michelle Obama.


next: Oh Boy! Shiloh the World's Most Famous Gender-Neutral Kid?
30 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris h August 6, 2010, 12:22 PM

“Wendy Walsh: A chunk of recession-weary Americans are taking aim at a working mother’s four-day vacation. Please, people: Take a chill pill”

you’re absolutely right. after all, it has been almost a whole month since the first lady had a vacation.

no vacation for me this year August 6, 2010, 1:33 PM

Michelle vacations just this year:

March - New York w/kids
May - Chicago w/family
June - Los Angeles w/kids & her mom
July - Camp David and weekend trip to Maine w/family
August - Spain and also sheduled is a trip to Florida Aug 14th and trip to Martha Vineyard Aug 19th thru 29th.

Yeah, I can see why she would need a vacation from all those vacations.

And don’t even get me started about slamming a women from the “women clubs” b/c that is all this site every does! What was the last good thing you said about Sarah Palin? She may not be your cup of tea but last time I checked she is still a woman right???

Ashley August 6, 2010, 1:50 PM

Yea, eight vacations in one summer should be enough. We’ll see what kind of ‘gusto’ she comes back with. So far I haven’t seen much. I think what most people are upset about is, not how long the Obama’s are on vacation, but where they’re staying and how much their spending on vacation. Bush mostly stayed at Camp David or at his own ranch during his vacations, which is relatively cheap compared to where the Obamas stay.

Pamala August 6, 2010, 8:29 PM

People act like a weekend trip or a few days here and there are somehow abnormal for people who actually can afford to do it.

It’s not. My friend does it all the time. Actually manages to somehow do it darn near every weekend. Her husband works pretty darn hard.

Want to know what I think it is, jealousy that we can’t do the same. People see it as flaunting the money. Well you know they are pretty successful people so we can’t fault them for that. And if she can spend the summer vacation for her kids, taking them places, more power to her, cause remember the kids are off school so that’s probably why it’s increased.

No one cared what Bush and his family did. No one cared how much he personally spent on vacations. They only care now. How I wish people cared about this crap when Bush was in office. Maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation if they had.

By the way I think it would have been crap to complain about Bush’s vacations too. The President never gets a vacation. He may get to go to a nice place that isn’t called the White House, but he never gets time off. Kind of like being a mother, his job is 24/7. I think people forget that.

voice4liberty August 6, 2010, 8:29 PM

Are you aware of how much tax money is used just for the cost of the secret service and transportation? She has NO Business using that kind of money for a vacation when so many families are in need of the benefits of those tax dollars! I am sorry but you need to rethink your statements!

http://www.1voice4liberty.com

Karen August 6, 2010, 8:48 PM

That the Obamas should be able to maintain a lavish lifestyle while they are serving in the White House is ridiculous. She’s not paying for her transporation and security. We are.

To take an extravagant trip to Spain when we have high unemployment, two wars, and a huge crisis in the Gulf is appalling. I don’t want any of my money subsidizing any more of her vacations. Enough.

sandra August 7, 2010, 6:20 AM

Leave her alone. See an article that sees things from a different perspective at http://bit.ly/ck1fNi

Elaine August 7, 2010, 4:56 PM

I can’t justify this trip in light of the economy. The figures on the expenses are staggering. I could live the remainder of my life on what her five day fling is costing. I do not think I am feeling jealousy. It is more of an outrage that Mrs. Obama would see fit to flaunt her privilege when people are struggling to even feed their kids and hang onto their homes and jobs. It is a real slap in the face to people who are sacrificing on every level. I am on social security and I draw $767.00 per month plus an additional $167.00 monthly from my deceased husband’s pension. That is not a typo-that is an honest figure. I have no medical insurance as I am 18 months out from even getting medicare. It is not jealousy but I think it is fair to call it resentment. How dare she do this at this time? Does she deserve a vacation? Perhaps the real question is do we deserve to have a decent standard of living while she plays? I worked over 42 years so I am not a deadbeat.

karito nue August 7, 2010, 7:09 PM

And she abandoned his husband on his birthday? What a bitc.ht

dessertgirl  August 7, 2010, 9:04 PM

Michelle is paying for her room, food and transportation. Yeah — She will reimburse the gov $9400 for the cost of two first-class tickets for her and Sasha out of the nearly $200,000 that it cost to fly AF2 for her.

We taxpayers will pay for the per diem for the SEVENTY Secret Service men accompanying her. Then there is the advance team that went in preparation for her, her staff, etc. to stay in a hotel that costs $400 - $2500 a night. Then there is the extra plane that flew ELEVEN vehicles for Michele’s motorcade. At least she is not having the family dog flown over in a separate plane. Oh, well, it’s easy to spend other people’s money.

All this money would provide a lot of teachers and police for our communities.

Her costs are not insignificant. Then there is the issue of her planning a trip over her husband’s birthday. I guess the articles I see in the mags are true, there is trouble in the O marriage. Last summer she pouted and wasn’t seen in Hawaii because she and Barack were having problems.

Families take vacations together.

XXXXX August 8, 2010, 2:49 PM

She needs to keep her butt at home

Anonymous August 8, 2010, 3:35 PM

I find it really odd that she chose to go vacation during the president b/d instead of being with him to celebrate.

michelle August 9, 2010, 4:00 PM

Yes, alot of us are suffering..including myself. However, I did not go to school to become a lawyer nor did my husband sell over a million books. I have to accept the life that I chose. No other country would criticize their first lady for vacationing nor going back home to her true home, which is Chicago, either. Why is it acceptable to question this 1st lady..is she not worthy?

David August 10, 2010, 7:43 AM

Far worse than the trip is that Obama had a fellas weekend back home — hooping it up with the celbrities, etc…I’m a Dem and all, but this is not good public relations stuff.

I’m an old school kind of guy and last time I checked I only hang out with my wife and kids. I don’t go on extravagant trips with my childhood buddies or send my wife on absurd girls weekends out. I catch hell from my friends for this, but I know what my responsibilities are in life.

The selfishness that followed Betty Friedan has not been good for America.
I realize that not every woman can or wants to “opt-out”, but I appreciate that there is now a counterveiling force against gender neutrality. We are not equals, women/mothers are the shepherds of our civilization.

Gen X has to turn this thing around, so lets get to work…

Golf September 21, 2010, 12:43 AM

In linked announcement, Tiger Woods often provides 110 %. Which is why he gave one hundred % to his spouse and even now received ten % left more than for his alleged mistress.

Tyone Willie Crow October 11, 2010, 3:14 PM

Michelle is about one ugly ho….anyone who would do her has to be too lazy to jack-off

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