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.
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.