Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Michelle Obama's Spain trip: The inside story why she went


WASHINGTON--Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha returned from Spain on Sunday, a vacation at a lavish hotel on the Mediterranean coast that triggered her first controversy since becoming first lady. I'm told she made the trip because she promised one of her closest friends, a longtime Chicago pal who just lost her father, she would spend time with her.

Mrs. Obama is the most popular figure in the Obama orbit -- and turned around her image from the 2008 presidential campaign by adamantly staying away from any kind of controversy, focusing on safe issues: combatting childhood obesity and helping military families.

The Spain trip generated coverage on the networks and cable news shows and other national outlets -- including columns and posts I wrote -- raising questions about public perception and taxpayer costs.

A ritzy vacation in Spain while the U.S. faces tough economic times was off-message -- as was highlighting the beaches in Spain after urging Americans to head to Florida's Gulf Coast to help out the tourism industry impacted by the BP oil spill. (The first family flies to Florida this weekend.)

But the reason Mrs. Obama made the trip -- and other facts, not rumors about the travel -- are important in knowing the whole story and understanding why she made the call to go.

First, some numbers. Mrs. Obama did not travel with 40 friends, a number used by some news outlets.

She vacationed with two women, one of them a longtime Chicago pal, Anita Blanchard, who is the obstetrician who delivered Sasha and Malia. Blanchard is married to Marty Nesbitt -- President Obama's buddy and the treasurer of Obama's presidential campaign fund.

There was one other woman. Total: four daughters among the three women. They paid for their hotel rooms and other personal and travel expenses.

The trip involved six White House advance staffers and two East Wing staffers, deputy Chief of Staff Melissa Winter and Mrs. Obama's personal assistant, Kristen Jarvis, according to Mrs. Obama's spokeswoman Catherine McCormick Lelyveld.

Mrs. Obama does travel with significant security -- and in a trip like this, three shifts of uniformed and plain-clothes agents and military personnel flew with her on a big Air Force 757. No matter where she goes -- domestic or international -- any first lady gets protection and she does not decide how many agents are needed.

So why did Mrs. Obama go to Spain at this time? She's not tone-deaf politically. What was behind the "mother-daughter" vacation?

A White House source told me that Blanchard's father passed away and Mrs. Obama was not able to make the funeral at the beginning of July. Blanchard had promised her daughter she would take her to Spain for her birthday. She asked Mrs. Obama and Sasha to come with. (Malia is at overnight camp.)

"She felt it was important as a dear friend to do this," I was told.

How did they end up at the five star Villa Padierna, part of the Ritz-Carlton chain? Because of security concerns, there were just some places they could not go. Agents were able to secure Villa Padierna and the nearby beach area.

Totally not true, though reported by some big-league outlets that she went:
Mrs. Obama did not attend a charity ball at their hotel hosted by Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria on Saturday night. Mrs. Obama went out to dinner with her pals.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked at a Wednesday briefing if there was any concern about "the appearance" of Mrs. Obama's Spain trip.

"The first lady is on a private trip. 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," Gibbs said.

Gibbs is wrong. Mrs. Obama oversees a major Obama domestic initiative, the child health campaign. In April, she flew to Mexico to launch her "international agenda" of youth engagement. And she supervises an East Wing staff that is responsible for every special event in the White House, from bill signings to state dinners. Mrs. Obama is a public figure and it is reasonable to ask how she spends taxpayer resources.

FOOTNOTE: Before returning to Washington, Mrs. Obama and Sasha on Sunday flew to the island of Majorca to lunch with Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at their summer palace.

The AP, quoting a menu released by the palace, said lunch "was Andalusian-style chilled gazpacho soup, char-grilled 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."


Poor Michelle and her friend. When my father died, I served my friends....not vice versa. I am so sick of her, it makes me puke. What a perfect queen for King Henry the 8th.

Given the state of the American economy, this trip was still ill-advised, especially given the expenses that the Obamas are not covering--such as security, and all the attending expenses. Nice Mrs. Obama promised her daughter a trip to Spain, but U.S. taxpayers should not have to indulge one cent of her whimsy.

Are there not enough places in the U.S. to go?

Come on Lynn, the funeral was two weeks ago and this was all thrown together at the last minute, is that the story. Please the cover up is worse then the crime, who cares about her vacation? Is it an insult during these tought times? Yes but let's move on. The crime is the media excusing the behavior and trying to come up with excuses and alibi's. The Child Health about more ice cream, yes, more veal escalopes, yes thank you.

I think its outrageous. I voted for Obama but who does Michelle think she is? A celebrity? I think NOT! With 10 percent unemployment and folks in the 99 tier with no way out--to make us pay for 70 secret service AND staff people in a five star hotel---OUTRAGEOUS. She better look in the mirror and realize who she really is and lay off the vacations. BTW, she is NO WAY like Jackie O in her fashion sense--Jackie was first of all BEAUTIFUL and Michelle is an absolute DOG.

Doesn't matter about her "promise." You can spend time with a "dear friend" without spending several hundred thousand dollars of our money. I believe you said earlier this was EIGHTH vacation this year.

Face it -- the Obamas think they're entitled to every perk there is -- they're grabbing everything they can, while they can. Their "do as I say, not as I do" attitude, their "sacrifice for thee, but not for me" smugness comes through every day.

This was politically tone-deaf. Absolutely stupid and I hope it continues to bit them in the butt.

Hopefully in two years they'll be able to vacation non-stop, on mostly their own dime.

I won't attack you for the article, there's enough of that on the comments for the piece. I will question your depth of inquiry on this issue. You seem to take at face value, the explanation that this trip is entirely about a friends loss. Having worked at that level and seeing many instances of of grief sharing, this seems a bit stretched. Just the shopping trips, protected beach outings and dinners seem to show there's little time for introspective walks in remembering those now gone. I'd say it's not worth becoming a light weight at this stage of your game.

It seems like Malia could have given up an overnight camp to go to Spain. I would have!

BTW, I did go to the funeral of the doctor who delivered me, but she was my aunt.

It seems like going to Chicago in July would have been easier than going to Spain, especially since her daughter and her husband could not go to Spain with her. It could have been just a one day trip by herself. The article does not indicate why should could not make it. She skipped Barack's birthday and left a daughter at camp to go to Spain, so it must have been an important event that prevented her from going to Chicago - certainly worth a mention in the article.

"I'm told she made the trip because she promised one of her closest friends, a longtime Chicago pal who just lost her father, she would spend time with her."
Mrs. Obama could have and have spent some PRIVATE time with her friend. Instead, she chose to do something that she knew would attract national and world attention and criticism -- take Air Force 2 and jaunt off to Spain just because her friend asked her to go. First, if Mrs. Obama's friend didn't care about the attention and criticism, she is not a good friend. Second, why did Mrs. Obama plan the trip so as to miss Obama's birthday? Third, I don't believe the alleged facts in this article. There's more to the story, but we probably won't hear about it.

Nice try by the administration to spin this let them eat cake vacation. But it is a day late and thousands of dollars short.

Thank you, Ms. Sweet, for summarizing and clearing up misconceptions about this issue. I would add one thing to the discussion. If the FLOTUS is subject to "reasonable" questions about how she spends taxpayers' money, it seems only fair to apply that requirement to every single person who spends taxpayers' money, from the POTUS all the way down to every local entity that spends taxpayers' money, including governors, federal and state legislators, county governance, mayors, etc. etc. etc. I wonder if those paid "servants" could withstand such scrutiny and come out with pristine hands. The FLOTUS is in an UNPAID, very influential position that she is trying to use for the benefit of our citizens; the laws of our country provide for round the clock security protection for the First Family because of idiots out there with no respect for human lives; and our FLOTUS is a very valuable asset in advancing human relations on a global scale. It makes me wonder if any of the "critics" were to exhange places with the FLOTUS, would they decline round the clock security protection for themselves and their families. I think not.

The Obama's are criticize on everything they do. They are dammed if they do and dammed if they don"t. What's wrong with you so called Americans. Is it because the lady is a black woman who's husband happens to be the President of the United States. And you say its not race, that you are not prejudice,I think you should just tell the truth. Stop hating on this couple.

So it was over a friends fathers' death? Really? Then why did the W.H. say last week that the trip was planned for months? Which is it, the lies and misinformation from this administration is astounding!

Staying at the Ritz and having lunch with the King and Queen. Yeah, that has everything to do with comforting a bereft friend. Give me a break with this spin!

Please do not forget the Tourism Industry. How can American tourism get reciprocal treatment if Americans are urged to shun foreign travel? Do you want American tourist sites to lose income from foreigners due to a bad international reputation? What about all the Americans taking expensive cruises like in the Mediterranean? Foreign travel is a broadening experience and Americans should do more of it, don't make a political thing of this, please, when we have American soldiers in over 70 outposts in the world. Does this mean we should pull out of all the overseas bases now and keep our money stateside?

Lynn Sweet can spin this and try to provide cover for Michelle Obama all she wants, but the fact is that whatever the reason was for this little jaunt, this trip was an unbelievably stupid decision politically. Ordinarily, the president and his family can and should be able to vacation wherever they want, but during this extremely difficult economic time in America, it is a very bad idea to have the First Lady jet setting about on a very expensive overseas vacation. Appearances matter, and this trip looks bad to the American public. Why couldn't she and her daughter vacation down on the gulf coast, where Michelle herself encouraged people to go? There are plenty of really beautiful places down there with lots to offer the family, that haven't been affected by the oil leak. That would have been the smart thing to do politically, and the fact that Obama and his wife decided that she should make this trip to Spain shows that they either don't understand that, or just don't care.

In an America, where all GOP talking points, are endlessly covered by the News Media, this story is News. Ask any of these Right-Wing posters, if they realize their taxes are less under Obama, they'll say no (even though it's true). Ask them if the FLOTUS vacationed in Spain... that they know.
It's unfortunate what has happened to the Media, and how silly these *News* stories have become. But such is the case, when every nonsensical story they cover, comes from the GOP Talking Points... and not reality.

Geez! The woman took a trip, with her own money! The Obamas had money before they went to the White House! Just because they weren't born with wealth and riches like Bush was, does not mean they can't afford a trip such as this!

When will you people grow up!

So INAPPROPRIATE ... are you sure they are not having marital problems. Who leaves a husband alone on his birthday?? Guess "ordinary" things no longer apply to this KING AND QUEEN.

Everyone Please get a life! Coulda, Woulda, and Shoulda. Get a life. Donate to your local charity, church, and food something to make a difference yourself. If need, run for President, Senator, and/or join the military.

what? Are you saying that a condolence card is not enough???

@ EB

I know everything is spin to you unless Fox and Breitbart tells you differently.

All this talk about Michelle's high fashion sense when she went to meet the king and queen it looked like she was going to a hayride. The daughter looked like she had on a tutu made of toilet paper. How garrish. J. Crew? Did taxpayer pay for those ugly clothes? She's a total embarrassment those big ugly arms always exposed.

a wise, 65 yr old African-American female friend of mine expained Michelle Obama to me. She said that MO acts the way she does (e.g.,exposing a lot of skin; dressing to draw attengion; being common; etc) because when she was growing up she was the big, unattractive girl (on a 60 Minutes segment sometime ago, a woman in Florida called MO a "horse" of a woman) who was outside of the circle of the pretty girls who got all of the attention, so, now this is MO's chance to "get even." To say, "Look at me now. LooK where I am now." I think the 5 page expose on Pres. Barack Obama's secret (and maybe not so secret in Chicago and the DC beltway)sex life might also explain MO's trip to Spain in which she missed BO's birthday celebration and embarrassed his administration by the lavishness of her Spain vacation. I noticed that in the return picture from Spain, it is Sasha that hugs the President and MO does not hug him. There is definitely some negative vibes going on between POTUS and FLOTUS. Maureen Dowd in her latest NY Times essay also points out the 3 or 4 other times when MO has absented herself on BO's big moments. MO is jealous of BO. And, she is going long with; but, obviously disliking BO using her as a "beard." I am not the only one who has come to these conclusions. I have read posters on other web sites who see what I see. By the way, I am an A-A female who not only voted for BO and contributed to his campaign; but, I went to Mississippi and campainged door-to-door for him (in white neighborhoods, no less). However, I have to admit that BO and MO are not what they appeared to be. And, MO frequently proves to be hypocritical. E.g., all of the J-Crew clothing items don't square with $540.00 sneakers and $6,000 purses. Just like telling Americans to visit the Gulf Coast and then taking off to Maine for a vacation. Any who . . . this time cycle is about to end and a new, greater one awaits us sans BO and MO and all of those like them--if they don't get their acts together..

So what if she went to Spain. Americans were you doing all this complaining when Bush was in the office? I don's think so. The economy was bad prior to Obama becoming president thanks to him. We have other things to worry about than were Michelle vacations. She is the first lady of the U.S she can vacation where ever she chooses. You people are making such a big deal about it because she is BLACK. You people should get a life!!!!

She wanted to take a vacation. Lots of Americans are doing that. The economy isn't good so does that mean the Obama's should eat beans from a can? Should she have flown over on in coach on American Airlines? Should she have told the secret service to say home? Should she and her kids just stay locked up in the WH so as not to cost anyone any money? To say she can't take a vacation or to try to say where she should go or why she should go is really not our business. I don't care if it is the Bush twins on spring break, Hilary and Chelsea in Africa, the Obama's in Spain, or any other first family. These people deserve to have lives. You can't afford to go to Europe. She can. Get over it.

The Obama's can afford it, therefore they should catch all of my tax $ expended for the trip. As a taxpayer I object to having a quarter of a million tax dollars flushed down the toilet for her vacation. We appear to have pseudo royalty in the White House sucking up all tax benefits whenever possible, typical liberal attitude.
Get out in November and vote the Marxists out of power.

There once was a country with a self-absorbed ruler and his wife. Perhaps you remember them. Louis and Antoinette. They managed to totally tick the commoners as well.

I agree, the cover up is worse than the "crime" as many points in this article just seem very convenient to me. I think the point still stands though...Mrs. Obama isn't the only person in the world who has a grieving friend or family member, or even someone who has made a promise that he/she cannot follow through on because of the economy. Of course, the thing that irks me the most about this situation is that President Obama just said that Michelle and him really aren't that far removed from the rest of us. Then again, who am I to judge?

Michelle Obama made a very poor decision to take this elaborate overblown trip to Spain. She could just as easily spent time down on the Gulf coast with her friends and daughter. She would have been the best advertisement that the beaches are clean and open for tourism. Despite what her husband and his lackeys say, this recession is far from over and most Americans can't even afford a week-end getaway. Once again Mrs. Obama has shown her distain for the American public with her elitist attitude. The Obama's had better cram in all their trips while they can, they will be clearing out of the White House in 2 years and it can't come fast enough!!

Why do people have to be so critical and judgemental? Why can't one just accept the fact that these people are living their lives the way that they want to. They have worked to get to where they are. What have you done? Apparently not too much, otherwise you would not have so much time to complain. If they are spending our money, as someone stated earlier, why don't you run for president, senator, etc. so that you can get the perks that come with the job. I am sure that on your job, if you have had one or a good one, you utilized all of the perks that you could, I know I did. And I do not feel guilty. Since I am retired, I am not hating on anyone that is getting all they can.If she takes 8-10 vacations a year, so be it. If she is not with her husband on his birthday, so what. Every day should be his or anyone's birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc., not just one day a year.

I am disappointed on many levels by Michelle Obama's decision to go to Spain at this time. She doesn't live under a rock. So, she must be aware of the economic insolvency this country labors under.
Fact: She is married to the President of the United States; an elected official. She should have enough common sense to recognize that her choice to take another vacation constitutes a flagrant disregard for the constituency that elected her husband. Many of us have been out of work long enough to lose homes! I am afraid Mrs. Obama is clueless and selfish; grabbing everything she can before her tenure as "first lady" is up in two years.
Equally disturbing is her lack of integrity, or concern for Americans who might have taken home a paycheck if she vacationed in the country that supports her.
Her message that it is okay to TAKE what she wants while she wears the mantle of "first lady" is deplorable and inexcusable at this time in history.
China has 2000 missing in the mudslides and there are 14 million affected by flooding in Pakistan... As a woman, a mother and a "face of America" - she could do something that really makes a difference. Shopping in Spain was a bad decision.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and stop freaking out so much. People are trying to find reasons to hate on everyone else. People act like the Presidental family is rolling in money from tax payers. In actuality, he's making ~$400,000 (a considerable amount but not exactly KING worthy). Everything else has to be expensed. So how are you going to yell at Michelle for multitasking and at least splitting her time between personal and political purposes such as meeting with foreign dignitaries? She would need the same amount of security/protection regardless of where she would be vacationing, so the only real difference in cost is the hotel (which she would most likely stay in an equally nice one stateside anyways) and jet fuel. This is hardly a Marie Antionette situation. Stop making mountains out of molehills. In case everyone forgot, the economy was in trouble long before this presidential election and although we're not all billionaires, I don't see any stock market crashes and corporate meltdowns anymore. Give it time.

re:Stellar...Nope, not spin...Just the truth. Of course I can think for myself, unlike others who have all their "facts" fed to them by HuffPo, Kos, and MSNBC.

As a former Public Relations person myself, I feel sorry for her P.R. staff. Serving a prima donna isn't an easy task, and they have their work cut out for them.

Baboona has clearly overstepped her bounds with this stunt.
Isn't this the 7th or 8th vacation this year?
Very poor visual, with the economy the way it is, and the state of the country.
With elections coming up, people WILL remember this.
She would have been smart if she had chosen to vacation in the USA, especially in the gulf region. (I know, I know, she'll be there next week - ON VACATION. yet again)
Please vote in November.
Vote like your country depends on you.
Vote like you really mean it.
This administration's incompetence and sense of entitlement MUST be ended.

She deserves a vacation? From what? She's never had a real job in her life. I've busted my ass working and going to school since I was 15 and haven't had a vacation in 10 years. She has aleady had one vacation to Maine! Yes, she should stay at the whitehouse and minimze tax payer loss. Its disgusting.

I truly believe that regardless of where Michelle Obama spent her vacation, she would have been criticized. I mean it's not like she has not been picked over since she entered the White House. Okay for the record if the woman wants to pay a 1,000 dollars for her shoes and 30,000 for a purse so what! For Pete's sake stop hating. I am so sick of people talking about her appearance..or any First Ladies appearance for that matter. Hello its not a friggen beauty contest at the White House. We have become a nation of nit pickers. Whether its a celebrity or some poor sod who just happens to end up on the news. True beauty does not began on the surface and its more then apparent after reading various comments, some people have some serious ugliness in their hearts. The same way you judge someone else so harshly that you do not even shall you be judged. Bush and Cheney took this country to the gates of hell and aside from some mumbling in the peanut gallery, we sucked it up. Wow if only there was such an uproar about all those body bags still coming home. I don't give a damn about what she wears or where she goes, but I do grieve over the young men and women still dying over oil and politics. Figure out what is really important, believe me its not her arms or her vacations. The fact is none of the circumstances we find ourselves in started yesterday. No administration can bring this sort of economic collapse about in a couple of terms. This has been decades in the making. Negative energy attracts negative energy, remember that the next time you taste a little venom on your tongue.

Indulgent yes. Inappropriate maybe. I agree with kckid that Mrs. Obama can afford to go to Europe and the rest of us should deal with it. But, I believe the issue is the use of tax-payer dollars for the Secret Service, AirForce One, and the extra security required. In the economic times we as a nation are in and what Europe is going through, vacations like these by our leaders is like a slap in the face. The majority of us have cancelled vacations due to economic hardships and have had "stay-cations" to keep us solvent. Is it too much to ask our leaders to be an example of frugality instead of self-indulgence. After all, the self-indulgence by everyone in the USA and in Congress is what has led to these financial issues we are having.

I agree w/kckid, get a life !! get some friends, get a job and get a l i f e !!

Winstona . . . you're an idiot!

This is all spin, the poor friends tragedy. Its typical of this WH.
Just observe the incredible speed in which the Spain trip was planned, BUT the most egregious of all.. No friend front and center in any pictures. Looked like a M trip! What a joke. They think so little of us, they can't even come up with cogent excuses. No excuses because the truth is there for all to see.

Rubbing salt in the wounds of 14.6 million plus people who cannot put food on the table, whose children go hungry to bed.

CAIR president said "Insensitivity masks bigotry" Should the public assume this is the case with this First couple?

No class, no dignity, no integrity! What a couple!

Shame on you Winstona for playing the race card, but then again that is what people like you do.
MO can go on vacation anywhere she wants and anytime she wants just not on the American Taxpayers dime. She appears to be a child that is in a "candy store" for the first time. Take all you can get because I probably will not have another chance to do this!!

The American people will not give them another chance. BO said he would change things......
he sure has. To bad it was just the opposite of what he promised...


At least I had to get down to the end of the comments for the first "because she is BLACK" opine. Yup, we hate her cause she's a black woman. We hate him because he's a Black man. You hated Bush, Anonymous, because you are BLACK and hate white men, a la Bush. Wow. What a brilliant mind you must have. How long did it take you to come to that conclusion? Rubbing her lavish lifestyle in our faces as we struggle to get through her husband's ruining the economy and the country has made us all a bit edgy. If you want to believe that we are racists, be my guest. I pity you and your little mind.

obummer keeps complaining about how us Americans spend money. But they have no issues wasting ours. They have enough money, they could have and should have paid for the whole thing themselves, security and all.

What ever reasons you wnat to use to rationalize this trip as not excessive you are wrong. This was the wrong choice.

really...get a life...bush took vacations, no complain from u right wingers. bush ruined d economy, no complain from u right wing nuts.bush turned a surplus under clinton to a depression, and still no complain from these nuts. suddenly, obama wants healthcare for all americans and he becomes a marxist. michelle takes a vacation, like laura bush did in paris, budapest and prague, no complain from d nuts at laura but michellegets all d stick...simply sayin, just get a life!!!

Hmmm, having read this article defending Mrs Obama's trip to Spain to "comfort" an old friend who had lost her father...when my husband passed away my friends helped provide a dinner (chicken and cold cuts) for those who attended the Memorial service and checked on me for weeks after wards bringing homemade dishes by for me at times, and they included me in the goings on in their lives that they thought I would be comfortable attending. I did take a trip a year later to attend a granddaughters wedding but gee, not to NC...ON MY DIME! Give me a break...the trip was lavish, unnecessary and unforgivable! It could have waited until Jan 2013 when they are out of office!

There are plenty of places right here in the good old USA that they could have escaped to at a fraction of the cost and supported our economy.
I am so sick of hearing about Nancy Reagan and the china (donated) and George Bush taking many vacations (at the Crawford Ranch - HE OWNS and where he also worked) Just get over the George Bush stuff and admit that this administration has no clue what the regular 'joe' does, or eats, or buys or watches on television - neither do the majority of Senators of either party. The worst part is that neither do they care - just give BO a few famous names to party with and he's all good.

Love the whole race card here too... this is nothing to do with race... its just, simply put, a case of not thinking before you act, which happens to be the norm for this presidency. The author here, although trying to find a different outlook on what happened, doesn't have her facts all in a row at all. Her account doesn't even come close to the "official" version handed out by the WH itself which stated this was a planned vacation. Its a nice try to help the administration rewrite fact into fiction and try to pass it off as fact, but the fact of the matter is it was just a bad decision - period. I don't like it myself, I don't care for this administration one bit - but - is this REALLY what we need to be focusing on? Let's ALL get a life here... including myself... and just see what happens in November... this finger pointing is just getting seriously old...

I do think it's necessarily so inappropriate that she took a vacation as it is that she took another vacation! It seems that almost once a month or so the Obama's are off on vacation somewhere! I think that Michelle ought to consider things based on the fact that she is not just any woman on vacation, but that she is the President's wife. It's nice to comfort your friend who just lost a loved one, but you don't need to go to Spain to do that! It also seems to me that having lunch with the King and Queen was not diplomatic business she had to tend to while overseas, but another little side jaunt while on vacation!
Not too long ago Obama said that if you can't pay for your kids college, you don't go to Vegas! In such tough times, he sure seems great at giving advice and not good at all at taking it!

THIS FIRST FAMILY is dysfunctional. REMEMBER= FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE SHE WAS PROUD? For the first time in my life = I AM ASHAMED OF THE FIRST FAMILY!! Well educated YOUNG adults are struggling with the intense challenges in the economy- and THE FIRST FAMILY IS SPENDING OUR MONEY like there is NO CRISIS AND NO TOMORROW!

The Spain trip is a political move to work on the minority votes for the 2012 presidential election. We can't wait to see how the Democrats will spin this to their advantage and certainly with the help of the Spanish government
get Obama re-elected.

Every day, the Obama administration finds a way to put an additional nail in the coffin of the American people.

I wish people would stop with the "After all, the self-indulgence by everyone in the USA and in Congress is what has led to these financial issues we are having." My family and I have worked to stay free from debt except for a house payment. If we don't have the money for something, it isn't purchased. I have not asked the government for a bailout yet I am expected through my taxes to pay for others who have mased pout several credit cards and purchased homes they can't afford to pay for. My family and I have taken vacations. We are not subsidized by anyone. Stop saying it is because everyone is self-indulgent. Most Americans are not. They go to work everyday and come home to loving families. Care for spouse and children and teach them to be thankful to God for the blessings of living in this wonderful and blessed country. It is always the few who need the help of the many.I do not think it is right for the government take my taxes and decide where my charity should be given. It is my right to donate my money the way and to whom I will. I am sorry for getting off subject, but I am tired of being lumped together with those who make unwise choices.

The Obamas think they are entitled to everything they can get; that is it, plain and simple. Other than that, the photographs of Michelle with the elegant Queen and Princess of Spain sure point out that Michelle is on a lost cause with her fitness program.

As usual the hypocrites in the Obama regime live the "do as I say, not as I do" lifestyle. The "Christian" President has no time for church or prayer meetings, but plenty of time for basketball, golf, and vacation. When the truth comes out about the dynamic duo, they will be spending their final years in a federal prison.

Now we know why we need the tax increase. With Michelle and Obama's
need to take so many trips, we have to find some way to pay for it. It seems the first family has put in more miles and vacations now than Bush did in 8 years. If she wanted to comfort her friend why didn't she goes spend time with her at her home.
I have lost my home and most of my income the past year so frivolous spending by any Obamans stick in my craw after all his unfruitful spending of our money already in an attempt to "save the economy" and his real reason to spend us completely into ruin. We have to be the laughing stock of the world.

With Mechelle's "in your face" extravance, it has become clear that President Obama's haughty nose in the air actually is a reflection of their attitude that they are the elite, near royalty, and we peasants "should stop complaining. Oh, and by the way, while you are down there, kiss my ring."

Connie, You are so blind. Get over the Bush Bash, please. and talking about growing up. Do you know how much this cost the american taxpayer?? like me!
Get your head out of the talking points and wake up!

By Connie on August 9, 2010 7:14 PM
Geez! The woman took a trip, with her own money! The Obamas had money before they went to the White House! Just because they weren't born with wealth and riches like Bush was, does not mean they can't afford a trip such as this!

When will you people grow up!

Phew! The spin cycle on this machine must have a turbo-charger. Were there any doubt about the existence of JournOlist, have you heard the montage of all the talking heads..........bad optics! The words should be more blunt..........stupid move.

Do you people read? She didnt take this trip with her own money this cost the taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars, which all was spent in a foriegn country at a time when President Obama asks that we the people suck it up and spend our vacation dollars here. Now what do those two facts have to do with GOP talking points??? Nothing!! Also why must the race card always be played and "well what about Bush", when can we allow Obama to stand on his own and not blame it all on Bush anymore??

So a friend was grieving and Michelle was unable to go to the funeral? I understand and can relate to that scenario. However, running off to Spain to "spend time with this dear friend?" Please! How about inviting the friend and her daughter over to the White House for a few days? For the average American family, how much more "special" can it get than not only visiting the White House, but staying over for a few days?

Then again, maybe I stumbled across the answer unexpectedly. I referenced the average American family above. NOTHING about this group is average. They feel entitled to 8 trips or vacations per year (or whatever ridiculous number it is). It must be nice to be so privileged while I'm out here sacrificing . . . . .

I don't know when I have heard more comments about anyone complaining about the president and the first lady and constantly barking out the word black. This country is a land of immigrants of all colors, races, and creeds, and I resent this constant bashing by folks who have no other sense of intelligence when confronting others comments than to hollar out blacks over and over again. Look at history folks. We have freedom of expession, freedom to speak out, freedom to complain and freedom to live here. Just drop the word black from all your responses and then we will all be just Americans. You use that word like you own it.
This is America a melting pot and dropping words such as black are antique. Grow up and enjoy being an American and gripe like the rest of us do.

So, this article is suppose to make us accept the trip Moochelle took? Um,No, we don't--we are told to sacrifice and so should she. After reading some of the comments on here--there are still idiots out here that support our current low life administration. What is up with you people? I don't care if Moochelle's friend father died, hey my cousin died and I didn't get to go to a foreign country to greive. This is insane. When are you all going to wake up Obamazombies?

So what if she went to Spain. Americans were you doing all this complaining when Bush was in the office? I don's think so. The economy was bad prior to Obama becoming president thanks to him. We have other things to worry about than were Michelle vacations. She is the first lady of the U.S she can vacation where ever she chooses. You people are making such a big deal about it because she is BLACK. You people should get a life!!!!

1. Supporting the U.S. economy by visiting one of the thousands of beautiful places within would have been a better choice.
2. Bush spent almost ALL of his vacations at HOME in Tx. Bush stopped playing golf out of respect for our Troops in the field, went home and chopped wood and rode bikes.. don't you remember all the media hating riding bikes with him??
3. The housing bubble was a result of policies enacted by slick Willy, Dodd, and Franks.. see youtube for Franks as he said on the House floor 'Fanny and Freddy will never be in trouble'. Bush tried to enact regulations to constrain them, but was rebuffed. Our economy GREW for 7.5 of 8 years under Bush, I suggest you think for yourself instead of listening to the LSM, or do a little research!

The news media all say that Michelle is more popular than Obama - I wonder how long that will last.

Mr. Gibbs is a moron! MO does not have a private life until her and BO are out of office in (Thank God) in 2.5 yrs. They are, without a doubt, in the words of a famous African-American, "Ghettofabulous".

some of you people who want to defend these ELITISTS might like to know i have some ocean front property in Arizona i would like to sell. CHEAP!

thank you for clearing that up Lynn. there for a while i thought she had become an elitist, snob, who was out of touch with reality.
and certain people who call themselves journalists were nothing more than megaphones for democraps.
thank you for setting the record straight.

This article is Sugar coated BS.

Mrs.Obama has all the right to vacation wherever she wants. I do not understand why everyone is making a big deal besides I think people are so upset because she visited a Spanish country. I guess if she went to an English speaking country people wouldn't complain.....Everyone, stop it ! Let people be happy and live!!! BRAVO and OLE for Mrs.Obama, she's a very nice lady.

It is nauseating. Our family small business is struggling to last to our 102 year in NY.
How many sub chapter "s" businesses are dipping into their retirement $$$$$$$$$$$ to hold on ?
They are fake frauds..and worse.
We are the rich? You fookin arrogant elitist swine.
Sweet: Want to hear more is a great American story going out in pain and flame.
From Madison Ave & 68th St. to ???????

KC Kid wrote "The economy isn't good so does that mean the Obama's should eat beans from a can?"

There is a term for this. It's called discretion. Living the life of an aristocrat or an aristo's wife should never be done on the taxpayer dime. But that aside, KC, are you aware of the many occasions whereby the Obamas have dined on the finest foods in America and perhaps the world, like lobster, Kobe beef, Iranian caviar? When taking their vacations, the Obamas have been known to jilt the economy of the states they visit by making special (and yes, obscene) arrangements to have their extremely pricy cuisines sent to them and their buddies instead of eating the food those locations provide. The Obamas are terribly insecure people, thus they feel the need to live lavishly at taxpayer expense to satisfy their personal deficiencies.

So should the Obamas eat canned beans? You're darn right they should. It's past time they show solidarity with the American people instead of sticking it to us. Their actions are nothing short of disgusting.

And to those of you like Winstona and Anonymous who equate opposition to the Obamas as hatred of black people, the race card is getting old and worn out. Abandon it. Start looking at this with the prism of the 75% of the posters on this thread who get it and face the reality that the Obamas are the worst thing to ever happen to America.

This trip is an outrage and a slap in all of our faces. Very touching about the friend, then you pay for it Obama. Stand up America, DEMAND that Obama pays this money back right now. This should not be allowed in this economy, stay in the US and run the damn country, that is what we are paying you for!

It is so amazing how many people will bend over backwards for this First lady and her husband. I remember when Sara Palin and her party got hung up to dry over her outfits! Guess now big expensive trips mean that they (Obama's) are in touch with the average American! All you people out there get your heads out of your rear ends! All the Obama's are are rich nobodies thinking their somebodies!

I'm guessing after this scandal is public, she will no longer be proud of this country. Or to rephrase it in her words, "for the last time in her adult life she will be proud of this country". Give it up Michelle Mabelle, we're on to your elitist ways. This country owes you nothing. Maybe, roll up your sleeves & do an honest days work. And pay for your own vacations. I don't care if you have slave blood in your lineage or not, get off your ivory tower, and start looking at things like a real American.

It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant, petty and hypocritical right wingers are.

If the Obamas were Republicans, you wouldn't hear one word about Michelle's trip. In fact, the wingnuts would be defending her as rabidly as they're attacking her.

ppl are crazy. the obama's can do whatever they want. if it was anyone else they would of done the same.

Because the right wing has propagated so much misinformation about the size and cost of the First Lady’s trip, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet published an article setting the record straight today. First, Michelle Obama brought only Sasha (Malia is at summer camp) along with two close friends, each of whom also brought their daughters. Second, the entire group paid for their own lodging and personal expenses. The New York Times reported that Michelle even reimbursed the government for the equivalent of two first-class commercial tickets for the flight on Air Force Two. (Her friends flew separately, on commercial flights). Finally, most of the rooms booked at her hotel in Spain belonged to Secret Service agents, and as Sweet wrote, “No matter where she goes — domestic or international — any first lady gets protection and she does not decide how many agents are needed.”

These right-wing commentators were curiously silent when the Bush family took vacations. The New York Times noted that Laura Bush took a vacation every year of her husband’s presidency, with Secret Service agents and a government plane. Also, Media Matters calculated the cost of President Bush’s frequent trips to his ranch in Crawford, TX, Camp David, and the family compound in Kennebunkport — he took more vacation time than any president — and put the tab at $20 million for air travel only.

These facts have not stopped the right-wing commentators from going into overdrive on this story, however. Perhaps they need a vacation.

Regarding the comment by "anonymous" ....the big deal here is that MO is not an elected official of the US government! If she wants to travel for pleasure, she can do it at her own expense! Traveling at taxpayer expense by a non-governmental official for pleasure is fraud, waste, and abuse! This goes for anyone ...regardless! So, put your stupid race card back in your dumb **s!

To go on a vacation to Spain during a time of economic distress just seems so stupid, and Mrs. Obama is not stupid. Being this out of touch with the majority of the country is hard to imagine. the First Couple must live in their own little world. Wouldn't their political advisors seen how bad this would look? Also, as a journalist I have trouble believing how the leftist media excuses activities of the Democrats that the media would slaughter if the same activity was performed by a republican.

Obama will be a one term President, so they are milking it for all it's worth. The sense of entitlement is huge here. They love the King and Queen role; has any other president been in Air Force One more than Obama? The "excuse" for this trip is pretty lame; it's all about them.

The Obama Family message to the rest of us is this: Do as we say, not as we do! We'll vacation in Spain, along the Costa del Sol, and you, my brothers and sisters, need to go down to the Gulf Coast and swim in the oil.

I've always believed that Washington is run by elites on both sides of the aisle. But Democrat elites are the worst offenders and biggest hypocrites. Why? Because Democrat elites PRETEND to be at the side of the poor and down-trodden, you know, folks like King Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia for example. Gotta love those Obamas!

By this time in his first term, GWB had taken more than 100 days off. He wound up spending a record 977 days on vacation. That's nearly three years of his eight years in office.

Wow, imagine all (or most) of the above opiners lived in Venezuela when they wrote. Where would they be today?

Let her and her friends go on their own money, sorry but I have friends that loose relatives and loved ones and I can't afford to take them or my kids on a vacation, not even 50 miles away from home let alone to Spain. Sounds like someone needs a reality check.

I had a boss(owner) that did this same thing. Told all of us to take a pay cut because business was slowing down. We agreed and two days later he shows up in a brand new Ford Lincoln. He lost all respect from the workers. It just looks bad and the First Lady needs a P. R. group to advise her on public opinion.

I just can't wait to see o'bama and michelle leave our white house. they both have taken advantage of this great Country of ours in there selfish ways; they have no regard for the american people; all they know is push thru anything they desire while they have the majority. Ok, we'll survive until they leave out the door of our white house and become just a mosquito bite in history.

I really feel sorry for all the people that are so hatefilled and hateful. Race baiting is alive and well in America. This is the same America that had 90 plus years of Jim Crow rules and 200 plus years of Black people being slaves not because white people were mean, but because Rich people knew it was great econimics. Does that mean it did not hurt Black people? or that it still is affecting Black people? You guys that talk about the "so called Race card, most of you are not Black and don't know the racism most of us face daily!!! The truth has come out about the trip and you are still bashing and hating when, compared to FL Bush and her daughters trip; the expenses are the same, but without the outrage. That is why the posts seem racist in nature.

What both groups are failing to realize is that the ship (America) is still being repaired and all this hate will not get it repaired. Then to, if you are looking for an overnight fix, then you are deluded. Two years or Four years is not going to fix the fact that Corporations have shipped our job overseas, putting profits before people. Taking back America will require the Working Class, Working Poor and Poor to make the Rich accountable.

Now if you still want to argue about a FL vacation go right ahead, but this outrage would be better directed at the Ken Delay's and other corporate raiders. GOD Bless all of you, and may he heal your distress.

If she used her own money than why can't she foot the bill for all the security and staff she had to bring with her. I figure she should pay the government back for these services!

Gee when I came back from Vietnam we were trashed because we were thought to be baby killers. Did not matter the problems we faced every day or the sickness we had. we fought for every bit of decency we could muster. And still we were bad.
But these people can trash this country that I love and fought for and still they can do no wrong.
Wake up America Communism stinks. Ask around..............

Quiet time with a grieving friend could have been spent up at Camp David. I've noticed too that Michelle Obama (MO)was in LA for Father's Day and in Spain for BO's birthday. Sad. Also, I have to agree with the comments about going to the gulf coast to vacation. The States are losing a lot of money and our First Family can't go there? Guess it isn't Kennedy-like enough!

We provide, at taxpayer's expense, Camp David for vacations. Why in the world did the first lady spend taxpayers dollars on this type of high profile vacation when our country is suffering. There are lots of Americans who cancelled vacations because they don't know what kind of tax increase her husband is going to hit them with in 2011!

And PLEASE stop thinking that every time someone complains about the Obamas it is racially based. I don't care what color you are - a bad decision is a bad decision. These people work for us -- WE pay for their security, WE pay for their plane, WE pay for their staff! They should stop spending OUR money for their extravagant vacations!

MO does not really care about the american people, if they have a job or not, if the economie is broken or not... she just cares about herself and her family. There are still people out there who don't get it and defend EVERYTHING they do?? Here in Europe are a lot of people furios about her behavior and her play of the Grande Dame. If you read the comments about her, you would be suprised how bad she is critisized for all this here in Europe
The people over here are beginning to see how the Obamas really are and how little they care!!! Enjoying beeing President an First Lady. Living like a celebrity, giving big parties with stars in the White House to their entertainment. Flying with Airforce two and friends to Marbella for a 5 days vacation to one of the most expensive resorts. Why it had to be Marbella??
Because this is Jetset-City, this is not the real Spain!! Why not going to Seville, the real Spain? Walking through Spain like the Queen and showing off!! Maybe to show others "Look who I am now and look what I can do". She has no style, no taste and no sensetivity about what she is doing!! What an excuse, to comfort a friend. Invite the friend to the White House for a few days, that will distract her!!!
But no, because she is a Mom, so she has to take her daughter on a Spain trip. This is a reason for all these expenses??? All the security in Marbella and in Mallorca, all the efforts and costs over here, so she can go everywhere she wants. It is just a disgrace, in times where the amerikan people are suffering so much with unemployment and a broken economy and the national dept sky rocking. The most of marican can't even effort a little holiday, but MO has one after the other! She should be ashamend of herself!!! Mother-daughter-holiday..?
Yes, in 2 years when they are out of the WH, then they can fly business class and can do whatever they want! But no, she has to jet as the First Lady, because this is really cool!!
This is disgusting!!! What hypocrats they are!!

"Anonymous" talks about others hating and then spews her own version. Look in the mirror once in a while if you want to chastise others for their views. It isn't about hate anyway; it is about the lack of sensitivity of the "ruling class" who think they are deserving of all the perks at taxpayers' expense.

These folks will be taking another vacation this weekend along the Gulf coast (gee thank you so much we are so sorry you have to rough it sort of). The media shouldn't even waste their time on the king and queen of b-sht. I'm fed up with both of them.

As I read through the string, there seems to be a strong majority that oppose the trip not based on demographic or political leaning but rather on the poor choice made in taking this trip. The multiple stories regarding the trip (planned in advance or spur-of-the-moment) should be a glaring clue that no one in the WH expected the backlash. Personally, I think it is due. The Fed announcing today of a more probable double-dip, the crash of the dollar against the yen (15-yr lows which take us back to another Democrat in office and the emergence of the "Asian Flu" of the 1990's) and the evaporation of hard "wealth" - cash and convertable assets - the rest of this country has faced over the last 2.5 yrs does not equal bad timing on her part. This is at best a slap in the face of those who go to work everyday (for those of us left who have a job) to pay for the Secret Service and other government employees who must travel with the current WH occupants. Shame on anyone who believes the upraor is only about race. You are a disgrace not only as an individual but also to America.

I appreciate the sentiment of comforting a good friend. I do.

Now then, what's the matter with Key West, Fl or Jackson Hole, WY to name but two destinations for vacation in this country???

I understand ten days in Maine is next, directly on the heels of this trip.

Remember, Michelle Obama is the woman who encourages college students to go into "social work" and avoid business and science degrees.

Yeah. Right.

The Obamas seem to be out of touch in a way Bush never was and while I didn't vote for Obama I still find it surprising. It's not something I would've expected from them but everyday is an eye opener with them, isn't it?

The issue is not whether they spent there own money.
The president tells me to cut back on my expenses, or to sacrifice, or do not blow a bunch of money in Vegas, then turn around and watch his wife spend 100s of thousands of dollars on a trip.
Michelle is a modern day Imelda Marcos

Folks are hurting.

Why don't you all get a life and back of Michelle. You are nothing but a bunch of haters, get a life......And then you would not have so much hatred, or should I say there is no help for some of you....

Mrs. Obama is not a politician. She was not elected. She is a mother and a private citizen. She should do whatever she wants to. Foremost: she's not a slave in white America. leave her the hecll alone! Mrs. Obama, I'm so proud of you as our nation's First Lady. You are doing a wonderful job in the face of the haters and scared old white folks... in my opinion.

I think they should have all gone RVing in the USA in a rented RV. A much more appropriate vacation for these economic times. Shame on them!! The nerve!!

It's sad to see that people will find anything to bash this family. Yes the trip was ill-advised but does that give anyone the right to insult her? call her a dog? No! Its very immature & childish but I honestly expect that from today's society. I honestly feel like was this big enough to dwell on forever? NO! It's time to move on & worry about other things. No matter what the Obama administration does they will never get everyone's approval. Is it fair? NO! People fail to mention the 140 something odd number days that Bush vacationed during his presidency getting us into the big mess that Obama is trying to bring us out of..hmm never thought or knew about that huh? Yes. Bush spent nearly a year & a half of pure vacation & nothing is said, Mrs Obama takes a trip and people want to crucify her..its trully a shame that after all this time people cant except the fact that we have a black president, and ofcourse people say "it's not a racial thing" ha, yeah right!! They're the presidential family, GET OVER IT!

Have any of you lost a relative and needed time away? My nephew died just before my sister had a trip planned to NYC with friends. She wanted to cancel but her husband said to go ahead and go. This was the best thing she could have done. She was surrounded by her sisters and several friends. Our cousin planned an evening's entertainment for her in the City that picked up her spirits and put a smile on her face. None of you have a right to criticize what someone is going through and how they handle it. Have we all become so insensitive that we find fault with everything. I know so many of you are going to vilify me for my opinion, but that's OK. Mrs. Obama is our 1st Lady, get over it. She paid her way on Air Force One, the hotel and meals. When you become 1st Lady lets see how you travel.

Hmmmmmm, poor Michelle. Being picked on by the big bad evil hating right.
Excuse me? I believe the same people now defending Michelle's poor insensitive judgment were probably the same people bashing Laura Bush for her lack of fashion sense or Nancy for replacing the White House china at a bad time.
Laura is conservative in her attire -- Michelle isn't. But both took a beating. The only difference I see is that I never heard of Laura disappearing to Europe for a vacation and spending thousands of taxpayer money. (Vacation to her & her family was a weekend BBQ in Texas.) This has nothing to do with whether or not Michelle or rather Barry have the money to do it -- so did the Bushes. It has to do with Barry preaching to the American public to sacrifice & be frugal while his honey does the opposite. Poor judgment. And if you critisized the other side for similiar behaviors maybe you should be quiet and stop defending the same behaviors in your golden children. I don't like the Obama's I think they are prima donnas that make the Clinton's & the Bush's look like the epitome of frugality. And I can find more interesting way to critisize both the Obama's. But its a waste of breath. They are two-faced opportunistic elitists that think rules apply to other people. And they don't care what I think anyway.

OMG, what a bunch of resented losers! Get over that envy, people!

The Obama's are arragont, self serving and think they are owed all of this stuff! Cannot wait for November 2010 and 2012.

Where Michelle Obama vacations is not my business. She has a right to go anywhere she can afford. It is unfortunate that she has to travel with the expensive security detail paid for by taxpayers, but the rest of it is not our business, nor is it ours to judge.

That goes for Bush's vacations as well. Not my business where he vacationed, as long as it was paid for with his own funds (sans the outrageous security the world of hate forces us to employ and keep for our officials in the US).

Back to more important matters. All of us. And stop the overblown comparisons to Marie Antionette, Imelda Marcos, etc.

Yes in a time when people are really watching their dollars. . .worried about their jobs. . if their will be enough to pay the mtg. and other bills. . .this Administration has been out of control on spending. . .IT ISN'T A BLACK THING THAT PEOPLE ARE CRITICAL. .it is a common sense issue. . and I find jjobama to be very arrogant and they really don't care what Middle America thinks. . to them we pay taxes to pay for their lavish parties at the WH. . and to me a lot of unnecessary travel (so called business). ..when a Prez. goes to a business less than a 20 minute drive from the WH and takes the Helicopter to again beat his chest how well the stimulus is working. .THIS AGAIN IS ARROGANCE AT THE MAX.
When Joe Wilson yelled out at the State of Union Address. . .YOU LIE. . ..HE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. and when it comes to liberals and conservatives.


It is more than apparent that so many of the comments in this article are from people, not very literate. Do you understand the Constitution or Bill of Rights? Do you know that both have been un attack since the Nixon years?Do you understand what rights YOU have lost as Americans in a so called Democracy? Are you eve aware that this Democracy is an experiment. Orwell would shake his head at some of you dummies and understand why we lost this thing in America, but they say "Ignorance is Bliss"
Try reading Howard Zinn, watching the movie The Corporation and just maybe you guys will learn a little bit.

People please get a life! Mrs. O was making 6 figures before her husband was prez. She made more than him at one point. I'm sorry there are perks that come with the head office of the USA. She HAD to have security... and it is common for a few of the first lady staff to follow her when is doing personal and business functions. Americans are having a very hard time economically ....yes we can agree on that. But Michelle and her daughters should be able to enjoy the perks of their hard work and the position. I'm sure she will never do this again but let this woman live her life, because you are broke does not mean she is broke. Where were all you folks at when Busch was starting wars and wasting our tax dollars on a daily basis? Where were you broke folks when Busch have the rich folks tax brakes. Most of the stuff were in is residue left over from the Busch admistration. Oh how quickly we forget!

Gees, the Obama's can't win. Bush takes a months vacation to cut bushes & no one seem to be up set by that while people all across the country were losing their jobs. The "R" were spending our tax $$ like fools to help their weathy contributors -- wall street & large banks. God help us if the "R's" get back in control. The "little people" as BP referred to us, may as well kiss our A__ good bye.

Wake up, people. Read ONLYBME' post again if you still forget or just want to play doom. And read this - By bandelero on August 10, 2010 10:01 PM "It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant, petty and hypocritical right wingers are. If the Obamas were Republicans, you wouldn't hear one word about Michelle's trip. In fact, the wingnuts would be defending her as rabidly as they're attacking her."...Please stop play dirty tricks to your opponents because the more you play, the dirtier you'll be. I can not wait to see how many senate-seats the GOP will be loosing in the coming November.

"Andalusian-style" lunch says it all. Southern Spain was the longest controlled and most influenced by the muslim invasion. That lunch was a recognition of that fact and a tribute to Islamic culture, if there is such a thing.

I wonder if the children were treated to any local history while in Spain? Let me lend a hand then,

I would like to know why all of you are after Michelle Obamas trip, she is a grown woman and is free to go whereever she pleases.She is an educated black woman who have her own monet and does not need tax-payers little bird feed. Look how many billions your President Bush has thrown away and has put the world in a wreck and you did not say one thing to him or about him. That bitch who called Michelle a horse she will ride you around anytime but she does not ride cheap horse like you.Look how much the un-educated Sarah Palin has wasted and it has is no problem but a trip to a sophisticated hotel in spain has caused you all to have indigestion "Pepto bismal" can help you all
Let black people alone we are smart educated,intelligent and STRONG and Michelle and Obama has demonstrated that to you

Michele Obama is continually in the public eye. She has virtually no privacy, and her "job" is demanding as the FLOTUS. We know that her husband's salary as President is $400,000 per year (about twice what my husband makes as an engineer) but there is no mention of any "compensation" for her role which is considerably more intense and expansive and demanding than most wives. Yet, she is critiqued, maligned, and dissed for what many believe to be a misstep as First Lady. How many of us would want to hold up our personal lives to that kind of public scrutiny?

And what qualifies those who are so uncomplimentary about Mrs. Obama's fashion sense to be the "fashion police?" That is strictly a matter of taste and perhaps the tables could be turned.

This is a case of judging for no good reason. Isn't this the first overseas vacation the Obamas have taken? Even if it isn't, I dont't get this outcry. It shows our good will toward and interest in other countries to vacation in them. It builds good will.

The woman who delivered Michelle's babies asked her to join -- she's being a good friend to this woman. Maybe some of you have not lost a loved one, but it is so important to have friends who will take time to grieve with you and celebrate life with you. Just take TIME to do that, to be with you.

Also you are *supposed* to do things like dine/spend time with the royalty of other nations in the Obamas' position.

Besides growing a heart and common sense, many of you need to know how to read. Mrs. Obama didn't promise her daughter anything. It was the friend who had promised her daughter a trip to Spain - "Blanchard had promised her daughter she would take her to Spain for her birthday."

Also, what do Muslims have to do with this? Too many fanatatics have been taught how to use the Internet, IMO.

What do you people expect from the worst President/First Lady in American History?
They are just milking the system all they can before they ruin this country.
Remember Pelosi's vacation where she treated millionares to a trip to Europe?

Man, there's a lotta angst over the First Lady taking a little trip to Spain. How about cutting her a little slack. Look, there's a real good chance that her husband will only be a one term president and they're not gonna let her walk out with the White House dinnerware and towels when she leaves so she's gotta at least get something of value.

A European Vacation at the taxpayer's expense isn't that big a sacrifice for the U.S. citizens. They'll be rid of her soon enougn.

well, I for one feel ALOT better about this trip after reading what Ms. Sweet had to say about it! Glad that's all cleared up now. We wouldn't want an elitist in the white house now would we? I mean comon! Do as I SAY not as I DO, you know what I mean? Geez. This gets better and better.

Mrs Obama should have beeen more sensitive to her husband's position and the country's predicament of double dip recession.

The working class dressing by day, and elegant mrs president for grand ballroom image she has carved in our hearts is overturned now with her hot and chic designer flair. She looked like she was walking down the catwalk.

It is best to be what you are and not project an image you cannot upkeep. Or worse still,live a double life.

The people who ruined this country's economy, stole the retirement funds of public pension groups and private people, lied us into wars that killed our children, and made millions of Iraqis homeless, not only took vacations, but also rewarded themselves with bonuses. The size of any one of the bonuses would have funded Michelle's vacation. Do you think we are stupid? I do.

I am a senior citizen and I have seen a lot come and go..But in all my years I have never seen anything like the Obamas...its not just about one vacation; God know that cost the american people more than what is being told.. Its the constant abuses..First Feb. in ofice they fly to Chicago for bragging rights, I suppose..They are seen coming out of a restaurant, both looking soused to the gills..MO wears $650.00 tennis shoes to pass out food to the homeless, notice she hasn't done that again..Passing out the food.. She wears heels to a photo shoot in the WH garden...Stupid..
Obama is in a plane constantly flying somewhere..Maybe he should stay home and at least make a pretense of running the country.. MO is off and running all the time..They travel like they are royalty..These two have gone crazy with the access to the american people's money..Never have i seen this happen before..
They eat out constantly..Big parties..cost us money,,cost people in DC inconvience..Neither Bush's ever ate out much except for state functions ..Even the Clintons used restraint..When not eating out the papers say party's are on all the time in the WH..Excessive amounts of food and liquor..
Even if the economy was good, what the Obama's are doing is setting a very bad example..Its the worst excesses I have seen in all my years..
And for the ones who complain about Bush going to Texas..Yes he did and he also worked while there , plus the cost was not as high as the Obama's forays..He rarely left the ranch..
And yes, Hillary took Chelsea to places with her but Hillary was also on official business..I don't remember people complaining about a couple extra days vac for them.
Barbara Bush took a hiking vacation once..
BUT the Obama's need to get some help with the excesses..Michelle needs to remember she is not queen, and for God's sake she needs to cover her arm pits..She is the first lady..Americans are tired of looking at her bare shoulders/arm pits..Who is minding her on dressing..
And the Pres needs to remember he was elected to this job..and he can be un-elected ..So they need to get it together..

I don't understand all the noisy talk about where Michelle Obama took her daughter for a vacation.PlEASE lets give this family their privacy and quit dogging on everything they do. It seems there is more complaining, whining and just crazy talk since Obama has been in office. Lay off and let him do his job. WHERE WERE ALL OF YOU COMPLAINERS WHEN BUSH WAS DRAGGING THE COUNTRY INTO THE HOLE WE ARE INN NOW? He started 2 wars, basically let the vice president tell him what to do, he took many many vacations and really I can't remember what good came out of his being president.Let us just leave the new president and his family alone, we can do things to help make it a better country to live in, instead of sitting around and complaining.

***Would somebody please tell her how to dress like a First Lady? She need help there you are not shopping at Target any more. Since we are paying for your clothes Please, Don’t insult all of us and our Country. ******* The Kitchen shift Rag you wore to meet the King in Spain THAT WAS ON ISULT TO OUR COUNTRY! And what is up with that hair do. We are paying for your hair dresser anyway. Get you are hair done!

It was admirable of FLOTUS to visit her friend in Spain. To take her daughter too, must have been a trip of a lifetime for her.
MO is one of the most stylish FLs we have ever had in the White House. I am proud of our F.L. and others should be too.
I am sick and tired of all the whining about our First Lady doing this and doing that. She can't please everyone. The naysayers here are sick people.
For heaven's sake, when we were in a "time of war" as Bush used to tell America, it did not stop him from all his travels and when Laura B. spent all her money on a trip to Europe ("on the taxpayer's dollar...(oh, when will this stop) with her daughter and her friends and who tagged along in that trip...good ol' Karen Hughes.
Please get a life people. Grow up.

Good Lord, people. Michele is our First Lady and should be respected as such. It is too bad people here are so immature, full of hate. What a waste.

So are u guys saying that we should ask the First Lady of America, the richest country in the world, to tell her friends: sorry, my country can't afford the trip; too bad he died; we are trying to dig ourselves into a hole here.

here goes, i'm appauled at her going to spain with her daughter, and spending my hard earned money for her pleasures. I can't believe she would do something like that to the hard working people like me.i'm sick of working my fingers to the bone, while she spends my money on her lavish vacation. Mrs. Obama needs to get back to reality and understand you just don't do that, what is she teaching her kids. I can't take a vacation to spain, why should she, i don't care if she's the first lady or not, she abused her title to do what she wanted.

I have just read the comments about Michelle Obama's vacation in Spain. OHMYGOD. Michelle O, took a vacation with her daugher and paid for it with her own money, as did her friends. Did the tax payers pay for the secret service, yes. Did the tax payers pay for the vacations G Bush took to cut down bushes, yes and he took more vacations than any other president. Laura B took a vacation a year. This is part of what we the people have to understand, if we elect people who run the country. They take vacations, just like we would if we could afford to go to Spain. Michelle Obama can afford it, because they are wealthy from the President's books and writings. Back off from all this vitriolic ranting.

To start all the people complaining about what it cost the taxpayers for Mrs. Obama and Sasha to take this trip. She paid the government what 2 first class tickets on a commercial airline would have cost which is more than other first Ladies payed when they traveled on government planes. She did not pick the hotel she stayed at the Secret Service did. She paid for her and Sasha hotel rooms, food and what she would have paid if she was an ordinary traveler. The tax payers do not pay for her clothes and shoes, she does. If the truth be known she would have preferred to have left the security people and entourage in DC but she isn't allowed to that since she is first lady. This lady was a highly paid lawyer before her husband became President, so she has money of her own to spend,the only thing she didn't pay for was the security detail. On all the vacations that she has taken she has paid for her hotel room, food, and so on plus even through she used a government plane to make the trip, she paid commercial airlines first class ticket price if she was on a personal trip.
Some one was complaining about how many vacations she and the girls have taken this year.
Why weren't you complain when the Bushes hold the record for taking the most vacations of any President,beating the record of Reagan and Nixon for vacation days. The Bushes made 49 trips overseas in his 8 year presidency and not all were on government business. By 9 April 2004 Bush taken 77 trips one way to Crawford, Texas at the cost of $226,072 for each trip, on the taxpayers dime, he made 78 visits to Camp David and 5 to Kennebuck, Maine on the tax payers dime also for vacations. He took his first vacation when he had only been in office for 6 months, it lasted from 6th August 2001 to 6th of September 2001 So why are you complaining about Mrs. Obama? One more thing there is proof that Bush and Cheney were warned on the 21 April 2001 about the possibility of terrorist attacks before the year was out and ye there no warnings or increased security put in place at airports, bus stations and other forms of transporation. Why was that warning ignored?

The Obamas should not waste our tax dollars on extravagent vacations. They are so... out of touch with the average Joe. And the color of her skin has nothing to do with this comment.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 9, 2010 8:42 AM.

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