August 5, 2010

Michelle ‘Marie Antoinette’ Obama

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:15 am

Okay, it’s been 18-1/2 months, and with I believe only one exception (and that was primarily a media critique), I’ve gritted my teeth long enough about the First Family’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous routine.

To a point, what they do on their personal time is their business, and even if they overspend on the taxpayers’ dime, the amount of money involved isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things. I’ll even allow that giving your kids an opportunity to see a lot of the world is a permissible presidential perk.

But the elitist act of the Obamas has long since become insufferable, and the hypocritical example they’re setting — demanding “sacrifice” while ostentatiously livin’ large — has crossed into the outrageous.

Michelle Obama has just taken the royalty act to new heights. Andrea Tantaros at the New York Daily News delivers a concise critique:

Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation

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.

… Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500.

… The Obama modus operandi is becoming clear. … 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.

… Instead, Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette – the French queen who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects’ plight – than an average mother of two.

… I don’t begrudge anyone rest and relaxation when they work hard. We all need downtime – the First Family included. 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.

… In January, President Obama insisted that “everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good. Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.”

If sacrifice is the precursor to change, what will the family that ran on change offer up? Elitist doublespeak won’t cut it.

Read the whole thing.

I’m trying to recall any even remotely equivalent or extravagant vacation instance involving Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson, or even Jackie Kennedy. I can’t. Can anyone else? Several of those first families also were raising a child or children while their father was the nation’s commander in chief.

I also worry that what we are really witnessing is how people who can get away with it act when they know a collapse is coming (another example relating to Nancy Pelosi is here). That is, have fun and spend wildly while you can, because a few years from now all of this will be a distant memory. I hope I’m wrong.



  1. [...] Michelle And Sasha’s Excellent Spanish Adventure…At Taxpayers Expense!BizzyBlog follows up with equally excellent analysis! * The HillBuzz Team have a gripping review of Obama on his birthday. * Patterico, the Anchoress, [...]

    Pingback by Scientists Challenge the Fraud and Emotionalism Behind CA’s Cap&Trade Rules « Temple of Mut — August 5, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  2. Michelle RuPaul Antoinette Obama is signaling that she knows that they aren’t going to be there past 2012, if that long.

    Like some elitist Welfare Queen of the entitlement class, she’ll take everything she can get while they’re there ‘cuz she deserves it. After all, she’s only doing it as reparations on behalf of her people kept down all those years by Whitey. You see, she is being selflessly symbolic for the downtrodden. What a gal!

    Comment by Joe C. — August 5, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  3. “…even if they overspend on the taxpayers’ dime, the amount of money involved isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things.”

    Perhaps, but often the little parts of the grand scheme matter too. That 2,500 dollars for instance, could have been used to pay for a struggling families child’s root canal, or given a homeless man a decent meal for a year. Also, when you have so many others like Pelosi overspending, those seemingly trivial amounts add up considerably.

    Yes, I also get the point about people needing a vacation, presidents are allowed perks etc…(I would however argue the point that what they do in their personal time is ‘their business.’ Since it’s on the taxpayers dime, it is NOT strictly “their business.”) But the amounts they spend and how often they spend it is (bleeping) inexcusable.

    Comment by zf — August 5, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  4. #3, I agree. My point had more to do with blogging priorities vs. whether or not the whole thing is outrageous (which it is).

    And then there’s the Zanesville campaign speech in 2008 (“Don’t Go Into Corporate America”), where Michelle encouraged people to get into professions that don’t pay a lot of money.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 5, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  5. I think she’s trying to outdo and show up Oprah.

    Comment by toledojim — August 5, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  6. #2, oh my goodness, that’s it! I’ve been trying to put my finger on who she reminds me of and it’s RuPaul! Thank You!

    Comment by Anon — August 5, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  7. I wish Michelle and the Prez would just stay on vacation through the next two years.

    Comment by Michael — August 6, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  8. Hmmmm.

    I believe someone at pointed out that Laura Bush took her daughters on a 2 week vacation in Europe once. But in most cases that I recollect the President and First Lady didn’t vacation apart and many trips abroad would be for official purposes with perhaps a couple extra days for sightseeing.

    What astonishes me about this specific vacation though is that Michelle Obama is going on vacation with 40, **40**, of her friends!

    I’ve gone on vacation with 40 friends before on several occasions. Once we rented a very large house in North Carolina but we paid for that entirely. On the other occasions where the federal taxpayer was footing the bill it always involved having to wear camo and a heavy weapon version of Beach Blanket Bingo.

    I can recollect Bill Clinton routinely vacationing at Marthas Vineyard but frankly the issue never really came up all that much. The issue of Presidential vacations really only became an issue because the liberal press wanted to attack President Bush for going home to Crawford. Which aside from the jetfuel had the benefit of not costing the taxpayers room & board.

    Well what goes around comes around I suppose. The media made Presidential vacations an issue and now it’ll remain an issue forever. Specially in an almost outright depression such as it is. Though if you think people are unhappy now wait until January 2011 when the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Lots of corporations are doing their profit-taking now so that they can pay their taxes now rather than in 2011.

    When the economy really tanks in 2011 the sight of Obama snacking on $100/lb wagyu beef and Michelle heading off to half million dollar vacations in Europe is going to send people into a frenzy.

    Comment by memomachine — August 7, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  9. According to the New York Times (look it up!), Michelle is pauying for the trip herself, with the exception of the government-required security. Her friends (two friends and four daughters) also are paying for their trips, and flew commercial.

    I suspect that if Michelle spent the summer cleaning windows at the White House, she’d catch grief from the wingnuts. But this family is wealthy in their own right – let them have a trip!

    Comment by Leftcoaster — August 7, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  10. #9, the bigger the entourage, the greater the “required security.”

    Even the Times understands that “the image of the president’s wife enjoying a fancy vacation at a luxury resort abroad while Americans lose their jobs back home struck some as ill-timed.” In this case, “some” means “people who aren’t in the Ruling Class.”

    I guess you don’t.

    I acknowledged in the post that “giving your kids an opportunity to see a lot of the world is a permissible presidential perk.” You must have missed that.

    You also must have missed this:

    “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that.

    Translation: “You guys do the dirty work. We’ll have the fun.”

    Comment by TBlumer — August 7, 2010 @ 11:09 am

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