Michelle Obama and her oldest daughter returned from their trip to Spain to much controversy and criticism from the American people. The main problem Americans have with the First Lady’s trip is that she spent so lavishly while President Obama is asking Americans to cut costs during these economic tough times. The NY Daily News article made headlines when it called Mrs. Obama the “modern day Marie Antoinette”.
Did Michelle Obama do anything that wrong? Probably not.
Was it very bad timing for such a high profile, expensive trip? Probably so.
Reports of her trip point out that she stayed at the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella which is known as the “millionaire’s playground” where rooms go for an approximate $2,500 per night. Transportation was handled by the Air Force Two. Secret service agents amounted to 70 for the trip. And an entourage of about 40 friends and family accompanied the First Lady and daughter.
The unfortunate rumor is that this trip is estimated at costing American taxpayers $375,000.
The White House ended up making an official statement about Michelle Obama’s trip and said that her entourage was not 40 people deep but instead six people and four staff members. They also said Michelle and her friends paid her for their own room, food and travel.
However, the government did pick up the tab for the secret service agents and Air Force Two flights. This is still enough to keep Americans upset, especially as the news of 131,000 lost jobs last month broke out.
While part vacation, there was some diplomatic business that was accomplished; the First Lady met with Spanish royalty, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia for lunch.
What do you think of the trip Michelle Obama took and is it fair to criticize her so harshly?