August 9th, 2010
05:24 PM ET

Michelle Obama's Spanish vacation draws critics

Peter Nicholas and Katherine Skiba
Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — As the economy endures high unemployment and a jittery stock market, President Obama has preached sacrifice and fiscal discipline. But the pictures coming out of a sun-splashed Spanish resort this week may be sending a different message.

First Lady Michelle Obama is in the midst of a five-day trip to a luxury resort along with a few friends, her youngest daughter, aides and Secret Service personnel. Her office said the family will pay for personal expenses, but won't reveal the taxpayer cost for the government employees.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Her trip is estimated to be boosting the economy of her destination by $1 billion. Shouldn't that boost be at home where there is 9.5% unemployment? Another example of just how out of touch the Obama's are.

    August 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  2. Don

    It seems the critics of the Obamas finds endless things to grieve about. Then their defenders have to go through the media archives and show that their conservative heroes did the same or similar things. The real questions is why has the MSM become the echo chamber for the critics?

    August 9, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  3. Lina

    If Michelle Obama wants to take a "private" vacation, she should fly a commercial airline and hire her own body guards. Michelle is not a royalty and she is not entitled to anything. Also, what is she so busy with anyway that she is taking estimated 10 vacations this year???

    August 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  4. Su from Fort Lee, NJ

    All you lefties and your defensive remarks about BO & MO makes me

    YAWN, YAWN, YAWN....

    August 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  5. Augsbee

    I think parents should learn a lesson from Michelle Obama, when it comes to your kids do what you have to do to make sure they get the most out of their childhood, out of their lives even if it means spending money and even if it means you will be highly criticized by others. She did what is a wonderful experience for her children, that is her priority and other parents should follow her example.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  6. Angela

    Tyler, I'm not sure where you got that stat from about Bush, but at least when he vacationed, he did it here where OUR economy could benefit.

    Dana, if she can afford it, then she SHOULD pay for ALL of it and not expect taxpayers to foot the bill for her. This administration is so hypocritical and condescending it's laughable!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  7. Anne

    Who cares what W. did – he's out of office. Two wrongs don't make a right – anyone with a second-grade education knows that.

    Obama isn't a politician, he's a celebrity, same goes for the First Lady. The White House has turned into Madison Square Garden. It is shameful and ridiculous. I wonder if they deliver People magazine to Obama in the morning instead of the Wall Street Journal?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  8. david w

    I haven't taken a vacation since the 90s. That's my choice. I don't begrudge anyone a vacation. However, she could have been conscientious enough to vacation here in the states and spend those dollars in the Gulf Region.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  9. Chang

    Even the first lady deserves a vacation, of course. Safe trip!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  10. john

    We must stop with the ongoing comparisons to the Bush administration and instead look at the current sensitivities and timing. These people are poor decision-makers and no way in touch
    with today's issues. They do not set a good example.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  11. Loretta Ray

    Give me a break. As the other person said, she is the First Lady and should be treated as such. Why should she be stuck travelling only in the US or not at all or without costly security. On the road she is a goodwill ambassador for the USA wherever she goes.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  12. K.

    First of all, her husband is the one running the country not her!! She has a right to take her daughter anyplace she wants to. I remember former President Bush taking plenty of vacations whenever he pleased. It just seems to me that every little thing that this administration does is under a microscope and it's unfair. I voted for Bush the last time and was dissapointed, so I figured it's time for some new changes in the white house. Also, I'm looking at this term with a real perspective and not a crzay one. NOTHING can be fixed in 4 years, it's going to take 8. It took 8 to mess it up, and it's going to take 8 to clean it up. Period!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  13. dana

    I really don't understand it. Isn't travel a perk for giving up your personal freedom and privacy. She's the First Lady. Not to mention she could afford the trip on her own anyway.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  14. Tyler

    I don't see how they could be critical of that. President GW Bush took more vacation time than any other sitting president in decades but not that many people noticed. Besides, a happy family that gets a couple of vacations a year is more effective and cohesive than a family that never travels together. Its true for the First Family just as much as it's true for anyone reading this.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • Kyle

      First, he took most of his vacations on his ranch in Crawford, where goby personnel were already employed thus minimal taxpayer dollars spent. Second, the media always went gonzo about his vacations if they coincided with a crisis or major event. The issue here is less about the vacation and more about the fact that most media outlets give Obama a pass on things they slaughtered Bush for.

      August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |