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Lavish Obama vacation in time of economic turmoil raises eyebrows


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The Seattle Times:

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. economy endures high unemployment and a jittery stock market, President Obama has preached sacrifice and fiscal discipline. But the pictures coming out of a sunsplashed Spanish resort this week may be sending a different message.

First lady Michelle Obama is on a five-day trip to a luxury resort along with a handful of friends, her younger daughter, Sasha, aides and Secret Service personnel. Her office said the first family will pay for personal expenses, but declined to reveal the taxpayer cost for the government employees. The president stayed home in the United States, as did daughter Malia, 12, who is at camp.

The trip provided plenty of fodder for television news shows, talk-show hosts and bloggers.

Critics portrayed the foreign getaway as tone deaf to the economic anxiety back home. Earlier in the week, the first lady was photographed walking through the streets of the Costa del Sol region wearing a one-shouldered Jean Paul Gaultier top.

Every first family takes vacations. The criticism aimed at Michelle Obama is that she chose to visit a foreign country rather than remain in the United States and support its fragile economy.

In July, the first lady flew to the Florida Panhandle, a tourist spot hit hard by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and delivered the message that for parents "looking for things to do with their kids this summer ... this is a wonderful place to visit."

The opulence of the European trip also has drawn scrutiny. Michelle Obama is staying at the Hotel Villa Padierna, a Ritz-Carlton resort in the mountains outside Marbella. The resort has two golf courses, a posh spa with Turkish baths, views of the Mediterranean Sea and a high-end restaurant specializing in avant-garde fare. Room rates start at $400 and rise to $6,500 for a two-bedroom villa with a private pool and 24-hour butler service.

The danger for the Obamas is that the trip may feed perceptions they are out of touch with struggling American families, said Chris Wilson, a Republican pollster.

"This in and of itself doesn't hurt President Obama, but it plants a seed in voters' minds ... that 'they're not like me,' " he said.
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Roger Simon has a theory about all this.
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OK, we can relax, Urkel is back home after a tiring day on the links.

 

WestWingReport

 

"President back at the White House after some five hours on the golf course. Tomorrow: birthday bbq."

 

I haven't played golf in a long time, but still can't understand why it would take a single golfer five hours to play a round. I am pretty sure he didn't get backed up by folks ahead of him. Must of spent a long time in the woods.

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Michelle's Spanish vacation will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars - paid for by us working stiffs. Forget Goebel Gibbs protests to the contrary.

 

The sheer unwillingness of the mainstream media in basically staying mum about Michellw's taxpayer paid rest break is exceeded only in scale by arrogance of the Obamas.

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Speaking of Gibbs: here's a pant load:

 

 

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, declined to comment on Mrs Obama's holiday, saying "she is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip". But officials have quietly been briefing that some reports of the costs are exaggerated.

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Casino67!

 

TMI TMI TMI Alert

 

snip

 

Mrs. Obama occasionally goes on what she calls a "cleanse" to purge her body of certain foods, she told Ladies' Home Journal.

 

Don't confuse a "cleanse" -- to get certain foods out of your system -- with other techniques to detox, such as colonic irrigation.

 

snip"Recently I was on a sort of cleanse, and I was just eating vegetables," she said.

 

Asked how it worked out, Mrs. Obama said, "The cleanses are good for a short period of time. I can't live my life on a cleanse. But they help me clean out my palate. Because when you start adding things like sugars into your diet, you start craving them.

 

"And the more you eat, the more you crave. ... So maybe I'll do a cleanse for two days. It isn't a way of life because I like food too much. But it is good to break your mind-set," she said.

 

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/2568760,CST-NWS-michelle05.article

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pollyannaish

 

 

snip"Recently I was on a sort of cleanse, and I was just eating vegetables," she said.

 

Asked how it worked out, Mrs. Obama said, "The cleanses are good for a short period of time. I can't live my life on a cleanse. But they help me clean out my palate. Because when you start adding things like sugars into your diet, you start craving them.

 

"And the more you eat, the more you crave. ... So maybe I'll do a cleanse for two days. It isn't a way of life because I like food too much. But it is good to break your mind-set," she said.

 

Wait. Didn't this used to be called an eating disorder?

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OK, we can relax, Urkel is back home after a tiring day on the links.

 

WestWingReport

 

"President back at the White House after some five hours on the golf course. Tomorrow: birthday bbq."

 

I haven't played golf in a long time, but still can't understand why it would take a single golfer five hours to play a round. I am pretty sure he didn't get backed up by folks ahead of him. Must of spent a long time in the woods.

 

A back injury at work forced me to give up golf 7 years ago, but as bad a player as I was, I could still do 18 holes in about 3 1/2 hours.

 

He should shoot a round with Kim Jong Il, I heard he was incredible on the links... ;)

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