Over the weekend, President Obama claimed that part of his job is to scout out vacation spots for his wife, Michelle. Speaking in Colombia, on a panel moderated by Chris Matthews and joined by the presidents of Brazil and Colombia, Obama said, “We're having a wonderful time. And usually when I take these summit trips, part of my job is to scout out where I may want to bring Michelle back later for vacation. “
Obama’s “let-them-eat cake” remark followed his testy response only last Thursday to Larry Conners, a news anchor in St. Louis. Conners queried Obama:
Some of our viewers are complaining they just don’t--they get frustrated and even angered, when they see the first family jetting around, different vacations and so forth, sometimes maybe they think under color of state business and that you're out of touch, that you don't really know what they're experiencing right now.
…the fact of the matter is, I think if you look at my track record, I'm raising a family here. When we travel, we’ve got to travel through Secret Service and Air Force One. That's not my choice. I think most folks understand how hard I work and how hard this administration is working on behalf of the American people.
Meanwhile, unemployment is reportedly a whopping 8.3%, although the Department of Labor’s statistics conveniently ignore people who have quit looking for work or have run out of unemployment benefits. It is more likely the actual figure is closer to 16%. Many people are nearing the end of their unemployment benefits, and this contributes to the false idea that unemployment is dropping.
The Obama administration is always quick to claim that George W. Bush took a total of 220 vacation days during his eight-year tenure at the White House. But most of those were at Bush’s home in Crawford, Texas, so the taxpayers didn’t have to foot the bill for the stay. According to the Washington Examiner, here a list of the places the swanky Obama family has jetted at taxpayer expense:
-- President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
-- Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
-- Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
-- June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
-- President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
-- Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
-- August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
-- August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
-- August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
-- August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard.
-- July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine.
-- May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago.
-- March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City.
-- Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break.
-- August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation.
-- August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
The vast number of Americans who are looking for ways to put food on their tables can rest easy that Michelle Obama has her next vacation being scouted out. Of course she’s finally proud of her country; they’re subsidizing her vacations.