President Barack Obama and his two daughters recently left Hawaii after Christmas break, but First Lady Michelle Obama stayed put in paradise as an early birthday present from her husband. Michelle turns 50-years-old on January 17.
But Obama’s present is really a present from all of us — when the President committed to the Hawaii birthday “gift,” he also committed to U.S. citizens footing the bill, which the Daily Mail reports will be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The First Lady will be spending her trip at Oprah Winfrey’s vacation pad. The cost of “airtight [security] with SWAT teams and just about every other resource securing wide perimeters around Michelle” will be anything but cheap.
When her trip concludes, Michelle will fly back to D.C on a private government plane. A former Secret Service agent told the Daily Mail, “The flight itself wouldn’t be a small passenger jet. It would be a larger military aircraft with room in its hold for cars and SUVs, vehicles that otherwise would have come back with the rest of the family.”
Add in the cost of extra security, transportation, and Secret Service personnel (who will all be put up in Hawaii hotels) and you have one expensive vacation on your hands.
During a recent press conference Fox News’ Ed Henry asked Jay Carney who will be paying for the vacation.
Carney responded, “In line with past presidents and first ladies, the First Lady will travel via government aircraft, but you are accurate in your description that this was – her decision to remain in Hawaii – the president’s suggestion that she remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of this very big birthday. If you have kids, you know that telling your spouse they can spend a week away from home is a big present. Not that we don’t love our kids.”
At a time when most Americans cannot afford a modest vacation for their own families, many believe it is disrespectful and irresponsible for the First Lady to be enjoying an extravagant vacation on our dime.
A lavish Hawaii vacation is a generous birthday present. Hopefully Michelle will remember to say “thank you” — to us, that is.