For those readers who may still be wondering why the White House apparently tipped off an AP news photographer that First Lady Michelle Obama would be shopping at a DC area Target store we may have the answer. Perhaps it was a way to head off the coming slew of bad news by making Michelle look like the everyday housewife. How many housewives do you know that take private jumbo jets and fly their friends and family all over the world at taxpayer expense?
"Michelle One"First there was Michelle's trip to London where she hopped on a Boeing 757 took her girls to get Fish and Chips and visited Westminster Abbey. Guards pushed aside tourists and worshippers in the ancient Abbey and made them stand against the wall so that Michelle could pass through with her entrouage.
And who can forget Michelle's trip to Spain with 40 of her nearest and dearest friends staying in a 5 star luxury hotel known as the "millionaire's playground."
Now there's Michelle's trip to Africa this summer with her mother, two daughters and over 20 staff. It may not be a big news item in the American Obama Mafia Media, but the Brits are talking about it. Here's a report from the Daily Telegraph:
Although ignored by most of America’s liberal-dominated media, several online US news sites are reporting that Michelle Obama’s grand tour of southern Africa earlier this year cost American taxpayers nearly half a million dollars – and that's just for the flights. This follows in the wake of claims this August from sources inside the White House itself that the First Lady may have spent “$10 million of taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.” Without all the figures available, it is impossible to establish the total cost to the public purse of Michelle Obama’s 42 days of holiday during that period, which included her trip to Spain last year (though not the Obamas' recent sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard).A report in the U.K. Daily Mail had this quote from an American source:
But we do now know for sure that her visit to Africa in June, with a sizeable entourage in tow, cost taxpayers at the very minimum $424,142 in transportation costs, according to figures obtained by Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch.
'The vacations are totally Michelle's idea. She's like a junkie. She can't schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next - all the while sticking it to hardworking Americans.'A rare view from the American media was this editorial by Mark Tapscott in the Washington Examiner:
How much does it cost taxpayers to fly First Lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters and her mother, a niece and a nephew, a hairstylist and makeup artists to South Africa and Botswana to give a few speeches, meet Nelson Mandela, and enjoy a safari on a private game preserve?As I said after news broke of Michelle's vacation in Spain: If you're going to take a huge splurge on the taxpayer's dime, please do it in the U.S. and create the jobs your husband's stimulus failed to create!
“This trip was as much an opportunity for the Obama family to go on a safari as it was a trip to conduct government business,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This junket wasted tax dollars and the resources of our overextended military. No wonder we had to sue to pry loose this information.”
The documents made public by Judicial Watch do not include the total of all costs for the First Lady's trip, such as expenses for security, transportation on the ground and so forth. For more information, go here.