Yes, this lavish vacation strikes the little people as a bit much. Will there be a backlash?
Mrs. Obama's Spain vacation is one of eight she is taking this year. [. . .]The current indulgence in Spain is billed as a mother-daughter outing, with forty unnamed "long-time" family friends mentioned as an afterthought. See Gateway Pundit for more.
She is now at a world-renowned resort while the jobless rate is high and the economy is still struggling. By doing so she is tempting a backlash. Mrs. Obama is highlighting the beauty of Spain's Mediterranean coast before her weekend visit to Florida's coast later this month to encourage tourism in areas not impacted by the BP oil spill.
The East Wing argues that Mrs. Obama is not an elected official and, as a private citizen, is free to focus on her family and friends. Still, what she does will be perceived by the public one way or another -- the East Wing has to know that. Mrs. Obama has gone to great lengths so far to avoid any controversy in her tenure and as a result has popularity ratings in every poll much higher than her husband's.
She and her family and friends started the New Year in Hawaii, the president's native state, which the Obamas try to visit each year. Since then, Mrs. Obama has had, or will have, some quality vacation travel. The 2010 list:
1. March: Over spring break, Mrs. Obama, her daughters and mother, Marian Robinson, visited New York with friends and took in some Broadway shows.
2. Memorial Day: a weekend trip home to Chicago.
3. June: Mrs. Obama, her girls and her mother flew to Los Angeles for sightseeing.
4. July: A Camp David visit (though the presidential retreat can be considered an extension of the White House).
5. July: A weekend in Maine, sightseeing in Acadia National Park, part of an Obama plan to showcase national parks.
6. Aug. 4-7: Spain.
7. Aug. 14: A first family weekend planned on the Florida Gulf coast. The first couple have been trying to draw tourists to the area in the wake of the BP disaster.
8. Aug. 19-29 The first family will vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
Meanwhile, Obama tightens the belt of government, but not so much as you'd notice:
*Update: See comment #3 below. Sweet missed the NC vacation. So it's 9, and counting.
What's the tiniest cut to public sector salaries you could imagine?
A wage freeze? Nah, too aggressive.
A bonus freeze? You're getting warmer.
Try this: A bonus freeze for some political appointees.
That's what Obama is going to do, according to Reuters, as part of his effort to show that the Federal government is "tightening its belt." Remember, we're just talking political appointees, not the army of untouchable bureaucrats that make up so much of public worker spending.
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