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Thread: First lady Michelle Obama under fire for her glitzy Spanish vacation

  1. #16
    A*O
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    I do question the necessity for such a huge entourage for a private vacation. Security staff yes, but does she really need to take the whole travelling circus too? I also heard she flew there in Airforce 1 which, if true, would be paid for by US taxpayers. It does seem a little insensitive but then again the US is so far down the toilet financially then a few extra million won't make any difference.
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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Looks like an amazing vacation, Im cool with it. Her bikini pic? not so much
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    I can see both sides of the argument; however, I would say that in times like these, it is probably the wrong move to take. I think I would feel this way whether it was a Dem or Repub in office.

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    Big deal, it's only for a few days, not the entire summer. She's supposed to pitch a pup tent from Walmart on the White House lawn, crawl in it with the girls and call that their summer vacation? Oh, but then she wouldn't be interested in the rest of the world and not buying a US made tent. And if she went in an official First Lady role on the trip, she'd be too political. She's going to get blasted no matter what she does.
    They get some perks and travel opportunities as the First Family, I'm perfectly fine with that.

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    Eight vacations in one year is over the top, imo, given the economy. And the taxpayer does foot a hefty portion of that bill.

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    I don't think she's able to travel without that sort of detail. When I lived in DC, we were told by a Metropolitan police officer that the president, his wife and any children in the White House cannot go anywhere without the Secret Service. They can't travel on regular airlines or cars either.

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    wheres her bikini pic??

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    I saw them on some site. he daughter was in a whole piece and Michelle was in a two piece. Thought they might show up on here somewhere
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    Quote Originally Posted by *DIVA! View Post
    Are you serious? Just about everything the Bush admin did was in poor taste.

    She took a vacation with her daughter and some family friends which they are paying for and not the taxpayers??
    1. All FOURTY of them?
    2. That is not totally true, the US taxpayer is paying for some of it, since its being packaged as a "state Visit".
    3. How do the "friends" pay for the trip on Airforce 2? Do they get charged 1st class? or a proportion of the total charge, etc?

    Michelle Obama lunches with Spain's royal family as backlash over her extravagant holiday continues back home



    By Mail Foreign Service
    Last updated at 6:46 PM on 8th August 2010


    U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and her younger daughter lunched with Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia today at the royal summer residence on the Balearic island of Majorca.
    Mrs Obama, nine-year-old Sasha and their entourage flew into the Majorcan capital of Palma from the glitzy Mediterranean resort of Marbella, where they have been staying since Wednesday at a deluxe hotel.
    The lunch is Mrs Obama's last engagement in Spain before flying home to Washington DC, where she has come under fire for her lavish break on the Costa del Sol with 40 friends, which has been estimated at costing U.S. taxpayers £50,000 a day.

    Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia welcome Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha to the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca today







    King Juan Carlos kisses Michelle Obama's hand, left, and Princess Letizia, right, welcomes the U.S. First Lady to the royal summer residence



    Earleir today the royal couple and Princess Letizia, wife of crown Prince Felipe, met the Obamas at their Marivent Palace outside Palma.
    Prince Felipe was not present as he is returning from a visit to Bogota where he attended the swearing in of Colombia's new president, Juan Manuel Santos.
    The royal lunch included gazpacho soup, grilled turbot and veal with mustard sauce, rice, mushrooms and tumbet, a traditional Majorcan vegetable dish, with fresh fruit and ice cream for desert.

    Queen Sofia kisses Sasha as the Obamas arrive for lunch on the last day of their Spanish holiday


    King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, accompanied by Princess Letizia greet Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha today

    The meal was washed down with white and red Spanish wines - Marques de Riscal and Remirez de Ganuza Reserva 2002.
    But the First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.
    And her critics will be further annoyed when they learn that the president's wife had a Spanish beach closed off today so that she, her daughter and their entourage could go for a swim.

    Spanish police cleared off a stretch of beach at the Villa Padierna Hotel in Marbella after the Obamas had finished a busy day of sightseeing.

    Cordoned off: Police officers keep onlookers away today from the site where U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha are staying at the Beach Club of Villa Padierna Hotel in Marbella

    Police used palm trees and police tape to mark off the boundaries of a 100-yard expanse for the American delegation. On either side, onlookers gawked - and police occasionally stopped and searched sun lovers if they strayed too close to the private party.
    It is unclear whether the police presence was paid for by Spain - or whether a nasty invoice could be landing in the lap of the American taxpayer.

    The exact cost of the trip is unclear as Mrs Obama, 46, and her friends are footing personal expenses themselves - which is just as well.
    For a start, they will be paying for the 60 rooms booked at the 129-room Hotel Villa Padierna. With basic rooms starting around £380 each, the nightly bill will be no less than £22,800.
    Sun, sea and search: A Spanish police officer inspects the bag of a local bather. Anyone who strayed too close to the Obama party were stopped

    Meals will also be picked up by the Obamas and friends.
    Spanish newspaper El Mundo detailed the Obamas' dinner on their first night in Spain. The tapas menu for the delegation included sea bass tartare, strawberry gazpacho and sardines, followed by a main course of lobster with seaweed risotto.
    The meal cost about £40 a head, according to El Mundo - which means a bill topping £1,600 would have hit the table if all 40 friends dined together.
    Stretched over five nights that's £8,000 for dinner alone.

    Whether or not the taxpaying American will be paying for meals, they will definitely be footing the bill for the First Lady's 68-strong security detail, her personal staff - and the use of presidential jet Air Force Two.
    The per diems for the secret service team runs at around £172 each, which amounts to nearly £60,000 for the length of the summer break.
    Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at £91,900 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.
    Mrs Obama's personal staff, of which there are an unknown amount and who might cost considerably more per day, also have to be taken into account.

    The American public will also cover the cost of the only official part of the holiday, a visit to the Spanish royal family on the island of Majorca.
    This will involve transport there and back for the entourage - as well as travel, accommodation, food and expenses for all while on the island.

    Conservative estimates already put the total cost at £150,000. With Majorca to come, the bill will be more like £250,000.
    Back in the U.S., anger was mounting - especially as it has emerged the First Lady will have enjoyed eight holidays by the end of the summer.

    No ordinary holidaymaker: Michelle Obama (in bright top with dark belt) is surrounded by a substantial security detail (wearing sunglasses) in the city of Granada, Spain




    These include a trip to Los Angeles in June, a visit to the Florida's oil-hit Gulf Coast next weekend and a ten-day trip to Martha's Vineyard later this month.
    White House press secretary Robin Gibbs was asked at a briefing if there were any concerns about how the visit was being viewed by the public.
    'The First Lady is on a private trip,' he said. 'She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. I think I'd leave it at that.'
    Quiet moment: Michelle (left) and her younger daughter Sasha toured the stunning Alhambra Palace as part of their visit to Granada

    Criticism: The First Lady has been attacked for taking such a lavish and high profile trip at a time of economic difficulty

    Yesterday New York Daily News columnist and blogger Andrea Tantaros likened the President’s wife to French queen Marie Antoinette, who was famously extravagant with her spending.

    Tantaros wrote: ‘To be clear, what the Obamas do with their money is one thing; what they do with ours is another. Transporting and housing the estimated 70 Secret Service agents who will flank the material girl will cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.’

    She accused the Obamas of hypocrisy for preaching the values of sacrifice and austerity to Americans while seemingly refusing to heed their own advice.

    She said: ‘Instead, Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette… than an average mother of two.’

    She added: ‘I don't begrudge anyone rest and relaxation when they work hard. We all need downtime - the First Family included.

    Fan club: Granada residents hold signs in the street supporting Mrs Obama and welcoming her to their city


    People had turned out in their hundreds to welcome the American First Lady and her daughter

    ‘It's the extravagance of Michelle Obama's trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama's demonisation of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy and perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders'
    Mrs Obama, who has been accompanied by her youngest daughter, Saha, nine, spent yesterday in the historic city of Granada.
    She visited the spectacular Alhambra Palace, the 16th century cathedral and the pretty Albaicin neighbourhood, famous for its narrow winding streets and small squares

    A crowd of several hundred people shouted 'Obama!' and 'guapa!' (beautiful) as the Obamas entered the cathedral with a large security detail in tow.

    The party also had time for ice cream in the main street Gran Via.
    Mrs Obama later attended a flamenco performance by Juan Andres Maya where other members of the audience were delighted when she tried out some dance moves at the end.




    Private citizen: Mrs Obama (seen here in Granada) is paying all personal expenses herself. Her security detail and transport are paid for by the U.S. taxpayer




    Earlier in the week, Mrs Obama had strolled around the shop's of Marbella's old town with daughter Sasha in tow.
    The First Lady was surrounded by burly Secret Service agents as hundreds of locals sought to catch a glimpse of her in the Costa del Sol resort.
    Wearing black trousers, a black and white top and dark sunglasses, the 46-year-old walked through Marbella's cobbled streets, nipping into a number of shops before having dinner in an Andalusian restaurant.
    Mrs Obama arrived by plane at Malaga airport yesterday/on Wednesday morning and was driven in a 14-car convoy to the five star Hotel Villa Padierna, where her entourage has reserved 60 of the 129 rooms.
    She told owner Ricardo Arranz she had come to 'relax and unwind'.
    Presence: Mrs Obama and her entourage go walkabout in Marbella on Wednesday

    The hotel is nestled in the hills overlooking Marbella, and at 6.30pm she and nine-year-old Sasha were driven to the historic centre for their shopping trip.
    Locals and British expats and holidaymakers crammed the streets or leaned out from balconies to get the best shot of the First Lady on their cameras. Some even climbed orange trees to get a better look.
    Mrs Obama bought two white Egyptian cotton dresses for 84 euros (70 pounds) from a shop called Blanc du Nil after asking shopkeeper Irene Aivar for advice on styles and sizes.
    She then took a business card from another shop called Samira, which sells silverware and crafts, before heading to a restaurant for dinner at 8pm.
    They had a reservation for 14 people at the Buenaventura Plaza restaurant, reportedly eating lobster with rice and oysters followed by a Spanish bread pudding called torrijas.
    President Barack Obama, who turned 49 on Wednesday, is not expected to join them in Spain, and oldest daughter Malia, 12, is at a summer camp in the US.
    Reports in Spain said Mr Obama telephoned his wife at the restaurant, and she sang him Happy Birthday down the phone.
    The party enjoyed red wine with the main course and a local sweet white wine with dessert before retiring to the hotel at 10pm.

    Luxurious: The Obamas and their party are staying at the Villa Padierna in Marbella, which is rated as one of the top hotels in the world

    Calvacade: The First Lady's convoy arriving in Marbella on Tuesday after she travelled from the States on Air Force Two


    Quote Originally Posted by BITTER View Post
    I do know that they have extra security at the football games, because the black footballers who come to Spain to play are viciously, verbally harrassed by many of the Spanish fans. Some of them make faces and noises like apes and call the footballers the "n" word. This was last year, or the year before. I thought that shit had calmed down. Apparently not.
    Unfortunately the Franco legacy is still strong in some areas, when you consider that he only died in 1975, its not that surprising, although it is disgraceful. Europe is a mixture of all politics, from communist to facist & all inbetween.
    "I don't know what I am to them, maybe a penguin XD" - Tiny Pixie

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    Well, she should have just taken her daughter and friends to Sandy Point Beach for the day!


    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    I do question the necessity for such a huge entourage for a private vacation. Security staff yes, but does she really need to take the whole travelling circus too? I also heard she flew there in Airforce 1 which, if true, would be paid for by US taxpayers. It does seem a little insensitive but then again the US is so far down the toilet financially then a few extra million won't make any difference.

    It cost $56,518 per hour for Air Force Two all paid by the tax payer.

    Posted by Janet Shan | Friday, August 06, 2010 |

    First Lady Michelle Obama under fire for her pleasure trip with friends to Spain at the taxpayers' expense for security detail & transportation.

    I don't want to come across as a hater, but I do have a problem with the cost of First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to Spain, considering we are in a recession and people are still losing their jobs and their homes. I wouldn't go as far as calling her a modern-day Marie Antoinette, but I am disappointed that they could spend thousands on the taxpayers' dime for her 68-strong detail, her personal staff - and the use of presidential jet Air Force Two. I must add, they are footing the bill for their personal accommodations. This certainly does not send the right message. Considering the Prime Minister of the flew on a commercial plane during his visit to the U.S. recently.

    In good economic times, I would have just shrugged my shoulders to her pleasure trip abroad, but these are tough economic times for just about everyone on Main Street and this just sends the wrong message, especially in light of the fact that the family has taken a few vacations lately. According to the U.K. Daily Mail, by the end of the summer, Mrs. Obama will have enjoyed eight vacations since her husband took office.

    The cost of accommodating the secret service team runs at around £172 each a day which amounts to nearly £60,000 for the length of the summer break.
    Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at £91,900 for the This does not include time on the ground.


    The American public will also cover the cost of the only official part of the holiday, a visit to the Spanish royal family on the island of Majorca. A conservative estimate puts the total amount at around £150,000. Source
    Of course I don't expect the Obamas to fly by JetBlue or Delta, but the elitist label is sticking like glue to them. I recall President George W. Bush being called out many times for his many vacations. I am not attacking Mrs. Obama, I am just questioning the rationale behind this trip.

    *******
    In her commercial she said come to Florida and spend some money, then she went to Maine now she's in Spain - if she's not going to spend her vacation dollars in Florida with it's oil spills why should anyone else?

    tacky

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    Quote Originally Posted by *DIVA! View Post
    Well, she should have just taken her daughter and friends to Sandy Point Beach for the day!
    I used to hate Sandy Point!! Especially when you could go another hour or so and be in Ocean City.

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    I use to hate it too.. That was sarcasm, I wouldn't wish SP on anyone!


    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Spanish Princess Letizia is some serious eye candy. If I was a straight guy, or a lesbian (she would of course have to be a lesbian too) or if she and I were both bisexual, I would nail that princess to the wall!
    I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them. - George W. Bush

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