It’s become pretty predictable. With no concern for the cost to taxpayers, if it’s Christmas, the Obama family make their way toward Hawaii for an extended vacation – sometimes even on separate flights.
In June, July or early August, or maybe all three, Mrs. Obama indulges in annual vacations and pre-vacations, visiting places like Marbella, Spain or “fried fat cakes” South Africa. If it’s not an election year, despite the occasional presence of fecal coliform bacteria in Tisbury Pond, the Obamas traditionally spend the end of August in Martha’s Vineyard, splashing around in the (ahem) saltwater lagoon.
With Michelle Obama, if it’s Tuesday it could be Belgium; but if it’s February, it’s always Colorado.
Like clockwork, right around Valentine’s Day, Michelle Obama waxes up her skis and heads toward Vail or Aspen for an extended weekend ski vacation to celebrate President’s Day – without the president, of all things.
This year Michelle chose Aspen again. After all, spending 17 grueling days in Oahu should at least earn a person a relaxing ski vacation three weeks later.
Ah, Hawaii. Michelle has been known to fly to Hawaii at $180,000 per hour in a separate plane from her husband and at nine hours each way, for Michelle alone the air travel, i.e. taxpayer cost, can add up to $3,271,622. Add Obama’s fiscal-cliff back-and-forth trips, and all totaled the cost of air travel for flying the Obamas to and from Hawaii over the past four years tops out at a conservative $20 million. Add to that the costly cortege that accompanies Barry and Shelley wherever their traveling feet may take them, and we’re talking millions upon millions in free vacation cash, compliments of John Q. Public.
Oh, but the year is young, and what lies ahead for the perpetually-vacationing lame duck Obamas is 10 more months rife with vacationing possibilities yet to be enjoyed. As for his wife, of late the only “Let’s Moving” she’s been doing is toward a chaise lounge, a masseuse table, and more free trips.
Last year, Michelle’s Aspen vacation cost the American taxpayers $83,000. As the March 1st sequester approaches, the government does plan to slash spending. So, maybe this year the first lady will do her part after a cold, exhausting day tearing up the Bunny slope by sacrificing the 1,500-calorie ancho-chili short ribs that warmed her innards two Februarys ago.
Then again, Michelle Obama making a sacrifice is highly unlikely. Despite the hard times that have befallen many Americans, Mrs. Obama simply refuses to spare any expense on herself. After unpacking from her Christmas respite, Michelle started the year at the State of the Union address, comforting for a second time, the bereaved parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the slain Chicago band majorette who performed at Barack’s inauguration. For that solemn event, the first lady appeared in the overhead balcony bedecked in a $3,500 glittering Valentine’s Day ensemble, compliments of Jason Wu.
That was early in the week. At the end of the week, Mrs. Obama packed up the girls, gathered unto herself close family and friends, and headed westward to luxuriate at some tony Aspen resort while Daddy headed to Palm City, Florida to putz around with Tiger Woods and the boys for an informal duffer tournament.
Those are vacation plans worth repeating. Again, Michelle has taken to swishing around on the champagne powder slopes of Aspen and ole’ Double-Bogey Barack is playing putt-putt on a Treasure Coast green and laying his weary bones down at the “ultra-exclusive Floridian” resort.
And so, for President’s Day, while the rest of America celebrates by eating cold beans purchased from the $1 dented can bin, Mr. and Mrs. O are spending yet another vacation weekend their way – which is high-priced and paid for with our money.