Michelle Obama On Beach In Spain
Michelle Obama is being criticized as “living large” as she vacations in Spain with daughter Sasha during tough economic times. Michelle and 40 of her closest friends are staying in 60 to 70 rooms in a pricey resort. There is also the expense of the Secret Service entourage that follows her everywhere. You’ve probably heard by now that Michelle Obama is out of touch, apathetic, or simply selfish for taking a four-day jaunt to Spain to show her daughter some culture. The bulk of the trip—the hotel stay and all meals—were paid for by the Obamas and their close friends who joined them. “Any additional footprint,” says a White House aide, “including additional rooms needed for security support, falls under the same rules as have applied to any previous first-family travel: the costs are split appropriately, with private expenses paid for privately; government expenses are paid for by the government.”
The First Lady arrived in the Mediterranean coastal city of Marbella on Wednesday, checking in to the super-posh Villa Padierna, along with her daughter, friends, a small number of staffers — the East Wing would not say how many — and a security force. (Daughter Malia, 12, is at overnight camp.)
On Thursday, Mrs. Obama’s entourage arrived in the historic city of Granada, also in southern Spain. According to a story in El Pais, before visiting the landmark cathedral in the city, Mrs. Obama’s group stopped for ice cream, and didn’t mind people snapping pictures on their cell phones. The day also included viewing a flamenco performance and in the evening a visit to the Alhambra palace.
According to CBS News, the tax dollar part of the vacation include an estimated $146,000 round trip cost for the U.S. Air Force 757 aircraft, not counting ground time; about $95,000 in hotel costs for an estimated 70 security — Secret Service and military — who get a $273 per day government per diem, plus costs for the dozen or so cars in her motorcade.
Now we learn that the Michelle 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. 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 the American taxpayer.
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