This week, comes the latest Obama family outrage. The President’s daughter Malia is in Oxaca, Mexico on spring break, accompanied by 12 friends, 25 Secret Service agents and hordes of Mexican police. Instead of going to an amusement park or even Florida for spring break, the First Daughter is enjoying a luxurious vacation, again compliments of the taxpayers of America. The group is staying at a first class hotel, frolicking on the beach and enjoying the sights, which is a great experience for the youngsters. Too bad most Americans do not have similar opportunities.
According to a recent Harris poll, only 30 percent of Americans are even contemplating any sort of extended vacation this year. As inflation rises and gasoline costs spiral out of control, it is no surprise that Americans cannot afford extravagant trips. Even worse, other polls show that more and more Americans are not even able to use their vacation time at work.
So Americans who are feeling the pinch at home and work, unable to enjoy expensive vacations are seeing an Obama family pursuing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Just last month, Mrs. Obama took her children to Aspen, Colorado for a ski trip. This was the 16th family vacation the First Family has taken in just over three years in office. The costs for all of these trips are exorbitant. Last Christmas, instead of spending Christmas at Camp David like George and Laura Bush, Mr. and Mrs. Obama took the family to Hawaii in two separate planes, costing the taxpayers at least $1.5 million.
From the concerts in the White House to the ritzy state dinners, the President and First Lady obviously enjoy the trappings of power. In 2009, they certainly enjoyed their extravagant “date night” on Broadway in New York City. Using Air Force One to catch a play and dinner, with Secret Service in tow, was mighty costly to the taxpayers.
While an occasional extravagance is certainly expected from our First Family, constant worldwide travel is unseemly and insulting to Americans dealing with rising inflation, a horrible housing market and stagnant wages.
As Americans begin to focus on the upcoming election, Obama campaign advisers do not want voters to be reminded of the First Family acting like British royalty. Not surprisingly, they asked news sites to remove pictures of Malia and her friends in Oaxaca. Supposedly, it was to protect the privacy of the President’s daughter, but the true purpose was political. Unfortunately for the Obama White House, the news had already spread throughout the Internet.
In the upcoming campaign, the GOP will paint the picture of a President disconnected from ordinary Americans facing hard economic times. After almost 100 rounds of golf, 17 family vacations, millions spent on travel and luxuries, even a group as incompetent as the Republican National Committee can paint that picture.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected]