First lady Michelle Obama criticized for lavish vacation in Spain

Michelle Obama

(Photo: Mike Baird/Flickr/CC-BY)

According to Fox News, first lady Michelle Obama is under fire for taking a private, luxurious trip to Spain with daughter Sasha and several Obama family friends. Of course, the so-called private vacation has quickly turned into a public affair, as the media is already criticizing her every movement. Now everyone wants in on everything the first lady’s private vacation entails.

Travel warning issued for Spain, where first lady vacations

While her husband celebrated his 49th birthday in Chicago with talk show mega-star Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, with 9-year-old daughter and friends of the family, went on what the White House described as a four-day “private trip” to the beautiful southern coast of Spain. While some are avoiding talking about the trip’s price, others are voicing concerns of safety.

Fox News reports that the State Department had advised Americans traveling to Spain to take caution as “racist prejudices could lead to the arrest of Afro-Americans who travel to Spain,” a message posted on its website. The wording, however, can no longer be found, as it appears it was quickly pulled when the first lady and daughter Sasha left on their trip. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, when asked if there was a travel warning for Spain, said, “I don’t believe so.”

The costs of the first lady’s vacation trip to Spain

The biggest worry concerning the first lady’s vacation trip to Spain is the overall cost of the trip and the affect it has on taxpayer money. On Thursday, New York Daily News writer Andrea Tantaros trash-talked Michelle Obama, calling her a “modern day Marie Antoinette” for taking such a lavish vacation while most of the U.S. is financially struggling. According to the Yahoo News, the first lady and companions are staying at the luxury Hotel Villa Padierna, often described as one of the world’s top 10 hotels, with rates that range from $500 to $2,500 a night.

Whether it was the Obama delegation or Secret Service that chose the location, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has stated that the first lady will pay for her own personal expenses, as will the private entourage traveling with her. The overall cost of the trip, however, will not be fully covered with personal out-of-the-pocket money, given that the first lady has full-time Secret Service protection and has to travel on board an official Air Force charter plane, which is covered by taxpayers.

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