Well, it’s kind of an expensive trip to take while President Obama and Congress are engaged in a desperate struggle to slash spending, isn’t it? But the White House is making clear that, unlike her vacation to Spain last year, which cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, this is an official trip. It is the kind of thing all first ladies do to promote the United States and its interests overseas.
Now, does that mean she – and her mom, and her daughters – ain’t going to get in some sight seeing or sample some roast antelope at a swank Johannesburg eatery? I’m sure they will.
But as long as she spends plenty of time working, this is normal first lady stuff. The schedule suggests they’ll be bouncing around too much to get too comfortable. From the White House:
First Lady Michelle Obama announced that she will travel to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana during an official visit to Africa from June 21 – 26 focused on youth leadership, education, health and wellness. The trip is a continuation of Mrs. Obama’s work to engage young people at home and abroad, from mentoring students in the United States and encouraging them to gain international experience, to encouraging young people to excel academically, serve, and lead . . . Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Robinson and her daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama.
In addition to advancing her international youth engagement agenda, the First Lady’s events will amplify the President’s support for democracy, development and economic opportunity across Africa. During her trip, Mrs. Obama will deliver the keynote address to a U.S.-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa. Forum participants include young women from across sub-Saharan Africa who are leading or involved in social and economic initiatives in their own countries.