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Michelle Obama Spent 42 Days on Vacation this Past Year

by Keith Koffler on August 12, 2011, 11:05 am

First Lady Michelle Obama over the last year has spent a total of 42 days on vacation, or a little more than one out of every nine days, according to a White House Dossier analysis of her travel.

Her vacations, the cost of which are mostly borne by taxpayers, include trips to Panama City, Fla., Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, Vail, Colo., and her visit this week to her brother in Corvallis, Ore.

The total does not include a nine day sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard that the Obamas will enjoy this month. Nor does it include a trip she made to Ireland and Great Britain in May, which I’m counting as official travel.

The total vacation time would have been slightly higher had the Obamas gone as planned for an April weekend in Williamsburg, Va. The trip was cancelled due to an extended stalemate between President Obama and Congress over the budget.

Mrs. Obama’s extensive vacation travel comes while many America citizens find themselves out of work or having trouble making ends meet as the economic recovery stalls.

Taxpayers pick up most of the cost of transporting the first lady and her extensive entourage – including Secret Service and her staff – to her various destinations. While she may in some cases pay some of the tab for her personal expenses and travel, the amount is dwarfed by the overall cost to the public.

On trips she makes with the president, though, the costs are only somewhat greater that then they would have been had he travelled alone.

Mrs. Obama’s vacations began in August 2010 with a two day weekend trip to Panama City, Fla., where the Obamas stayed overnight at a Gulf of Mexico hotel in a symbolic effort to show that the Gulf area was safe for travel in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.

Next up was what has become an annual pilgrimage to ritzy Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas stayed 10 days and dined at several exorbitantly priced restaurants.

In December 2010, with President Obama delayed because Congress was still in town, Mrs. Obama decided to leave without him for their annual Hawaiian vacation, racking up at least $63,000 in additional costs because she travelled alone.

Since the president arrived late, he decided to leave Hawaii in January two days later than scheduled – resulting in a 17 day vacation for the first lady.

Mrs. Obama went right back out on vacation the following month, taking a four day skiing trip in February of this year to Vail, Colo.

In March, Mrs. Obama travelled to Latin America for a five day trip. I’m counting two days of this as vacation, though, because she took her children and her mother along, performed some sightseeing, and went to the beach.

The first lady went to southern Africa in June for six days in what was partially an official visit. Since Mrs. Obama took her mother, her children and their cousins along, since the trip was billed in advance as having personal significance for her, and since the travel included several tourist destinations and a safari, I’m counting half of the journey as vacation, or three days.

Finally, Mrs, Obama took her mother and one of her children to visit her brother in Corvallis, Ore. this week. The trip was not announced by the White House and appears to have lasted four days.

{ 24 trackbacks }


jspicer August 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Look i absolutely LOATHE every policy Obama has put out and i think he has done more damage to this country than any other President but i honestly do NOT care how often his wife has been on vacation. Even if i HAD voted for him it would not have been for his wife, it would have been for him and really the costs of her vacation are a miniscule drop within a drop in the bucket. How about we worry about the stuff that BARACK Obama does instead of what his wife does cause she is a non entity hypocrite busybody that deserves at best derision but mostly to be ignored.

Cindy Coronis August 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

Michelle’s vacations are worthy of our ire because it costs US-the taxpayers! Therefore, it most certainly IS relevant! They a pair of arrogant, racist scum! Their behavior is disgusting…and that is the ncest thing one can say about the two of them…..

newsbird August 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

It’s her entitlement mentality that is too much to bear when at the same time they ask for everyone to share the pain. She has not suffered or reduced anything in her life style. She spends more money than necessary for her horrible clothes and is an embarrassment for professional and conservative US women. On top of that she speaks like she just “got” out of highschool and it’s always about her and how she sees herself reflected in every young person. It’s all just too much, she is a MOOCH.

BamasMamma August 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Wow- what a sleazy thing to be famous for. 2012 can’t come soon enough. The Obama’s are scum

big deal August 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Big deal. Her husbamnd spent 365 days on vacation.

Paul West August 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

She is the ultimate welfare Mom. Get all you can when you can from the government.

DocGuru August 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

The Obama’s have no shame and are completely out of touch with the average American. They are elitists who believe in “Do as I say, not as I do” and are exploiting the taxpayers with every golf game and vacation.

tom August 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Our Comander and his wife have ripped this country off. He is THE WORST PRESIDENT IN OUR HISTORY!!!


Yukiko August 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm

The Obama’s don’t believe in reparations but they don’t mind getting several shares under the guise of vacationing.

Tom Bender August 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Perhaps the country should just start calling Michelle “IMELDA”.
This uneducated fool likes to party and spend off of the little peoples tax dollars the same as Imelda did.

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I wonder how many of her little trips around the nation to demonstrate her sudden commitment to military families or to teach kids how to do the Dougie were official viists combined with vacay sidetrips. Do the Dougie at a middle school, then do some shopping with gurlfriends or share a ritzy dinner during an overnight at a nearby tourist destination ….

Matt Johnson August 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Excuse me, I didn’t realize Mrs Obama was employed by the US government. What’s her salary and Civil Service level? And shame on her for travelling on her vacation. As I remember the Bush family always drove their own Sensible Republican Station Wagon when they travelled to their Texas ranch, and they only went there To Clear Brush – not to vacation. President Reagan only went to his California ranch when the Brush Needed Clearing also. And I think Reagan always hitchhiked back and forth between DC and California…..yes?

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Matt, it’s funny that when one of the Obamas is criticized, Obots jump from the shrubbery with comparisons to the Bushes and Reagan if they can remember that far back.

Why not address the real issue — is it or is it not excessive that Michelle Obama has spent one day out of every nine this year traveling on vacations at the taxpayers’ expense?

If it is, say so. If’ it’s not — don’t excuse bad behavior by using others as an excuse, demand better behavior from those whom you professedly admire. You should be asking Mrs. Obama to be the example that the others weren’t (in your opinion), not acting as if excessive vacationing on the taxpayers’ dime is to be expected.

Also, if Mrs. Obama was vacationing and her family was footing the bill it would be perfectly all right in an unelected person. But she is using the perks that come with her husband’s office to commandeer money from taxpayers for her entertainment. Can your comparisons with the Bushes and Reagan please address that point?

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Well said!

DJH August 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Hey, it can be very tiring being a hate America first, race baiting, empty headed, deceitful cow! The only thing funnier than her utter lack of credibility is the fact that the media has spent the last 3 years trying to convince middle America that she’s beautiful, graceful, toned and the epitome of the American woman

The clowns in LA and NY can fawn over this loser, but the reality is her position was created for her due to her empty suited husbands position in state gov’t and since then her position hasn’t been filled. Hmmmmm – yeah, real important role she must have played!

pres. islama August 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

The story of the emperor has no clothes reminds me of how the media is lying to the public how beautiful and graceful this muslim 1st lady is…then what will she do

beene August 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

When Michelle returned from her expensive trip from Spain in August 2010, I was at the U.S. Naval Academy for my mother’s funeral (she was killed in an auto accident 7/29/10). My parents were married at the Main chapel in 1962 (the year my father graduated from USNA).
She was at USNA on an “un-official” visit for some reason the same day as my mother’s service. We had her secret service agents lurking in the back of the chapel as the service was still be held. We could barely get out of the chapel before we were “instructed” to move along so Michelle could sight-see inside the chapel. (Why was she even there that day???) She could have shown some courtesy to me and my family and told someone to let us finish our service in peace. It was classless on her part and it still hurts a year later.
I have no respect for her or her husband. I hope Obama gets beat in 2012.

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I am very sorry to hear about what happened at your mother’s funeral. It was so hard that an already sad event was trivialized and you were made to feel that your mother’s death put her in the way of Important Persons. Please accept my sympathy and regret for what you experienced.

jayd August 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

sorry for your loss

Sara B August 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Oh my goodness…that is incredibly sad for you and your family and completely tackless for michelle. No sight seeing is more important than those few precious moments spent at a funeral where families gather to celebrate, grieve and remember. She has an all access pass to every sight in the world and could have come back any time.

Susan August 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

To lose a loved one in a tragedy like that is hard enough to deal with. It is a wound that never heals. To then be shown no compassion at your time of grief is reprehensible. My sympathies over the loss of your Mom, beene.

no August 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Vacation from what? I didn’t know she had a job?

Cindy Coronis August 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

Well said!!!!!!!!! I guess her “job” is telling us what to eat and what to feed our children, all the while shoving fatty, greasy foods into her fat face!

Roslyn August 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

As a Canadian, I can view this with no political leanings I do consider the Firsr Lady to be a common woman who is interested in her own well being and her own clothes and travels. She uses her position to benefit herself and family and has not a thought for the many unemployed and starving American people. When you look back at people such as Eleanor Roosevelt who was a plainly dressed person and extremely interested in the average American. Michelle has little going for her except to have been fortunate to marry the right man and enjoy the trappings of being the First Lady

Michelle August 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

42 days without hearing her lecture us… well worth the cost.

disenchanted August 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I am so angry over the obama’s flagrant disregard for the American people I could spit nails.

Send michele a bill. She is not an elected official and how dare she misuse our taxpayer money to go jaunt around the world. Additionally how do we get to pay for her mother? utterly disgusting. -

DeWolf Shaw August 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Mr Koffler clearly does not understand the parental responsibilities that are attached to being the mother to two young daughters. Were he to have that understanding, he would know full well that there are no vacation days for Mrs Obama. None.
His column however is proof that the dog days of summer are upon retread journalists who rarely have anything of importance to report, even on a good news day.
G DeWolf Shaw
Montreal, Canada

Susan August 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Well I had two young sons at one point in my life. I sure as heck didn’t expect my husband to cover for me 42 days out of the year while I went on vacation. Sure as heck didn’t ask my neighbor to pay for my vacations either. Being a parent is not a job or chore. Being a parent is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

mws August 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

What about the trip to Spain! You forgot that one!

Stan B August 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

First Lady – No official duties, lots of vacations, all on the taxpayer’s dime.

Great work if you can get it!!!

graco August 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Well, come on…………after all……….working that veggie garden is just so much hard work…………

Mrs Compton August 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Who’s watching the wee one at home since granny went along on the paycay?

shawn August 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I for one dont care if she spends 365 days a year on vacation she is not the president nor is she paid by tax dollars for such duties, this is a non story at best, sensationalism at worst…

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Shawn — would you personally foot the bill for all this unnecessary traveling? I bet not. Why should the taxpayers do it? Because her husband was elected to something and she’s a politician’s wife?

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm


Chris August 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Vacation from what exactly? I know when I take a vacation with my family during the year, I am taking it as a restful, fun time away from WORK. However, I fail to see how this applies to her. Isn’t every day a vacation for this slug?

Jimsolan August 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

This is the first time that I have been sent to this blog from a link on Drudge, and I have to say that I likely a lot.

OK, now to the 1st lady’s vacation time. Of course, it has what one has come to expect from elected officials, especially at the highest level of the US government. I don’t begrudge anyone vacation time, especially our top elected officials, who need to have time to disconnect and rest, just like anyone else. With that said, it seems to me that 42 days, give or take, is more than a bit exorbitant.

This large amount of time reflects an ever growing gap between the ruled and the rulers. The Obamas seem to almost revel in their lack of recognition that a great number of Americans don’t have the privilege of more than two weeks vacation, let alone dining at five star restaurants and staying at the best hotels to boot.

I’m an independent voter, so I have no party line to grind. It seems a mockery to me that any elected official can have such utter disregard for the public finances that allow him or her to live. Until we say enough is enough this breach of public trust will only continue to grow.

Mapache August 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

What a stupid article. Nobody elected Michele to anything. Who cares if she spends the entire four years on vacation. We know that the US Government pays for her protection etc but that is just a price we have to pay. Nothing should be expected from her and in fact, I wish she would just leave all the rest of us alone.

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

If she spent four years at home in the White House on vacation, I would have no objections. But when she jets around the world and creates extra, unnecessary expense for taxpayers, I do object.

I expect mature behavior from Mrs. Obama and taking exploitative advantage of the courtesies and privileges given to the spouse of an elected official is not mature — and it’s inconsiderate of taxpayers and insensitive to those citizens who are suffering financial hardships.

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm

The article is not stupid at all. I want to know how much freeloaders abuse me and my money.

Willy August 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Michelle is nothing more than a glorified welfare mom. She rode the system for her entire life as an affirmative action recipient and expects everything to be given to her. Thank you Great Society.

JakeF August 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm

You must have Michelle Obama confused with Michelle Bachmann.

Sara B August 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Really Jake? I didn’t know Mrs. o raised 5 of her own and 23 foster kids and was pro life. My bad.

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Aw, c’mon. You know better than that.

rtonafide August 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

There cannot be an extended stalemate. A stalemate is the end. Perhaps an impasse?
Otherwise, a good article.

voted against carter August 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I’ve said it before and I will say it again I am sure,..

HEY MITCH”ELE,… STOP stealing my old SHOWER CURTAINS and having them made in to your “stylish” dresses.


No matter WHAT you do,…

EVERY one will STILL know your “DRESS” IS my old shower curtain.

Jerry Gregoire August 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

While the money footed by the taxpayers is my concern, I didn’t know she had a job. Is Michelle Hillary 2 with a ghost position in our government?

NYGUY30 August 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm

isn’t she always on vacation? even when she’s not on “vacation”

asmurff August 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Why does she need vacations she doesn’t have a job, defund the Michelle screw America travel fund.

Cv August 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Girlfriend had to take time off to get her double cheeseburger on.

Deb August 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Good for her! I really don’t care what she does. I do care when it costs taxpayer dollars. Her low life husband is another story!

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Deb, did you miss the part about how she travels on airplanes? Those are Air Force airplanes and the Air Force pays for all expenses connected with them — pays for them with taxpayer money. So, if you pay taxes, you are funding Michelle’s vacations. That doesn’t even include the per diems to the security staff, etc.

Try to read more than the title of articles.

MHumen August 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Maybe she is smarter than she seems….maybe she just doesn’t want to be around her husband’s stupidity.

anchi August 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

You forgot her famous (or INfamous) trip to southern Spain last summer on the Air Force II, PLUS security entourage and stayed at FIVE-star hotels when the country was going through the oil spill disaster and people from the South were suffering devastations! Even the loyal Obama supporter Maureen Dowd penned a ‘no, no’ commentary in The New York Times (Feliz Cumpleaños, and Adiós, August 7, 2010,'s%20trip%20to%20Spain&st=cse)

HarryObrian August 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm

It doesn’t matter whether she’s on vacation or not, she’s too expensive no matter where she is.

rose August 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

So what. If they were white and republicans, this wouldnt be news.

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

It would still bother me. BTW, we will hear similar stories when the husband of our first woman president of any color or political party travels.

Michael Cleary August 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

If she were my wife she would vacation 365 days a year.

JakeF August 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

President Michelle Obama?

Did I miss something here besides a non-story?

recher August 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm

How does Michelle’s vacation time compare to vacation time taken by Pres. Bush the Son ?

Your bias obstructs intellectual objectivity

Anonna August 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Comparing Bush to Michelle Obama is comparing apples to oranges.

Bush was an elected official and Mrs. Obama is a ride-along beneficiary to her husband’s election as President. She has not earned nor won a single one of the perks that come with her honorary position. If she does not want to be First Lady, she could return to Chicago and live there with Secret Service protection.

She chooses, however, to live the life of a celebrity and travel to a variety of destinations, each one requiring analysis for security, special one-time security arrangements, and so forth.

While I agree Bush spent a lot of time away from Washington, his trips to his ranch or Camp David used routinized security and staff needs and therefore were much less expensive.

Apples and oranges — perhaps it is your bias that obstructs intellectual objectivity.

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

The past doesn’t matter. Attempts to justify one’s behavior by comparing to shortcomings of others is disingenuous.

sportinlife10 August 13, 2011 at 6:36 am

Agreed: “he did it first” is sandbox politics.

Scott R August 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Wow, let them eat cake, Wait I want cake! Does Airforce 2 make my butt look big?

JBar595 August 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This makes me so mad that what I want to post won’t be posted.

larry August 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

who cares she is ZERO. ALSO.. A THIEF……….

Phyllis August 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

She’s milking the taxpayers for all she can get before O is thrown out of the White House!

HinterlandG August 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm

How many trips did her predecessors’ wives take? Start with Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. I can’t recall such nitpicking on the travel schedule of other first ladies.

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm

The past doesn’t matter. Attempts to justify one’s behavior by comparing to shortcomings of others is disingenuous.

gina August 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

She is living it up and I just pray we get a real 1st lady in Nov. and not another spend what you can because you can. sick.

Larry Croft August 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Atrocious! Computed at 5 days per week, she has taken 8+ weeks of vacation. Paid by the taxpayer? How many hours, I ask, were on our VC-25 at the rate of $181,000 per hour plus ancillary costs according to FoxNews –

Greg Neubeck August 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

It’s yet to be announced as to whether Michelle will return to D.C. from her Oregon vacation to travel with Barack to their still another luxury vacation on Martha’s Vineyard -OR- will our entitlement girl simply fly direct from Oregon to her next vacation spot with her entire entourage on board the commandeered USAF 737? The in-your-face arrogance of our affirmative-action WH couple is astounding. Apparently, with the Obama Administration’s in-house polling indicating a landslide defeat for our clueless Marxist experiment, the Obama’s have decided to ignore public opinion; and, to milk their remaining time in the WH for every possible perk. With 14 million Americans out of work, and climbing, why in the world would anyone want to interrupt the Obama’s endless vacation spree? Be prepared for an explosion of WH galas with the $100/lb Kobe beef, Lobster Thermadore, and extravagant Hollywood reviews as the standard fare. The only question remaining is: ‘Will Federal Marshalls be required to drag Barack and Michelle from their entitlement Hooch in January, 2013?’ Remember, Barack says he can control the ocean’s tidal flows! Greg Neubeck

gina August 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

we are broke and they need to start acting like it or she can spend her own freaking money.

nobama August 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Her husband has her beat!