Last year, over Presidents’ Day weekend, Michelle Obama jetted across the country to take her daughters for three days of skiing in Vail, Colorado.
There was plenty of snow in the beautiful Virginia mountains outside of DC, but Michelle opted for the delicate, powdery stuff on the slopes of Rockies, along with the luxurious accommodations and sophisticated haute cuisine that only a place like Vail can offer. She stayed at an inn where the rooms started at $605 a night. She hit the best restaurant on the hill, feasting on buffalo ribs.
But this is an election year, and the Obamas are running against the one percent. It hardly makes political sense for Michelle to be wasting taxpayers’ money on swank vacations – yes, you picked up the airfare for the Boeing C-32 military jet she used to get out to Vail, the costs of the security detail, etc. – and hobnobbing with the rich while the 99 percent tries to make their heating bills.
On the other hand . . .
Political considerations and optics have hardly slowed Mrs. Obama down before. Just this past December, she flew out to Hawaii without President Obama – who was left at home to deal with Congress – at extra expense to taxpayers so that she wouldn’t miss a day of sun. The president eventually followed once he’d wrapped up work.
Then there was, of course, the legendary jet set jaunt to Spain in the summer of 2010, which was all vaca except for a lunch with King Juan Carlos thrown in on her last day to offer at least a trivial veneer of official business. A year later she got a little smarter, enduring a few more official first lady events during a trip to southern Africa, on which she nevertheless brought her mother and her brother’s kids and bounded out on an expensive safari.
And let’s not forget making up for missed opportunities. Obama family mini-vacations in 2011 to Williamsburg, Va. and to Montana were each nixed because the president had to work.
They made it to Martha’s Vineyard in August, thank goodness.
I am sure the last thing a campaign waging class warfare wants to see is Michelle hobnobbing with the enemy. But if the first lady wants it, and Valerie Jarrett agrees, a ski trip out West will be hard for relative peons like White House political guru David Plouffe and Obama 2012 Campaign Manager Jim Messina to stop.