First Lady Michelle Obama will host four fundraisers today and tomorrow along with an event with service members that could ensure taxpayers pick up a significant amount of her travel costs.
Michelle’s first fundraiser is today in Washington. Tuesday she travels to Nashville for a single money event and then on to Pittsburgh for two more. But included in her excursion to collect cash is an small event in Pittsburgh that is part of her “Joining Forces” initiative to aid veterans and military families.
By throwing in what appears to be an “official” first lady event, the White House may be ensuring that many of the costs of the trip will be paid for by taxpayers instead of the Obama campaign. This event appears particularly skimpy, amounting to little more than a “greeting” by local service members and their families.
Michelle’s “Joining Forces” campaign not only assists military families, but it has helped remake the image of a first lady who famously remarked as her husband’s campaign picked up steam in early 2008 that “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.”
What’s also clear is that by having official roles such as Joining Forces and her “Let’s Move” kids’ health campaign, the White House will be able to include official events on her schedule that end up defraying the cost to the campaign, as it does when President Obama travels to raise money.
The tactic was also used extensively by George W. Bush during his 2004 reelection campaign.
The first lady’s office did not respond to a request for clarification of the nature of the event with service members.