In what must be the climax of her whirlwind taxpayer-funded tour of Dublin and its environs, First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are having lunch today with Irish rock superstar Bono, according to press reports out of Ireland.
The special luncheon follows a private guided tour Michelle and the girls took this morning of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. They were shown ancient ruins, beautiful landscapes and the legendary Deer Stone. “This gives great power,” Michelle remarked of the rock.
But that’s nothing compared to the power of Bono, the rocker with the self-acknowledged “Messiah complex” who is meeting Michelle and her daughters for lunch in the village of Dalkey, where he lives.
While breaking soda bread with Bono is sublime, the rest of their Dublin sojourn has been thrilling as well.
Dinner Monday night was at Dublin’s Matt the Thresher restaurant, which serves up traditional Irish fare. Michelle was treated earlier Monday to a special performance by the Riverdance troupe and a private tour of the Trinity College library, where she and the girls were permitted to view research on President Obama’s Irish roots.
Michelle slept Monday night in the famous Princess Grace suite of the posh Shelbourne hotel in Dublin, the tab for which is $3,300 a night.
Michelle’s special visit to Dublin – departing from the itinerary of her husband, who is in Northern Ireland at the G-8 Summit – has had all the trappings of a vacation and has come at significant cost.
It appears Air Force two was specially dispatched to Ireland to ferry her around, at a price of more than $10,000 an hour to fly. Irish newspapers have described a massive security operation designed to protect her on the ground in Dublin.
“No expense is being spared when it comes to this sort of visit,” a “senior source” in Ireland told the Herald.
Michelle will rejoin her husband this evening. The next stop on the Europe trip is Berlin, where they Obamas will spend Tuesday night together again.