As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Michelle is Not on Vacation in Africa

It’s true, she’s taken her mother and niece along for the ride, as well has her own two children. She spent last night in a comfortable hotel in Dakar. But unlike her recent stop in the Republic of Ireland, which was an obscene adventure in tourism at taxpayer expense, First Lady Michelle Obama is not on vacation this week in Africa.

Whether the trip to Africa as a whole was worth it – up to $100 million – is a matter for debate. But Michelle is not misusing her time there.

Michelle in Senegal today

Rather, she has a fairly busy schedule of substantive and symbolic events, and while she’ll get in her share of sightseeing, the spots she’ll appear at are historically and culturally significant and appropriate venues for the visiting dignitaries from the United States to hit. She’ll be playing the role a first lady is supposed to play on these trips – participating in the diplomatic effort by engaging in meetings with her counterparts and promoting the United States and its values to the locals.

Michelle’s day today in Senegal was consistent with a visit by a first lady of the United States, as opposed to someone looking to get in some vacation time. She had tea with the first lady of Senegal and then traveled with her to a school named for Martin Luther King, where she touted the importance of education on a continent where too few girls get enough of one.

She then traveled to Goree Island with President Obama, the last stop for many Africans on their way to slavery in the United States.

The rest of Michelle’s trip promises more of the same.

After flying to South Africa Friday, Mrs. Obama on Saturday will meet with the first lady of South Africa and then deliver remarks and participate in a discussion the young people that will be broadcast throughout the continent. Later, she’ll have a formal dinner with President Obama and South African President Zuma and his wife.

On Sunday, Michelle will travel her husband to Cape Town and visit Robben Island, the site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment.

On Monday in Tanzania, Mrs. Obama will meet with the first lady of that nation and visit the memorial to the bombing of the embassy there by al Qaeda. She will also attend a performance by a troupe of underprivileged boys and girls, followed by a formal dinner hosted for her and President Obama the President of Tanzania.

On Tuesday, she will participate in the African First Ladies Summit, which is being staged by none of than the George W. Bush Institute. Bush was ironically far more focused on Africa than the current president, whose father hails from the continent, and Bush has maintained his commitment to improving conditions there during his years as an ex-president.

The theme of the summit will be, “Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa,” with discussions of ways to promote women’s education, health and economic empowerment.

No doubt Michelle will have many enjoyable moments. But she’s in African as first lady, not as a tourist.

47 Responses to Michelle is Not on Vacation in Africa

    • oops I see Keith already covered that

      “Whether the trip to Africa as a whole was worth it – up to $100 million – is a matter for debate.”

    • You don’t expect the “first lady” to travel without a couple of dozen ladies in waiting to do her hair, nails, massage, taste her food, clean her skanky feet, do you?

      It isn’t cheap to fill Air Force One with dozens of faux relatives and friends who are eating and drinking high on the hog.

  1. The only reason Michelle Obama is doing anything semi First Ladyish is because she is in Africa and the African American base is the most important base to Obama.

    I’d wager a good bit that on any other continent or in any other country Mrs. Obama would not be doing any of this. Ireland.

  2. Just where does First Granny, First Daughters, and First Cousin fit into this diplomatic mission? That’s right, it’s a fabulous vacation that they wouldn’t get on their own dime, and we’re paying for it.

    MrsObama isn’t promoting anything but herself. Whenever she speaks to the captive audiences, the topic is how her life should be a shining example to the impoverished Africans. As clueless as she is about the average American life, we can double that for her lack of knowlege about the everyday life of those who live under Sharia laws in a land so poor that most survive on less than $2 a day.

    The big question to be answered is was this trip necessary at all? There are people hungry here in the US, millions can’t find a job, and our economy is about to be destroyed by Obamacare.
    The $100million that will be wasted by this President and his extended family could be better used right here in the US.
    So, no. This trip wasn’t necessary.

  3. How inspiring to see the FLINO act as First Lady.
    Even if she/they do everything correctly for the REAL Africans, what he/they have done to/at the Americans who define themselves as Africans, is so terrible. Apparently EVERYONE deserves better than what the o’s have handed the AfAms during this administration.
    Everything this administration has done is totally negative: overlooking societal aggression, refusing to prosecute blatant voting aggression at the polls, and casting a benign/approving eye on the travesties/betrayals of justice as seen in the case of Trayvon Martin. And watching as the AfAm jobs/employment tank.
    It seems as if there is no way to get the attention of this “gentry” to the plight of the people they supposedly came from?

  4. She then traveled to Goree Island with President Obama, the last stop for many Africans on their way to slavery in the United States.

    As a descendant of American slaves, this must have been an awkward moment for Michelle knowing that it was her husband’s ancestors who sold them.

  5. Scandals galore: NSA, IRS, Benghazi, AP and Fox News spying,Fast and Furious, Billions wasted on Green Energy boondoggle. The Middle East in turmoil: riots in Egypt, Syria use of chemical weapon, negotiations with Taliban breaking down. The economy continues to tank with high unemployment, more people on welfare and Obamacare becoming more and more unpopular. So what does Obama do. Tell the Nation on Tuesday he is going to shut down the coal industry which provides 40% of America’s power and destroy thousands of jobs and maybe approve the Keystone XL Pipeline if it is Carbon Neutral because he is fearful of the bogeyman Climate Change might destroy the earth. The next day he flies of to Africa on a 100 million dollar vacation on aircraft powered by carbon spewing jet fuel. What a guy.

    • I noticed from all the photos I saw that the President looks happy too. This morning he was all aglow seeing a sea of black faces at attention as he walked to AF1. He gets respect and adoration in Africa, something he has not gotten anywhere else in the world, including here at home.

      And before I read Keith’s article, I saw photos of Michelle and the girls and thought, wow, someone had a long talk with them about their demeanor and appearance. I think she did herself proud on this “vacation.”

  6. Well as Bill Hemmer says when he finds a story less than remotely believable ‘going to have to throw the hooey card on that’. First Lady
    please you have to be a lady for that and she’s monumentally unqualified
    for even that..hooey!

  7. The question is, does all this “experience” in international relations qualify her to be the next president? That and a 66% favorability rating, of course.

    I’m just sayin’… There are those who believe the First Family is not going to ride peacefully into the sunset in 2016, but will find a way to stay put in the White House… for at least another 8 years, if not longer.

  8. Poor queenie, working so hard.
    How does she ever find the energy with her sparse diet and little to no help from her miniscule staff?

  9. I’m not a huge fan of any of the particulars here: price, extra relatives, or the Obamas in general.

    But a stopped clock is right twice a day, and even blind squirrels can find nuts.

    If Mrs. Obama is indeed doing what’s traditionally expected of First Ladies, we have to give credit where it’s due.

    Thank you for being evenhanded here, Keith.

  10. If so, good for her. Other trips may have merited criticism, but praise needs to be in the mix when deserved, and her schedule looks very much like the schedules of First Ladies who have gone before her.

  11. Strange… I must have missed something. This week she calls herself
    the first lady of the US. Only last week she called Ireland “home” to
    the outrage of many Irish! Any port in a storm, I guess.

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