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By lizbethie - Posted on 09 August 2010
1. Some of the "information" about the trip is just plain false. See links.
2. Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush took similar trips with their daughters. They included some more formal "business" in those trips, so they were not scrutinized so much but it still cost the tax payers for security and staffing as is this case. So Michelle would have been wise to put some more formal "business items" on her agenda, even though she is paying for it as if it is a private trip (she has no choice on security requirements.)
3. How long did it take Rush Limbaugh to insert a racist component?
4. To answer your question: this is a story for conservatives and those who don't care for Michelle (or the president.) This is a non-story for most others. If this was President McCain (sorry for any discomfort as you imagine that) and we were talking about his wife taking a similar trip with her daughter: this would be a story for Democrats and those who did not care for Mrs. McCain and a non-story for most others. In other words, it's typical politics.
5. The First Lady has been sincere and well-liked throughout President Obama's term and I doubt this will have a major impact on her popularity, especially if they clear up some myths and outright lies. She will handle this "controversy" with grace as she always does.
6. Bottom line. The "powers that be" should have anticipated the potential "issues" and been more pro-active from the start.
Just some fact checks from Media Matters and the inside scoop from Lynn Sweet (Chicago Tribune)
...But the reason Mrs. Obama made the trip -- and other facts, not
rumors about the travel -- are important in knowing the whole story and
understanding why she made the call to go.
First, some numbers. Mrs. Obama did not travel with 40 friends, a number used by some news outlets.
She vacationed with two women, one of them a longtime Chicago pal,
Anita Blanchard, who is the obstetrician who delivered Sasha and Malia.
Blanchard is married to Marty Nesbitt -- President Obama's buddy and
the treasurer of Obama's presidential campaign fund.
There was one other woman. Total: four daughters among the three
women. They paid for their hotel rooms and other personal and travel
The trip involved six White House advance staffers and two East Wing
staffers, deputy Chief of Staff Melissa Winter and Mrs. Obama's
personal assistant, Kristen Jarvis, according to Mrs. Obama's
spokeswoman Catherine McCormick Lelyveld.
Mrs. Obama does travel with significant security -- and in a trip
like this, three shifts of uniformed and plain-clothes agents and
military personnel flew with her on a big Air Force 757. No matter
where she goes -- domestic or international -- any first lady gets
protection and she does not decide how many agents are needed.
So why did Mrs. Obama go to Spain at this time? She's not tone-deaf
politically. What was behind the "mother-daughter" vacation?
A White House source told me that Blanchard's father passed away and
Mrs. Obama was not able to make the funeral at the beginning of July.
Blanchard had promised her daughter she would take her to Spain for her
birthday. She asked Mrs. Obama and Sasha to come with. (Malia is at
"She felt it was important as a dear friend to do this," I was told.
How did they end up at the five star Villa Padierna, part of the
Ritz-Carlton chain? Because of security concerns, there were just some
places they could not go. Agents were able to secure Villa Padierna and
the nearby beach area.
Totally not true, though reported by some big-league outlets: Mrs.
Obama did not attend a charity ball at their hotel hosted by Antonio
Banderas and Eva Longoria on Saturday night. Mrs. Obama went out to
dinner with her pals.
I would be far more outraged at this if it were not for the fact that
a) democrats and symathetic journalsits went ape sh*t when Nancy Reagan purchased very expensive china as part of the 1980 election inauguration ceremonies. "How can she make a purchase like this when Americans are suffering under double digit inflation and strugging to make ends meet and yada yada yada bla bla bla." Petty then, petty now.
b) This is a totally legitimate political tactic from the RW' press' point of view (leave aside any racist stuff). Michelle Obama is openly being courted to campaign for Democratic candidates for the fall midterms. Her positive ratings are in the 60%s, Pres' in the 40s. Getting her negatives up and her approvals down prior to the Labor Day sprint to the polls is a totally legit political move. I resent the MSM covering it as a question of her possible insensitivity rather than a straightforward partisan attempt to weaken her as a surrogate campaigner. But the MSM has sold out to the Right long ago.Her "sensitivity" is no story, but right wing efforts to damage her politically totally is.
Oh, let me just say, Rush Limbaugh is a worm.
I too saw it. I was asked a few months back by a family member if there was any truth to it? After some digging, I found it wasn't true as well. I found it interesting that as you look into religious symbols on memorials, you can't help but realize that there are muslim crescents on some of those stones as well. Interesting thing is though, I haven't seen any emails making mention of the fact that Muslims have died for this country along with Christians as well as other religions and atheist for that matter.
It is a desperate time of religous and ethnic intolerance in this country.
"Peace Cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
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