President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are being criticized for their excessive vacationing at the expense of taxpayers like you and I. First Lady Michelle Obama’s ski trip to Aspen for the Presidents’ Day holiday marks 16 vacations. I wouldn’t really care had it not been for the tough economic climate we are experiencing and the financial strain most people are living under today. It comes across as elitist and disingenuous.
Let’s not forget that former president George W. Bush also took a lot of vacation. More than President Obama. Presidential watcher Mark Knoller of CBS, said George W. Bush, at this time of his presidency, had made 30 visits to his Crawford, Texas ranch spanning all or part of 220 days. Obama’s vacation count is much less than that. So, why the double standard? The negative image these vacations cast and the economic struggles most Americans are living under. Yes, it sends a bad message and plays to the Obamas being “elitist.”
Let’s be mindful of a recent Harris poll that found only three in 10 said they plan to take a vacation lasting longer than a week in the next six months, and that number has been dropping during the recession as people worry about the costs of vacations.
The Obama Vacation List:
— President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
— Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
— Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
— June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
— President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
— Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
— August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
— August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
— August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
— August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard.
— July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine.
— May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago.
— March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City.
— Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break.
— August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation.
— August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.