Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Michelle Obama: Clearly a Political Liability

The mainstream press still treat Michelle Obama as a kind, generous sweetheart, despite the fact that she has presented herself to the public as just as out-of-touch, spend-happy and anti-American as her husband. In fact, Michelle Obama's queenly attitude toward telling Americans what to do (while callousing wasting their money on trips, parties and glamorous fundraisers) has gone so far that even the liberal press cannot protect her reputation.

Here's Nile Gardiner in the U. K.'s Telegraph:

Although ignored by most of America’s liberal-dominated media, several online US news sites are reporting that Michelle Obama’s grand tour of southern Africa earlier this year cost American taxpayers nearly half a million dollars – and that's just for the flights. This follows in the wake of claims this August from sources inside the White House itself that the First Lady may have spent “$10 million of taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.” Without all the figures available, it is impossible to establish the total cost to the public purse of Michelle Obama’s 42 days of holiday during that period, which included her trip to Spain last year (though not the Obamas' recent sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard)...

The First Lady’s supporters will argue that her African tour advanced relations between the United States and South Africa and Botswana, even though it also included an safari in Kruger National Park near Johannesburg. I suspect most Americans, however, will view this trip as a waste of public funds at a time when the US is running a massive budget deficit and faces a national debt of more than $14 trillion. In an age of austerity, even the First Lady should be expected to make sacrifices, not least when she is spending other people’s money...

80 per cent of US voters still think the country is in a recession, according to Gallup, and the First Lady’s lavish spending will surely go down badly in a nation that has taken a real hit economically under President Obama’s failed policies. It is hard to think of a presidency more out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans than the current one, and Mrs Obama’s actions will only serve to reinforce that impression. Could Michelle Obama prove a liability for the president as he seeks re-election in 2012? Based on this evidence, the answer is definitely yes.