May 20, 2022

Michelle Obama’s Impersonation of Marie Antoinette Should Be Applauded

The President’s wife has been taking a severe beating in the press after taking a luxurious vacation to Costa del Sol.  The New York Daily News demonized Mrs. Obama, portraying her as a “modern-day Marie Antoinette”, spending extravagantly as the US sinks into an economic abyss.

Sacrifice is something that many Americans are becoming all too familiar with during this economic downturn. It was a key theme in President Obama’s inaugural address to the nation, and he’s referenced it numerous times when lecturing the country on how to get back on its feet.

But while most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing  summer sojourns – or forgoing them altogether – the Obamas don’t seem to be heeding their own advice. While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her “closest friends.”

Reports are calling the lodgings of  Obama’s Spanish fiesta, the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella, “luxurious,” “posh” and “a millionaires’ playground.” Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500. Method of transportation? Air Force Two.
Perhaps it could be that the Obamas, who seem to fancy themselves more along the lines of international celebrities than actual leaders, espouse a different view of sacrifice.The Obama modus operandi is becoming clear. From lavish trips to Spain to reportedly flying Bo, the President’s Portuguese water dog, on a separate aircraft to vacation with them in Maine, to a date night in New York City that perhaps cost nearly $100,000, their idea of austerity is really just the lap of luxury, at least for ordinary folks.

Incredibly, the Obamas have long portrayed themselves as precisely such commoners.
Instead, Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette – the French queen who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects’ plight – than an average mother of two. While she’s spent her time in the White House telling parents they should relieve their chubby kids’ dependency on sugar and stressing the importance of an organic veggie garden, hopping a jet to Europe to meet with Spanish royalty isn’t the visual the White House probably wants to project. Perhaps they’ve forgotten the damning image of John Kerry, on the eve of the 2004 election, windsurfing off the coast of Nantucket?

It’s the extravagance of Michelle Obama’s trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama’s demonization of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy and perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders. Toning down the flash would humanize the Obamas and signify that they sympathize with the setbacks of the people they were elected to serve.

In January, President Obama insisted that “everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good. Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.”

If sacrifice is the precursor to change, what will the family that ran on change offer up? Elitist doublespeak won’t cut it.

Mrs. Obama’s trip was obviously not a public relations coup for the White House but one must admire the refreshing honesty exhibited by her flamboyance.  The trip was a blatant admission by the Obamas of the obvious fact that they are better than us, richer than us and certainly more powerful than us.   All people are not equal regardless of what the politicians tell us in their wonderful speeches.

Michelle Obama was probably incredulous at the venomous press reaction to her trip – after all, this is how she lives every day of her life.   The President and his wife are routinely surrounded by an army of servants 24/7 to attend to every conceivable need.   The imperial life style of a President is not routinely reported in the press – maybe it should be.

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