Video: First Lady’s trip to Spain “tone deaf”?

posted at 10:12 am on August 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, who wouldn’t want a quarter-million-dollar, taxpayer-paid Spanish vacation? Some people just feel compelled to rain on parades, however, and the First Lady’s extravagant Spanish holiday provides a pretty big target. It’s no surprise to see a Republican strategist blast the Obamas for playing Marie Antoinette by spending almost $250,000 on a vacation outside of the US, but it’s not just Republicans scratching their heads at the “tone deaf” nature of such a high-profile outing during economic stagnation. Geraldo Rivera takes a few jabs, and so does Kirsten Powers on Fox, via Mediaite:

“Most Americans are just not going to relate to going to Spain with however many friends she has with her… staying at this exclusive hotel, spending all this money, and it is extremely tone-deaf. Politically, it is absolutely tone-deaf. I can’t even believe that she has done it, frankly. It is not what people do in their first term.”

The best throwaway line comes from Rivera, who responded to Noelle Nikpour’s blast about the First Lady leaving her husband alone on his birthday by soothing her, “Oh, he was playing golf, don’t feel sorry for him.” Nikpour makes a better point about the choice of destinations for the Obamas. Instead of spending all of that money outside of the US, why not spend it here? Mrs. Obama had just publicly urged Americans to spend their vacation money in the Gulf region three weeks before leaving for Spain. That’s the difference between going to Spain and spending time in Crawford — as well as doing the former on the taxpayer dime while the deficit soars over $1.4 trillion and unemployment continues to drag out over 2010.

Powers extended her remarks in a New York Post column this morning:

Some argue that Michelle should be able to travel wherever she wants if she’s paying for it herself. This is naive. She is the first lady at a time when Americans are experiencing great economic pain. There are endless great locations here at home that she could put on the map with a visit — American hotels and restaurants that would be grateful for the business generated by such a high-profile visitor.

If it’s a huge sacrifice for her, so be it. Sacrifice is actually a noble trait, last I checked.

Plus, if she keeps this up, she will be able to vacation anywhere she wants in about two years.

The end of the world? Obviously not. Tone deaf? Absolutely. And it’s telling that this tone-deaf, Marie Antoinette moment comes from the administration that continues to play class warfare to expand government control over the most private aspects of American lives.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Remember this photo? This is what Michelle Obama wore to a meeting with the parents of Medal of Honor recipient SFC Jared C. Monti (1975-2006).

Don’t just note the dress-shoe combo, look at the facial expression.

Look at her eyes.

Look and determine what Michelle Obama and her husband think about America and those who defend her.

baldilocks on August 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 1:18 PM

That’s it! Thanks. I knew there was something else.

INC on August 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

baldilocks on August 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Hey, baldi, long time, no see!

You’re right. She is grim. I have seen more photos of her with a scowl on her face than any other FLOTUS I remember–and that’s with a compliant and cheering press.

(I hadn’t seen that photo before–aquamarine shoes with a black and red dress!!!)

INC on August 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Look and determine what Michelle Obama and her husband think about America and those who defend her.

baldilocks on August 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I guess it’s hard to live your life when all you have to do is live large and suckle from the government teat that is paid for by the blood of some poor schmuck that you have to ugly up in a dress and go commemorate. Awwww, the priorities.

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Some people just feel compelled to rain on parades

Only if the Spanish parade is on the plain. Mainly.

itsnotaboutme on August 9, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Where did Geraldo get the 1 billion dollar figure the first lady brought to Spanish tourism? Are they setting a shrine to her or something?

sharrukin on August 9, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Interesting – the Sun in the UK (a tabloid) initially reported on July 26 that all the Obamas were going on the trip, and that Barry was going to make official visits to the King and Queen and to Zapatero, the PM.

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Good find. In re your earlier skepticism that the newest WH cover story explaining this was actually a trip to console her bereaved friend Anita Blanchard because FLOTUS was unable to make Blanchard’s father’s funeral in the first week of July (accd’g to Lynn Sweet today), a Lynn Sweet column from last week actually told us what unpostponeable activity Michelle was engaged in that first week which might have precluded her from attending her devastated best friend’s father’s funeral. You guessed it: another spendthrift vacay of apparently vital national importance.

The summer started with a Memorial Day weekend trip to Chicago; the family went to the Camp David presidential retreat before July 4; they weekended in Maine, sightseeing in Acadia National Park, departing on July 16 and returning Sunday afternoon July 18. Mrs. Obama took her daughters and her mom, Marian Robinson, to Los Angeles in June. In March, over spring break, Mrs. Obama with her daughters, mom and some pals hit New York for a round of Broadway shows.

[Hat tip to this from an Ace reader named Warden, although he didn't cite the source so I had to track it down. So maybe I owe just half a hat tip, then. ;-)]

And don’t miss the ROFL-er list of the “Top Ten Activities To Honor Friend’s Departed Father At Michelle Obama’s Five-Star Funeral Jam” at that Ace link I just gave also. Just a sampling to get everybody to click over there for the rest:

10. Barbecued shrimp slightly al dente out of respect for the dead

9. When snorkeling, bereavers hold their heads upside-down so brilliantly-colored coral fish appear to be wearing sad face frowns instead of happy face smiles

LOL!!!!!!!!!

leilani on August 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM

leilani on August 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Wait, so if I’m reading you right, you’re saying Michelle couldn’t attend her friend’s father’s funeral because Michelle was away on vacation?

That is hilarious. These people are PR geniuses. Geniuses, I tell you!

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 2:05 PM

That’s it! Thanks. I knew there was something else.

INC on August 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM

No problem. There may even have been another one I’m not remembering.

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 2:05 PM
Can you work your sleuthing magic to find the date of the funeral in the obits?

txmomof6 on August 9, 2010 at 2:12 PM

@Missy. Yep. Our best & brightest in action, alright. Betcha they’d never have learned how to come up with a revised cover story that brilliant that at the U of Idaho.

leilani on August 9, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Perino’s a classy dame but wrong on this one.

Maureen Dowd and Kirstin Powers, despicable as they are on most all else, got it right. csdeven nailed it.

Laura Bush, nor her husband, lectured on “sacrificing”.

On Michelle O. – this PR fiasco coudn’t have happened to a nicer ‘queen’. Can take the queen out of the slum, but never the slum out of the queen.

Righties wake up – you contributed to her a 65% ‘approval’ rating, until now. Fortunately for her camp she’s still muzzled. Wait until she speaks, again.

Callers to radio stations defend her “because she can’t vacation in the U.S. because tea partiers will threaten her”. They haven’t heard the “death of friend’s relative” meme, yet. Heh, will they now cancel their Martha’s Vineyard vacation because of the tea partiers? Let them vacation. The nation has long since taken notice.

Sensible and classy bunch! The timing was ‘perfect’ – Friday’s misery index, jobs, etc…the tramp is in Spain…Penny for her thoughts when the king kissed her hand.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Wait, so if I’m reading you right, you’re saying Michelle couldn’t attend her friend’s father’s funeral because Michelle was away on vacation?

That is hilarious. These people are PR geniuses. Geniuses, I tell you!

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 2:05 PM

If Gibbs wouldn’t be such a moron…let him. I hope he stays there for two more years. He is a ‘god-sent’.

The death meme is making the already bad story worse!

Plus, if she keeps this up, she will be able to vacation anywhere she wants in about two years.

From your pen to reality, KP!

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2010 at 2:42 PM

They are NOT SMART!

They ARE COUSIN EDDIE!

Grifters and loafers, classless low-lifes who have always been spoon fed others money.

Pinnochio never has WON an outright election he has rather ALWAYS disqualified his opponents with the help of the press and liberal judges!

The Press needs to take a severe beating including some of the above mentioned at FOX.

How anyone can even watch OReally or Whorealdo is beyond me.

Two of the most arrogant despicable loud mouths of all time.

OReally creeps mee out always havin the good lookin women of FOX on and always talkin down to them. Couldn’t get any others on.
Hes’ the guy in school who could never get the girl, the squirrel that was so busy braggin on himself he couldn’t hear anyone else or realize his boxers were hangin out the bottom of his shorts!

dhunter on August 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Another thumbs up for the Three Dog Night reference…

crazywater on August 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM

You’re right. She is grim. I have seen more photos of her with a scowl on her face than any other FLOTUS I remember–and that’s with a compliant and cheering press.

(I hadn’t seen that photo before–aquamarine shoes with a black and red dress!!!)

INC on August 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Good to see you too! I’ve been busy. :)

To me, the look on Michelle’s face in that photo appears to be a combination of boredom and irritation. I think that she resented having to be nice to those bitter clingers just because their son died defending the America she hates.

That get-up was a protest flag.

baldilocks on August 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Latest spin I heard this AM from the buffoon Beckel -”first you Republicans call her a Marxist, now she’s Marie Antoinette; which is it?”

I see no contradiction there at all. In any country in history that has gone full socialist, there is a ruling class with special privileges and they become not unlike old-fashioned European royalty.

I see Bammie’s political handlers as accepting the hit they take on this as a tradeoff. It’s much better for them to have her in Spain than unhappy and bored in the White House where she probably grates on Bammie (and staff) and is in serious danger of causing a scandal with her big mouth.

slickwillie2001 on August 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Can you work your sleuthing magic to find the date of the funeral in the obits?

txmomof6 on August 9, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Yes, I will try…might take me awhile since I’m at work…

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 4:01 PM

“It is not what people do in their first term.”

Unless they aren’t getting a second one…

scotash on August 9, 2010 at 4:28 PM

There is a montage of photos from the Spain trip of her, she is scowling in most of them.. You’d a thunk she’d be exhilirated from being out of the states..

reshas1 on August 9, 2010 at 4:56 PM

At least Havana would not have been tone deaf.

AshleyTKing on August 9, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Latest spin I heard this AM from the buffoon Beckel -”first you Republicans call her a Marxist, now she’s Marie Antoinette; which is it?”I see no contradiction there at all. In any country in history that has gone full socialist, there is a ruling class with special privileges and they become not unlike old-fashioned European royalty.

slickwillie2001 on August 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

OMG, is that ever an ignorant remark or what? After the Russian revolution in 1917 when all private property was confiscated, the biggest & most luxurious dachas (country houses) formerly belonging to the prols were nationalized and redistributed to favored party apparatchiks & the privileged members of the ruling elit & their lucky families.

No communist or socialist government has ever rid a society of class distinctions. The ‘revolutionaries’-turned-government potentates merely expropriate others’ wealth through force & redistribute all the perks of those class distinctions to themselves & their families so that they can live like Princes of Industry without having to do anything to earn that lifestyle. Every daggum time. See: Mexico, Nicaragua et al.

Socialist & communist governing systems are like flypaper for corrupt bureaucrats & officials. Heck, massive rewards for the most corrupt members of the ruling class are inextricably inherent to those systems, which is E X A C T L Y why Comrades Barack & ‘Chelle feel entitled to live it up on everybody else’s dime.

leilani on August 9, 2010 at 5:09 PM

She is every bit as corrupt as he is. She is the daughter of a Chicago politician………enough said.

The single thing that “useful idiots” forever fail to understand is that the laws (rules) that are imposed upon them do not apply to their leaders.

lilium on August 9, 2010 at 5:09 PM

faraway on August 9, 2010 at 10:50 AM
She might be fundraising for the mosque at Ground Zero.

a capella on August 9, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Or more campaign funds…

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2010 at 5:55 PM

They are entitled to take this European vacation; after all, “they won….”

DL13 on August 9, 2010 at 6:15 PM

If true, I wonder what changed? Birthday plans? Unlikely that it was the friend’s father’s death, at any rate, that spurred the trip.

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 12:08 PM

ObaMao headed to Chicago. Doesn’t it make you wonder if the trip had anything to do with the Blago trial?

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Give MO a break! She really wanted to go to Cholly Rangel’s beach getaway.

Given the cost of this Spain trip, note also that it only lasted four days. Imagine if it had been longer.

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2010 at 6:31 PM

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2010 at 6:23 PM

I don’t get why no one – like no one on either side has picked up on this –

This is from an article in elmundo – Spanish Newspaper that ALSO reported that Jesse Jackson Jr was also on the trip and stayed in a private home he rented.

It says, that it’s going to be a meeting between Michelle Obama and prince Salman bin Abdelaziz, governor of Riyadh and brother of the deceased Rey Fahd of Saudi Arabia; whereas there would be another meeting of the first lady with the owner of the Malaga CF, businessman multimillionaire, son of the Secretary of the Interior of Qatar and member of the real family qatarí, Abdullah Al Thani.

here is a link to the article in Spanish = you can use google to translate it

link to elmundo

So what was Mrs Private foookin citizen doing meeting with Arabs Sheiks and officials in Spain?? Hmmmmmmmm

No one will know because apparently no one will ask. Apparently the LSM doesnt read Spanish Papers whilst the First Lady is vacationing in Spain?

iam7545 on August 9, 2010 at 11:37 AM

iam already saw the connection on page 2. Jesse Jackson Jr was also in Spain at the same time as Michelle. Wonder if there was a midnight car ride and meeting? I wonder if anyone in the Illinois prosecutor’s office has read this article and what they think about it. Will Blago try to burn Jesse Jr with it?

journeyintothewhirlwind on August 9, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Interesting – the Sun in the UK (a tabloid) initially reported on July 26 that all the Obamas were going on the trip, and that Barry was going to make official visits to the King and Queen and to Zapatero, the PM.

Missy on August 9, 2010 at 12:08 PM
Good find. In re your earlier skepticism that the newest WH cover story explaining this was actually a trip to console her bereaved friend Anita Blanchard because FLOTUS was unable to make Blanchard’s father’s funeral in the first week of July (accd’g to Lynn Sweet today), a Lynn Sweet column from last week actually told us what unpostponeable activity Michelle was engaged in that first week which might have precluded her from attending her devastated best friend’s father’s funeral. You guessed it: another spendthrift vacay of apparently vital national importance.

The summer started with a Memorial Day weekend trip to Chicago; the family went to the Camp David presidential retreat before July 4; they weekended in Maine, sightseeing in Acadia National Park, departing on July 16 and returning Sunday afternoon July 18. Mrs. Obama took her daughters and her mom, Marian Robinson, to Los Angeles in June. In March, over spring break, Mrs. Obama with her daughters, mom and some pals hit New York for a round of Broadway shows.
[Hat tip to this from an Ace reader named Warden, although he didn't cite the source so I had to track it down. So maybe I owe just half a hat tip, then. ;-)]

leilani on August 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM

so, since she didn’t make Anita’s dad’s funeral because she was on vacaycay, she said come with us on vacaycay to Spain….? WTFO? this is enraging.

ted c on August 9, 2010 at 8:05 PM

All hail Lord Bam and Lady Boozle!

Scherzophrenic on August 9, 2010 at 8:37 PM

There is a montage of photos from the Spain trip of her, she is scowling in most of them.. You’d a thunk she’d be exhilirated from being out of the states..

reshas1 on August 9, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Did you notice all the wrinkles in her skirt? Check out the photos when MO is greeted by the King; the back of her skirt is all wrinkles. I wonder what Vogue will say? The liberal elites will explode!!

TN Mom on August 9, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Jay Leno: “So have you heard Michelle Obama’s come out with a new book? -Spain on $75,000 a day.”

slickwillie2001 on August 9, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Remember this photo? This is what Michelle Obama wore to a meeting with the parents of Medal of Honor recipient SFC Jared C. Monti (1975-2006).

Also note that his tie exactly matches the color scheme of her dress.

They planned to disrespect SFC Monti.

baldilocks on August 10, 2010 at 12:43 AM

frankly. It is not what people do in their first term.”

No, but they do it in their last term.

/We can hope. 2012, please be on our side, please send this horrid couple to an early retirement. Let them write books and give leftist lectures that no one will care about.

AZfederalist on August 10, 2010 at 12:56 AM

To say she can find time to jet across the atlantic but is unable to take time out of vacations to attend the friends funeral is a bit of a streatch to believeablity, especially with FOTUS and POTHUS so well known for their inablity to tell the truth about anything.

How about the real reason, and a good explination for the sour face.

THE OBAMA’S DID NOT GET INVITED TO THE CLINTON’S DAUGHTERS WEDDING!

The sudden and politically toxic vacation was a coverup for the lack of the invitation.

She is frowning. Even if her husband refuses to believe he is failing, she knows where it is heading and what is being said and she is not happy about the future. Perhaps that is why the loney quiet birthday for her husband. She doesn’t care how it looks or what the political cost is. She is going to get hers while she can before the big van pulls up and moves them back to Chicago.

Franklyn on August 10, 2010 at 4:59 AM

Saw this on a different website… Interesting:

Michelle Obama’s trip to Spain was not ‘Tone Deaf’,
it was Pitch-Perfect…

to the ‘Cordoba Initiative’.

They’ve made their goal clear – they seek, within the next 10 years, a world like that of Cordoba circa 1210 A.D. … an Islamic caliphate.

Fallon on August 10, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Tone deaf? That is the spin

I think the first family is well aware of the impressions they make

The Diss is in

entagor on August 10, 2010 at 11:32 AM

KP needs to become a conservative… she is way too smart and hot to keep trying to defend the Left.

mankai on August 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Mongrels just don’t know how to handle power/s

wepeople on August 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Rush is taking this to the mat right now. Called her MOOchelle as in mooch.

ted c on August 10, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Can anyone give me a comparable tone deaf f-up by G. W. Bush and family?

SC.Charlie on August 10, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Thanks a lot Obumble, you and your wife have killed the prospect of a black conservative president as dead as Jemmah killed the prospect of a southern conservative president.

Open The Door on August 11, 2010 at 5:32 AM

This was NOT tone deaf. It was an intentional slap in the face of the american people.

proconstitution on August 11, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3