Leave Michelle Obama alone!

First thought: Give the lady a break. She deserves a vacation. Who cares that she missed her husband’s birthday? We’re not children, and sometimes the greatest gift is solitude. Here, Mr. President, you get to enjoy your own space for a few days. Happy birthday. Of such are lasting marriages made.

Second thought, related to complaints that she spent taxpayer money on an indulgent vacation, staying in a five-star hotel in Spain and flying on a military jet with a security detail that some might consider extravagant in these lean economic times. The fact is, Michelle Obama doesn’t have a say in how she is transported from Point A to Point B. All first ladies are flown with significant security on a jet subsidized by the taxpayers. What is the alternative? Would we really prefer that the president’s spouse never travel or that she be exposed to kidnapping or other attack?…

On balance, the vacation was poorly conceived but hardly a crime befitting the condemnation. Perhaps of more lasting concern is the missed opportunity for the first lady to set an example of restraint and even generosity. I hear the Gulf Coast beaches could use a cash infusion.