Martha's Vineyard - Massachusetts (Photo credit: Dougtone)
We hear a lot of attacks on the rich these days–they are accused of not paying their fair share of taxes, of being uncaring, and of just generally being bad people. It’s just awful that we have to live with them. However, I would like to point out a few things about the rich men who recently held the office of American President. When George Bush was President, he gave up golf while our soldiers were overseas fighting–he just felt that it was not appropriate for him to be on the golf course when soldiers were dying overseas. When George Bush went on vacation, he went to his ranch in Texas or his father’s house in Maine. What happens when we elect a President who grew up in the Middle Class? When President Clinton and President Obama were in office, the taxpayers paid for extravagant vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. During the Obama Presidency, taxpayers have financed expensive Hawaiian vacations, vacations in Spain for the first lady, ski vacations for the first lady, and now spring break in Mexico for Malia. Nevermind that Americans are still struggling financially and can’t afford vacations–off they go!
It does seem that the Obama Administration is becoming aware that this is a public relations problem.
Big Government reports:
An AFP story, linked at the Huffington Post and elsewhere, reported on Malia Obama’s visit to Mexico despite a Texas public safety warning, she’s reportedly accompanied by 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The Huffington Post story link now directs to the main page and the AFP item is fast disappearing from view.
The Yahoo News link now diverts to a completely different story, in contrast to the url: http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-daughter-spends-springbreak-mexico-145031176.html. The headline now reads: Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail.
The story was also reported in the International Business Times, but is no longer there. Aside from the cost of the trip, the fact that the warning was ignored is troubling. Malia is thirteen years old. I realize that 25 Secret Service agents provide serious security, but there is no insurance against being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a parent, I know that even if they were traveling in a tank with an armed platoon as an escort, I would not allow any of my daughters to ignore a travel advisory.
It’s a shame that the President and his family believe that travel advisories and economic restraint in choosing vacations simply don’t apply to them.
A website called media bistro is reporting the following:
Politico reports several websites have scrubbed stories about the trip from their websites after being asked to do so. A White House spokesperson says:
From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.
This is ridiculous. The taxpayers are paying for the vacation and the secret service protection. There is a vital interest–the President is sending his daughter to a place with a travel advisory and possibly putting members of the secret service at unnecessary risk in the process. If the President’s daughter had chosen to go to Florida or any place but Mexico, the story would not have been news.