What do you get for the first lady who has everything?
Try a few more days in sun-kissed Hawaii for Michelle Obama while her husband and two daughters return to Washington – so she and her Praetorian guard of Secret Service agents and assorted hangers-on can stay on the islands at no small expense to the taxpayers.
The New York Times is reporting the first lady is staying put “for several days to spend time with friends in advance of her upcoming 50th birthday” – and staying away from the hustle and bustle of her onerous White House duties.
The few extra days, The Times reported, “are part of the president’s birthday gift to his wife, who turns 50 on Jan. 17.”
A couple of things worth mentioning.
First, the first lady isn’t a cheap date. The cost of the extra few days isn’t known yet, but when she traveled to the islands ahead of the president in 2011, the White House Dossier website estimated the separate travel would cost about $100,000, including about $60,000 for a separate Air Force jet to carry her ladyship.
Assuming a separate trip back to the states cost roughly the same and we’re looking at the equivalent of a yearly salary for, say, an elementary school principal just to get Michelle into the air and back on the ground again.
Then, throw in staffing salaries, and we’re getting into the six-figure range (to put that in terms Democrats understand, that’s about the annual salaries of two public-school teachers in Kentucky — or one no-show public-employee union job in Detroit before it went bankrupt.)
It’s the kind of perfect analogy for Democrats’ idea of government that The Obamaphile Times wouldn’t think of: Barack Obama generously “gives” Michelle the gift of a few days away from him in Hawaii, virtually all of it paid for at taxpayers’ expense – taxpayers of a country, remember, that the first lady once called “downright mean.”
So this year, a little Hawaiian R&R is what you got for a first lady who has everything – everything but class.