Guest Post by Kristinn Taylor
Michelle Obama at an earlier vacation in Spain.
There have been no media reports on First Lady Michelle Obama’s extended Hawaii vacation since it was abruptly announced she was staying behind when her husband and daughters returned to Washington from the family’s annual Christmas vacation to the state where the president was raised as a teenager.
A Google News search shows only a handful of articles just after New Year’s Day based on local reports Obama was staying at the Maui estate of Oprah Winfrey. Those articles mentioned Maui locals upset by road closures near Winfrey’s estate. Since then there have been no reports of Obama dining out (which she loves to do), hitting the beach or being seen in public at all.
The only reporter to break the news blackout of late is Keith Koffler, who reported that according to a White House schedule, she is expected to headline a White House event this Wednesday, thus ending her nearly four week vacation.
The Obama administration has a history of bullying the press to keep them from reporting on the Obama family’s luxury vacations at taxpayer expense. Once again it appears the media has acquiesced. Not even the paparazzi have dared take pictures of Obama on her extended vacation.
Koffler reported it is estimated Obama’s separate return travel and Secret Service retinue will cost an additional $200,000 on top of the estimated $4 million cost of the family’s Christmas vacation.
The First Lady turns 50 years old this Friday. A gala White House party is planned for Saturday night, but guests are being encouraged to eat dinner beforehand. The Obamas would have had to borne the cost of their guests’ dinner as this is a private party and not an affair of state that could be paid by the taxpayers. There is no word on whether there will be a cash or open bar.
Obama won’t stay home for long, however. She is set to wing her way to the West Coast at the end of January for Democratic Party fundraisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.