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Sunday, August 08, 2010

How could she?!?!? And at such a time, too!!
Posted by Jill | 1:15 PM
How dare a First Lady go jetting off to Europe with one of her daughters and an entourage at a time when so many people are suffering? It's an outrage, I tell ya...an OUTRAGE!!
Laura Bush begins solo European tour
May 14, 2002 Posted: 9:50 AM EDT (1350 GMT)

Laura Bush, a onetime librarian from Texas who married into a politically ambitious family, embarked on her first overseas tour as first lady Monday, heading to Europe to make her mark on the world stage.

The soft-spoken Texan, who has emerged as a poised, low-key and calm presence in the Bush administration, is scheduled to give a speech Tuesday before the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, where she will talk about the importance of education for children.

Traveling with Jenna, one of her college-aged twin daughters, Laura Bush also is scheduled to visit Hungary and the Czech Republic. In Prague, she will participate in a roundtable on Afghanistan before she joins her husband, President Bush, on May 22 in Berlin.

"She's not going to have any trouble at all," predicted Letitia Baldrige, the social secretary and chief of staff for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.


Laura Bush, 55, has often said she is not trying to emulate any of her predecessors, including her mother-in-law Barbara Bush and the widely traveled Hillary Clinton, who spoke out often on major policy issues.

Laura Bush's trip, however, sparked a new round of commentary on the airwaves and in newspapers about what kind of first lady now occupies the East Wing.

"Laura Bush is not the traditionalist that I think a lot of people thought she was going to be," said Carl Sferrazza Anthony, a presidential historian, who has written a book about first ladies. "She has a graduate degree and a very serious lifelong interest in early childhood development."

That's AP, talking glowingly about Laura Bush just eight months after almost 3000 people died in the 9/11 attacks, as she headed off to Europe with then-party-girl Jenna, presumably at taxpayer expense.

Now read about the double standard when the First Lady is a black Democrat:
As Mrs. Obama and her entourage toured the picturesque southern city of Ronda on Saturday, the blogosphere has been filled with commentary about what many saw as a tone-deaf trip in the same week the United States reported the loss of 131,000 more jobs. “A modern-day Marie Antoinette,” scolded a New York Daily News columnist.

The White House was reluctant to discuss Mrs. Obama’s trip. The only official comment came from Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, at a briefing last week when he said that Mrs. Obama “is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. And I think I’d leave it at that.”

Privately, officials note that the first lady is paying for her own room, food and transportation, and the friends she brought will pay for theirs as well. The government pays for security, and the Secret Service, not the first lady, determines what is needed.

Officials said some reports of the trip had been exaggerated. Mrs. Obama is not traveling with 40 friends, one official said, but with two friends and four of their daughters, as well as a couple of aides and a couple of advance staff members. The staff is with her because she will pay a courtesy call on King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía on the island of Majorca on Sunday before flying home to Washington.

Every first lady in modern times has flown on government planes with a sizable security detail, and it is hard to pinpoint the cost to taxpayers. The Air Force jet she flew costs $11,351 per hour to operate, according to several reports, meaning a 14-hour round trip would cost nearly $160,000. The first lady would reimburse only the equivalent of first-class commercial tickets for herself and her daughter Sasha, the rest of the seats being occupied mainly by Secret Service. Officials said their friends flew on separate commercial flights.

Laura Bush took vacations without her husband each year of George W. Bush’s presidency, traveling with her Secret Service detail on a government plane to meet friends for camping in national parks. But that never generated as much furor, in part because vacationing in the United States is not as politically delicate for American leaders and their families as doing so in foreign countries.

Really? A vacation in fucking SPAIN is controversial? Now if she were vacationing in Dubai and holding hands with some sheikh while wearing a hijab, I could see the heads of wingnuts exploding. But for cryin' out loud, people! Spain? I guarantee you, right now there are cruise ships loaded with Republicans docked in Barcelona.

It has ALWAYS been a perk of the thankless task of being First Lady to travel overseas and meet dignitaries. These jaunts are ALWAYS quasi-diplomatic trips. There's Jacqueline Kennedy's 1961 trip to France. Laura Bush also visited Nigeria. Hillary Clinton traveled a great deal, which prepared her for her current job. Pat Nixon traveled extensively. So what is the big deal about Michelle Obama? Is it simply that there is now this shrieking echo chamber full of Malkins and Breitbarts and other lunatics? Or is there perhaps a double standard -- that First Ladies only get to represent us when they're white?

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Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
It is kinda like the Martha Stewart thing - It can (and has been) argued that Stewart went to jail mostly because she is annoying. Mrs. Bush was well liked for the most part while Mrs. Obama is not.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thanks so much for your remarks on 1st ladies traveling. This raving about Michelle Obams going to Spain is downright disgusting.

Blogger Jill said...
In what alternate universe are you living, BC? Oh yes, it's the same universe in which Andrew Breitbart lives.

Back here in the real world, Michelle Obama has a 66% favorable rating according to Gallup, which tends to skew right.

That puts her ahead of Bill and Hillary Clinton (both 61% favorable), David Petraeus (56%), her own husband (52%), George W. Bush (45%), Al Gore (44%), Sarah Palin (44%), Joe Biden (43%), Mike Huckabee (40%), Dick Cheney (36%), Newt Gingrich (36%), Mitt Romney (36%) and Bobby Jindal (34%).

Now....what was that again?

Google is your friend, BC. You might consider using it sometime. It holds up better when making an argument than pulling Republican talking points out of your patootie.

Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
I was not really familiar with Breibart until all the shit hit the fan recently. Heard his name bandied about but paid no mind. I have since learned that he is either Old Scratch or Audie Murphy. Yep, that is what the July Gallop Poll says alright - 66 percent approval. That is higher than the others on the list, but still 66% is not high enough. I stand by my statement that a good many people do not like her. I wonder what Martha Stewarts' approval rating would have been during her "time of troubles." Personally I could not care less where Mrs. Obama goes or how much she spends. I fear the country is already in so much debt that whatever she spends overseas does not matter at this point.
Good Evening

Anonymous Anonymous said...
actually, Jill, Google is NOT your friend. it saves every single one of your searches and sells your info to whoever wants it. as does yahoo, btw.
try ask.com - they do not and never did.

Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
I tried a search engine recently called "Duck Duck Go" that is supposed to protect privacy. Not really effective, at least not yet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
No, they only get to represent us if they're REPUBLICAN...Guess Demos are only allowed to vacation at the nearest KOA...and eat at KFC....

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bartender Cabbie--"66% is not high enough..."

Don't even bother arguing with this guy--you can't win an argument with a rightie because--as you can see--they will simply ignore the facts and continue to insist that they are right--proving that ignorance is indeed bliss...