The economy is in shambles and many of those in the real world, the peasants outside the gates of Camelot, are suffering staggering unemployment rates that are only getting worse month by month. For many of those Americans out of work, there is not enough money in the family budget for a date night of even pizza and a movie. They don’t want to see pictures of the President and First Lady all gussied up in their “sleek black suit” and “matching, backless knee-length black dress” out on the town for a fancy dinner. (For many Americans a $24 seared striped bass dinner is considered “fancy” even if it is moderately priced by DC standards.)
When Americans see pictures of their sons and daughters serving (and even dying) in Afghanistan, and when they see an interview with Gen. Stanley McCrystal who says the Commander –in-Chief only talked to him once in 70 days, it is understandable that pictures of the President and First Lady dressed in formal evening attire on the town for date night might not be the image they want of the man responsible for leading their country in war.
I don’t know when my husband and I last had a date night. We have two kids with lots of school and extra-curricular activities and we both have work related responsibilities as well. Even when we can afford to have a nice night out for dinner and a movie, we often have trouble finding the time – and we are not trying to run the car industry and wage war halfway across the world.
At a time when the United States is struggling, soldiers are losing their lives in Afghanistan, and the unemployment rate has reached double digit highs in some areas, it is hard to fault the American people for asking if the President doesn’t have a few things he should be attending to instead. That doesn’t make them racist.
This president has complained on numerous occasions about the toll the job takes on his time and attention. Recently the First Lady talked about what a sacrifice it was for her to jet to Copenhagen to make a pitch to the Olympic Committee. Yet the President and First Lady have already taken several vacations in just over 8 months in office.
It is wonderful that this President and his wife appear to have a very close and loving relationship, and it is even great that they find time to spend alone together, but misplaced priorities are a recurring theme for this White House. I don’t begrudge the First Couple a night out, especially on their anniversary, but it should come as no shock that some Americans don’t want to hear about it.