Just over a month ago, Michelle Obama was relaxing in Hawaii during a 17-day vacation. Hawaii came just four months after a long stay in swanky Martha's Vineyard and now, Michelle Obama is vacationing in Aspen, Colorado.
First lady Michelle Obama’s weekend jaunt to Aspen, Colorado for a President’s Day ski holiday with her daughters Sasha and Malia makes the 16th time members of the first family have gone on extended vacations during their three years in office.
Their stay at the home of a major Chicago fundraiser for President Obama makes the fifth time the first lady and her daughters have taken a break from Washington on their own. Only once has Obama had a long weekend out of town and alone, celebrating his 49th birthday in Chicago in August 2010.
Accounting for trips out of Washington for several days, the total number of vacations Washington Secrets tabulated is 16, 10 where the family was together, such as for Christmas and summer vacations, one by the president and five by the first lady. Not included were Camp David visits or trips like the first family’s New York City date night in May, 2009.
According to presidential watcher Mark Knoller of CBS, George W. Bush, at this time of his presidency, had made 30 visits to his Texas ranch spanning all or part of 220 days. The Obama’s vacation day count is less than half of that.
But his have become more controversial because of the costs associated with moving the first family to a public vacation spot, unlike the Bushes to their remote ranch in Crawford, Texas. For example, the Hawaii Reporter said the first family’s 2011 Christmas vacation in Hawaii would exceed $1.5 million.
Wondering about the full list of Michelle's lavish vacations? Here it is:
SPAIN: AUGUST 2010
Michelle Obama and 40 of her friends paid for personal expenses, such as hotels and meals themselves.
But the U.S. taxpayer would have paid for the 68-strong security detail, personal staff and use of presidential jet Air Force Two.
Payment for the secret service team ran at around $281 each - nearly $98,000 for the duration of the summer break.
Use of Air Force Two comes in at $149,900 for the round trip, not including time on the ground.
Mrs Obama's personal staff, of which there were an unknown number, should also be taken into account
HAWAII: DECEMBER 2010
According to the Hawaii Reporter the costs were:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President
$1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One
$16,000 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals
$134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel
$251,000 in police overtime
$10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times
SKI TRIP TO VAIL: FEBRUARY 2011
Michelle Obama and her daughters stayed at the Sebastian hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms cost more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
The family appear to have flown there on Air Force Two.
They were escorted to the resort by about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers.
MARTHA'S VINEYARD: AUGUST 2011
The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family stayed, rents for about $50,000 a week.
Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama flew to the estate just hours before the president to make the most of the holiday - again, incurring extra flight costs.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard was required to keep ships floating near the property. The presidential helicopter and jet remain at the ready and security agents will be on 24-hour duty.
HAWAII: DECEMBER 2011
According to the Hawaii Reporter the costs were:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000
$3,271,622 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One
$151,200 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals
$72,216 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel
And that's just Michelle, for the full list of Obama vacations, click here. Remember, the Obama's have been in office for just over three years. At a time when Americans can't find work, there is only one thing to say: Out. Of. Touch.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography