08/10/10 — Bad timing: Most people are saying first lady should have stayed home

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Bad timing: Most people are saying first lady should have stayed home

There is some inherent unfairness in expecting the family of the president to serve the same sentence he has to when it comes to exchanging their normal lives for the glare of the White House.

So, many people have looked the other way as the Obamas have taken trips with their children around the world.

But this latest venture has more than a few people riled -- and not just on the other side of the aisle.

They say Michelle Obama's trip with her daughter to Spain was too opulent and too conspicuous at a time when many Americans are wondering how they are going to make their mortgage payment.

And some say some of the costs associated with the trip -- which were paid for with taxpayer dollars -- could have been used more effectively elsewhere.

And they are right.

To say the first lady's trip was ill-timed is to put it mildly. To say that it was ill-advised was right on.

The Obamas will have plenty of time to jet around the world with their children. They do not need to squeeze it all in during their term in office.

Trips like these are acceptable in a limited manner -- and understandable. Other first families have made such jaunts during their terms in office. No one batted an eye when Hillary Clinton took her daughter to Africa -- what an opportunity for a young lady -- and the Clintons had been very restrained about the use of taxpayer dollars for their travel needs.

But in the Obamas' case, there have just been too many trips and too much money spent for Americans not to wonder a bit if there is anyone up there thinking about the message these actions are sending to those who are struggling across this country.

 Perhaps the Obamas ought to consider that fact before they get out the luggage again.

Published in Editorials on August 10, 2010 10:31 AM