In a story published late last week in The Daily Mail which followed another by the National Enquirer, First Lady Michelle Obama’s vacation habbits including expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels are under attack. Critics have discovered over $10 million tax dollars has been spent on her personal recreation – in the last year.
Just as the Obamas’ summer break on Martha’s Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets, The Daily Mail published new reports of extravagances.
White House sources claimed that the First Lady has spent $10 million of
U.S. taxpayers’ money on vacations in the past year alone.
Branding her ‘disgusting’ and ‘a vacation junkie’, they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.
The ‘top source’ told the National Enquirer: ‘It’s disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work. ‘When it’s all added up, she’s spent more than $10 million in taxpayers’ money on her vacations.’
The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.
And the first family’s nine-day stay in Martha’s Vineyard is also proving costly, with rental of the Blue Heron Farm property alone costing an estimated $50,000 a week. The source continued: ‘Michelle also enjoys drinking expensive booze during her trips. She favors martinis with top-shelf vodka and has a taste for rich sparking wines.
‘The vacations are totally Michelle’s idea. She’s like a junkie. She can’t schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next – all the while sticking it to hardworking Americans.’
GIRLS’ TRIP TO SPAIN: AUGUST 2010
The exact cost is unclear as Mrs Obama and her 40 friends footed many personal expenses, such as hotels and meals themselves. But the U.S. taxpayer would have paid for the First Lady’s 68-strong security detail, personal staff, and use of presidential jet Air Force Two. Per diems for the secret service team runs at around $281 each – nearly $98,000 for the length of the summer break.
Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at $149,900 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.
Mrs Obama’s personal staff, of which there are an unknown amount and might cost considerably more per day, should also be taken into account.
CHRISTMAS BREAK IN HAWAII: DECEMBER 2010
According to the Hawaii Reporter, the bill for the $1.5m trip included:
$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.
$38,000 for the ‘Winter White House’ beach property rental.
$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
Mrs 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 a motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers
SUMMER HOLIDAY ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD: AUGUST 2011
The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family stayed, rents for about $50,000 a week.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard is 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.
To read more from The Daily Mail, click here.