August 6, 2010
Posted: 04:10 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama is taking heat for her private trip to Spain this week, most notably from a New York blogger slamming her as the “Material Girl” and comparing her to Marie Antoinette, former queen of France.
Andrea Tantaros, writing on NYDailyNews.com, took issue with the first lady’s pricey five-star hotel and her “estimated 70 Secret Service agents.”
Tantaros, a former congressional staffer for Republican lawmakers, chided Obama for living large while “most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns — or forgoing them altogether.”
Obama is in Spain with daughter Sasha, 9, and longtime family friends. The White House had no comment on the blog post and would not specify how many pals — or security personnel — were along for the trip.
But one White House official said Obama had a “small” group of friends and “minimal” staff on the trip, and said personal expenses, such as hotel rooms and meals, were being paid for by the Obamas.
“Any additional footprint, including rooms needed for security support and transportation, falls under the same rules as have applied to any previous first family travel,” the official said. That is, private expenses are paid for privately and government expenses are picked up by Uncle Sam.
Filed under: Michelle Obama
From around the web
Go Behind The Scenes
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.