6 Aug, 2010 @ 14:27
1 min read

Michelle Obama dubbed Marie Antoinette

By Wendy Williams

MICHELLE Obama has been dubbed a modern-day ´Marie Antoinette´ for her multi-million euro trip to Spain.

The American press has criticised the US President´s wife for her five-day break in Andalucia, which has required a high level of security and hotel costs of at least 50,000 euros a night.

Yesterday, New York Daily Times columnist Andrea Tantaros likened the First Lady to the French queen who was famous for her extravagant lifestyle.

She wrote: “What the Obama’s do with their money is one thing; what they do with ours is another.

“It’s the extravagance of Michelle Obama’s trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama’s demonization of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy.

“It perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders.”

The exact cost of the trip is unclear as Mrs Obama and her friends are reportedly footing part of the bill themselves.

But what the First Lady is definitely not paying for is the 68-strong security team, her personal staff – and the use of presidential jet Air Force Two.

Other US media outlets insist that the antics of the First Lady swanning around Spain trailed by an extensive entourage is a far cry from President Obama’s inaugural speech that preached sacrifice.

But while some in the US are critical Spain can’t get enough of her.

Mrs Obama, and daughter, Sasha, arrived in Granada yesterday to be greeted by hundreds of people shouting ‘Obama!’ and ‘guapa!’ as they entered the cathedral.

Together with their friends and security in tow, they visited the Alhambra Palace, the 16th century cathedral and the historic Albaicin neighbourhood.

To end the day Michelle put on her dancing shoes and delighted the audience as she tried out some moves at a flamenco performance by Juan Andres Maya.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. Elephant has different sets of teeth for eating and showing. Obama family and the their media projected them as frugal middle-class but it seems that this family is hell bent loose on bankrupting this country. to see the pattern, we must be reminded of millions that are already spent on Mrs. Obama’s designer wardrobe, exotic food tastes, flying chefs from Chicago to satisfy the palette of this family, separately flying the dog “BO” on a plane to unit it with the first family while they were vacationing in Maine… list goes on and on.
    To keep the balance, Mr. Obama has hired 17,000 more IRS agents to suck money out of small businesses. So, you need not worry. ENJOY !

  2. For the record, Andrea Tantartos writes for New York Daily News, not the New York Daily Times. This same paper is running a poll next to this column, which reports that 2/3 of Americans approve of this trip.

    Also, this writer also is conservative columnist, Fox News commentator and critic of the Obama Administration. Her views are her own, but they certainly don’t represent what most U.S. press are reporting about the Obama trip in Spain.

  3. Typical US talk. Those that believe that Denmark is the capital of Amsterdam…. I know Marbella well. It is clear that misses Obama avoided all the wrong places. She did not go to any champagne spraying party with vulgar people with money. Instead she chose downtown and a very nice Spanish restaurant. I am sure she probably did not have to pay because just the publicity she generates is priceless. She went to Granada to see one of the seven world wonders. Excellent. It is a pity that some journalists in the US know so little of Europe and all our rich cultures. But then again I quite like it that the first lady clearly demonstrates she has an interest. I hope she has a great time. The comparison with Marie Antoinette is as insulting as the comparison of Zapatero with mugabe recently.

  4. The Obama’s did not work their way up, they sold out everybody along the way to get ahead, while also selling their own souls. Add 20 years in Rev. Wright’s anti-American church, to corrupt and terrorist affiliations, plus support from folks like George Soros, who is financing the dismantling of America, and you get greedy power hungry hypocrite leaders, like the Obamas, who redistribute the wealth of those who worked and saved, in order to gluten themselves. And now, like Marie Antoinette, Mrs. Obama is flaunting it in the faces of Americans who are suffering financially. Hopefully, Michelle and Barack Obama will suffer the same fate as Marie Antoinette … off with their heads !!!

  5. Man, I’m glad I’m not American and paying American taxes! Geez…what a waste of money at a time when people are getting laid off. Yeah yeah, she needs and deserves a vacation and I certainly hope she and her 40 friends are paying for their hotel/meals bills themselves! But she could have been more sensitive to the people who are having a hard time making ends meet in this lousy economy and chose a LOCAL (meaning in the US) and low-key location. Less expenses for her security detail that way, etc. Less attention, etc.

  6. The Obama’s have gone from humble to high minded big spenders
    (of the peoples money). Barack is a compulsive liar and probably not even a natural citizen of the…err…57 States??? Glad he isn’t bankrupting my Country (Canada)but he is in cahoots with our P.M. trying to form a North American Union, In between beer bashes. Michelle. You went from Value Village to Beverly Hills…or beyond. These folks are history come the next election…can’t wait till November!

  7. Niko wrote

    August 6th, 2010 5:04 pm

    Also, this writer also is conservative columnist, Fox News commentator and critic of the Obama Administration. Her views are her own, but they certainly don’t represent what most U.S. press are reporting about the Obama trip in Spain.

    Of course this is not what most of the press are reporting because they are for the most part in the tank for the Obama Administration just as they have been since the very beginning of his presidential campaign. Imagine if this exact same trip to the exact same destination had been made by Laura Bush. It would have made headlines in all the so called mainstream press and they would have kept hammering on it for weeks. Selecting what not to publish is every bit as purposeful as selecting what to publish. The press tries to manipulate the masses to fit their agenda and template, normally liberal. This is a sad, sad situation. Fortunately I believe the people are waking up to this slowly but surely. They know full well the country in general has a very biased press. Unfortunately to get the true story on this trip one has to go to the British press.

  8. To anyone who is Anyone bashing Obama, would you honestly rather have McCain / Palin in power? I just think it is very sad that the religious nutcase who is proud of her ignorance, actually has a chance of being taken seriously in the next US elections.

  9. I am sure that Mrs Obama would prefer to travel without the huge security detail,give the lady a break .One section of America is determined to publish every thing that they can about this familly.United States,what a joke

  10. Following the Obama visit I did this subsequent piece for the Leither magazine when I returned home to Edinburgh. I hope the Olive Press editor will indulge me. Still have not heard from the mosque, as for the award winning journalist… still a no show.

    The Quiet American
    Bob’s Space on LeitherMagazine.com

    Towards the end of our summer visit to Estacion de Benajoan (where I am glad to report the trains are again running even as they continue to upgrade the line), I was astonished to read a report that Michelle Obama was coming to stay for five or so days in Marbella down on the coast. Speculation was rife the President himself might follow, a cake had been ordered for his 49th birthday. Then stories began appearing about her entourage and the five-star hotel where they were staying. The first I read was in the New York Daily News by columnist Andrea Tantros. (It told of Michelle travelling with 40 friends as well as her nine-year-old daughter Sasha, not to mention the Secret Service agents, etc., all junketing on Air Force Two.) The accompanying headline referred to Michelle Obama as a ‘material girl’ and a ‘modern day Marie Antoinette’. The hounds of the right weren’t far behind. Leading the pact was ‘radio shock jock’ and one of the right’s leading cheerleaders Rush Limbaugh – who compared the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) on his radio programme (5 August) to Marie Antoinette. Glenn Beck, the Fox News cheerleader-in-chief, had used this barb before.

    I had a feeling the trip was a bad idea from the start. It seemed, and still does to me, thinking as an American and not a European, a bad political call. The US economy is tanking, houses are being repossessed and unemployment is growing. I rather thought it might be the wiser thing to take a break in the good ol’ US of A. Finally, if she was travelling with so many it was extravagant. The facts, however, tell a different story – it wasn’t 40 freeloaders, but two female friends and four daughters, and all were paying their way. Yes, the Secret Service was there and others. This is normal no matter where the FLOTUS travels. Finally, it fell to Bob Schieffer, the old CBS veteran, to put it into some perspective in an interview with Chicago Sun journalist Lynn Sweet. Never mind, the right had once again damaged the Obamas and those ‘40 friends’ have entered their mythology.

    We were still in Benajoan and watched her arrival and departure from Malaga Airport in a convoy of cars under heavy police escort to her five-star Marbella hotel on the Spanish television news. The Spanish loved it. The coverage was endless as the PR bonanza for Andalusia was carried around the world. Returning to Edinburgh we followed the trip with its visit to the beautiful Alhambra in Granada. Obama himself may have been a no-show but FLOTUS and her daughter went down a storm and to top it for us they visited Ronda and its famous bullring and saw the spectacular Tajo. The coverage was PR gold. She rounded off the tour by flying to Majorca to lunch with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. Returning to the White House; why do I think straw donkeys and sombreros were not the souvenirs of choice, she joined the rest of the family for a couple of quick days on a Florida beach followed by a 12 day visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

    I thought the right couldn’t squeeze any more from the story. How wrong I was. Four days ago I was going through my favourite Washington D.C. website, the delightfully scurrilous Wonkette.

    (Wonkette’s ire is reserved for right-wingers particularly the usual suspects – Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck. Fox News is another favourite). I saw a reference to an article from a Canadian website claiming when FLOTUS was in Granada she had visited the ‘Great Mosque’ opened in 2003. It pointed out the visit coincided with her husband’s intervention over the so-called Ground Zero mosque in New York. The author of the piece, ‘the award winning journalist’ Judi McLeod, speculated FLOTUS, “…a modern day Marie Antoinette”, could have been carrying a message from Obama to the Mosque. Read it yourself over here.

    Setting apart such speculation it all sounded very strange. Having followed the trip on a daily basis I had seen no reference to such a visit. I Googled to see if I had missed something. No, none of the news agencies reported such a visit although I did notice McLeod’s article was getting hit after hit with near top billing on Google. I contacted McLeod requesting her source for the story. I also contacted the Mosque as, looking at its website, there is no report or photographs from such a visit. (There is a link to its website from the article.) I have heard nothing from the ‘award winning journalist’. To be fair, the Mosque has not replied either. I emailed a reporter covering the area for the excellent Olive Press who came back the following morning, as far as he was aware the visit involved the Alhambra only. I began looking at the responses from readers on the ‘award winning’ journalist’s site. Most thanked her for finding the story, etc. However, one caught my attention. It was from a sceptic suggesting the accompanying photograph was a Photoshop job. Running a cursor over it popped up – Photoshop. Try it yourself. In fact it is a composite with her image taken from a publicity shot of her at the hotel in Marbella. By contrast, at the top of this piece, there is an actual photograph of her in Granada: All things considered, I believe it is fair and just to say, apart from the report of the visit to the Alhambra and the background to the Mosque, the story is a fiction, a tissue of lies and speculation intended to appeal to those who believe the President to be a Muslim who is selling the United States down the river to allow Muslims and their terrorist allies to gain control of the country bringing it tumbling down. The article is straight from the play book of Joseph Goebbels, it is the ‘Big Lie’ designed to feed the fevered imaginations of hundreds of thousands of Tea Baggers, their deluded myriad wing-nut friends and Christian nationalists who cluster around them. It can be regurgitated by the fog horns of right wing radio talk shows and Fox News where it is then ‘debated’ and commented on as if it is a report that stands up. And, when people question the source? Oh, I read it on the site of an ‘award winning journalist’. Me? I am still waiting from the aforementioned ‘award winning’ journalist to tell me her source.

    Responses to “The Big Lie”


    Norrie Stewart
    September 8, 2010 at 11:27 am
    “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”

    Friedrich Nietzsche.

    Deedee Cuddihy
    September 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm
    Good story, Bob.

    Louise Baxter
    September 9, 2010 at 7:46 am
    Enjoyed this story. Could almost hear you speak it.

    Phil Attridge
    September 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm
    Are you surprised Bob, great piece, still trying to imagine you as a quiet American, though thank god you aren’t.

    Phil Attridge
    September 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    Are you surprised, great piece, still trying to imagine you as a quiet American.

    Mary Simpson
    September 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm
    How the media can be manipulated is quite frightening.

    However, the next even bigger fright looming on the horizon is seeing some of these right wing nutters burning multiple copies of the Koran. The right to express such opinions is apparently enshrined in your constitution – but did dear old George W not enact multipe laws to counter terrorism – surely they could move in on some pretext and arrest these guys to send some reassuring message to the muslims around the world just waiting to react against the US as soon as the first match goes off. Talk about conflagration!


    September 13, 2010 at 9:13 am
    Bob, well done a good piece of work.It is a pity that fellow journalists fail to check the facts.

  11. I believe the main question raised by Mrs. Obama’s trip is simply, “Should US Taxpayers’ money have been spent on ANY of these expenses for this PERSONAL trip of her and daughter?” My answer is NO – this trip was solely for personal reasons ( I believe one of about 12 vacations in 18 months in Office) and not Official in any way. US Taxpayers WOULD be irate if they got the cost details – but media won’t provide those. I dislike seeing someone spend OTHERS’ money without prior approval – the Obamas are MULTI-millionaires from their book “authorships”, etc – they CAN pay for their personal expenses with their own money. Or they could ask their friends at G-S, other banks and Corps for “support”.

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