Saturday, August 7, 2010 - Page updated at 08:51 PM
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Lavish Obama vacation in time of economic turmoil raises eyebrows
Tribune Washington bureau
WASHINGTON â€” As the U.S. economy endures high unemployment and a jittery stock market, President Obama has preached sacrifice and fiscal discipline. But the pictures coming out of a sunsplashed Spanish resort this week may be sending a different message.
First lady Michelle Obama is on a five-day trip to a luxury resort along with a handful of friends, her younger daughter, Sasha, aides and Secret Service personnel. Her office said the first family will pay for personal expenses, but declined to reveal the taxpayer cost for the government employees. The president stayed home in the United States, as did daughter Malia, 12, who is at camp.
The trip provided plenty of fodder for television news shows, talk-show hosts and bloggers.
Critics portrayed the foreign getaway as tone deaf to the economic anxiety back home. Earlier in the week, the first lady was photographed walking through the streets of the Costa del Sol region wearing a one-shouldered Jean Paul Gaultier top.