07 Oct 2011 Young Blood on the White House Staff
After having to sue the Air Force under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch recently revealed that the trip Michelle Obama, her daughters, extended family and staff took to Africa last June cost taxpayers an estimated $424,142 for air travel alone (and $928.44 for “bulk food” on board). According to Judicial Watch, “Other expenses — meals (off the plane), transportation, security, various services, etc. — have yet to be disclosed.”
According to Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, “This trip was as much an opportunity for the Obama family to go on a safari as it was a trip to conduct government business.” He added that the trip, in which Michelle made some speeches about becoming politically aware while also meeting Nelson Mandela and taking the family to museums and on that safari, “wasted tax dollars and the resources of our overextended military.”
Perhaps the oddest finding from the FOIA disclosure was that first daughters Malia and Sasha — 13 and 10 years old, respectively — were listed on the passenger manifests as “senior staff.” According to the White House web site, Valerie Jarrett and David Plouffe are considered “senior advisors.” No sign of the first daughters among that chain of command… yet.
Project 21 member Robin Carter-Martin has her own take on the Obama girls’ apparent first (and very important) jobs:
First Lady Michelle Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, were listed as “senior staff” for their $432,142 trip to Africa!
My first reaction was that I couldn’t believe the expense. My second reaction was that it was a stupid move. But then I remembered that not many people in the Obama Administration appear to be much smarter than a 7th grader. So, yeah, Malia and Sasha are probably as qualified as anyone else in the administration to be considered “senior staff.”