Michelle Obama: It's very rare that I get to travel outside the United States.
Huh what? It’s practically a regular occurrence. And Michelle? The proper grammar is “rarer”, not “more rare”.
Via PJ Media:
During her trip to China, First Lady Michelle Obama said an odd thing to the children of that country who the government allowed to visit with her.
During her visit to China, first lady Michelle Obama pointed out that the ability to travel outside of the United States was “rare” but that she chose China for a reason.
“It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it’s even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations — with my daughters, and with my mother,” she said. “And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China.”
Rare? The facts argue otherwise. CNN has a photo gallery of FLOTUS’ overseas trips. Since becoming First Lady in 2009, Michelle Obama has visited Africa (2013), Northern Ireland and Germany, South Africa (2011), Mexico City, Haiti, India, Copenhagen. Those are official visits, at a rate of more than two overseas trips per year.
Mrs. Obama has also taken a series of overseas vacations that include trips to Spain and France, as well as vacations within the United States in Aspen, Colorado and Hawaii.
Michelle Obama looks to ease mistrust on China trip
By Shaun Tandon
March 17, 2014 4:20 PM
Washington (AFP) - Michelle Obama will look to dispel growing mistrust between the United States and China through a weeklong tour of the Asian power focused deliberately on soft issues, officials said Monday.
Accompanied by her two daughters and mother, the US first lady will head Wednesday on a tour to some of China's most celebrated sites including the Great Wall, the ancient terracotta warrior sculptures of Xian and a panda preserve.
White House officials said that Michelle Obama would not take up the myriad disputes between the two nations but would instead speak about educational exchanges and emphasize US goodwill toward the Chinese people.
"I think it is important to break through that mistrust and the first lady's visit is an opportunity to do that," Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, told reporters.
The Chinese public's opinion of the United States has significantly worsened from highs when President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Forty percent of Chinese had a favorable opinion of the United States in last year's Pew Research Center survey -- a figure far below that in Western and African nations but still higher than the rate in most of the Islamic world.
The world's two largest economies have been increasingly at odds over issues that include allegations of mass Chinese cyber-espionage and Beijing's increasing assertiveness in territorial disputes with US allies Japan and the Philippines.
Rhodes hoped that Michelle Obama would indirectly highlight one frequent US concern in China -- human rights -- by her very background. Michelle Obama was raised in humble circumstances in Chicago before becoming a successful lawyer, while her husband is the first president from the historically persecuted African American minority.
"I think the first lady's story itself sends a powerful message about the ability of someone from a disadvantaged economic background, from a minority group, to ascend to the positions that she did in private life and now as first lady," Rhodes said.
- Shifting the US-China focus -
While his wife is visiting China, President Obama will take up the gamut of US-China relations in a meeting with counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of next week's nuclear security summit in The Netherlands.
Michelle Obama will meet in Beijing with Xi's wife, the singer Peng Liyuan. The US first lady caused a minor stir in June when she did not go to a California desert resort to mingle with Peng over a weekend intended to build a relationship between the two presidents.
In Beijing, Peng will guide Michelle Obama through Beijing's Forbidden City and welcome her with a dinner and performance, the White House said. The Obamas will also tour the Great Wall, the ancient city of Xian and the southwestern city of Chengdu, near the habitat of pandas, China's emblematic animal.
Michelle Obama will deliver speeches on educational cooperation. China is the largest source of foreign students to US universities and a growing number of US students have studied Mandarin -- including the Obamas' eldest daughter, 15-year-old Malia.
Philip J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesman, said that Michelle Obama's trip can help reframe the US-China relationship away from just the countries' disagreements.
"These differences are real and important. But there are also many areas where the countries' interests overlap and they deserve attention as well," said Crowley, now a professor at George Washington University.
Michelle Obama has enjoyed consistently higher popularity ratings than her husband and has mostly stayed away from controversial topics, instead leading a campaign to encourage Americans to eat better and exercise.
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Embarrassing: Michelle’s China stay in $8,000 a night hotel has workers ‘fed-up’ with ‘barking at staff’
The first lady’s third trip abroad without her husband is turning out to be a “real treat” after all — and the family’s apparently treating it with real class.
The presidential suite at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang where Michelle, her mother and her two daughters are staying costs a whopping $8,350 a night, and taxpayers are picking up the tab for every dime of the “official” trip, according to the White House Dossier.
The tab’s likely to total more than $1 million, the White House Dossier reported.
In addition to getting the privilege of footing the bill for another royal vacation by the first family (without the member of it whose actually on the government payroll), taxpayers are being represented abroad with manners that would make a real royal – or even “The Ugly American” – blush.
The Mail Online reported Friday Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, has been “barking at staff” since the family’s arrival Thursday and the hotel workers are “fed up.”
“We can’t wait for this to be over, to tell you the truth,” one staff told the Mail in a phone interview. “We entertain many important people here, but this has been, I think, very different.”
Michelle Obama Spent 42 Days on Vacation this Past Year
by Keith Koffler on August 12, 2011, 11:05 am
First Lady Michelle Obama over the last year has spent a total of 42 days on vacation, or a little more than one out of every nine days, according to a White House Dossier analysis of her travel.
Her vacations, the cost of which are mostly borne by taxpayers, include trips to Panama City, Fla., Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, Vail, Colo., and her visit this week to her brother in Corvallis, Ore.
The total does not include a nine day sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard that the Obamas will enjoy this month. Nor does it include a trip she made to Ireland and Great Britain in May, which I’m counting as official travel.
The total vacation time would have been slightly higher had the Obamas gone as planned for an April weekend in Williamsburg, Va. The trip was cancelled due to an extended stalemate between President Obama and Congress over the budget.
Mrs. Obama’s extensive vacation travel comes while many America citizens find themselves out of work or having trouble making ends meet as the economic recovery stalls.
Taxpayers pick up most of the cost of transporting the first lady and her extensive entourage – including Secret Service and her staff – to her various destinations. While she may in some cases pay some of the tab for her personal expenses and travel, the amount is dwarfed by the overall cost to the public.
On trips she makes with the president, though, the costs are only somewhat greater that then they would have been had he travelled alone.
Mrs. Obama’s vacations began in August 2010 with a two day weekend trip to Panama City, Fla., where the Obamas stayed overnight at a Gulf of Mexico hotel in a symbolic effort to show that the Gulf area was safe for travel in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.
Next up was what has become an annual pilgrimage to ritzy Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas stayed 10 days and dined at several exorbitantly priced restaurants.
In December 2010, with President Obama delayed because Congress was still in town, Mrs. Obama decided to leave without him for their annual Hawaiian vacation, racking up at least $63,000 in additional costs because she travelled alone.
Since the president arrived late, he decided to leave Hawaii in January two days later than scheduled – resulting in a 17 day vacation for the first lady.
Mrs. Obama went right back out on vacation the following month, taking a four day skiing trip in February of this year to Vail, Colo.
In March, Mrs. Obama travelled to Latin America for a five day trip. I’m counting two days of this as vacation, though, because she took her children and her mother along, performed some sightseeing, and went to the beach.
The first lady went to southern Africa in June for six days in what was partially an official visit. Since Mrs. Obama took her mother, her children and their cousins along, since the trip was billed in advance as having personal significance for her, and since the travel included several tourist destinations and a safari, I’m counting half of the journey as vacation, or three days.
Finally, Mrs, Obama took her mother and one of her children to visit her brother in Corvallis, Ore. this week. The trip was not announced by the White House and appears to have lasted four days.
Michelle: 'There Were Actually Laws in America that Allowed Discrimination Against Black People Like Me'
'My husband and I are President and First Lady of the United States. And that is really the story of America...'
7:01 AM, Mar 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama talked about America as she visited a school today in China. She talked about the American dream:
Michelle and Ping
And my story isn’t unusual in America. Some of our most famous athletes, like LeBron James, and artists, like the singer Janelle Monae, came from struggling families like mine, as do many business leaders -- like Howard Schultz. He’s the head of a company called Starbucks, which many of you may have heard of. When Mr. Schultz was a boy his father lost his job, leaving their family destitute. But Mr. Schultz worked hard. He got a scholarship to a university, and eventually built the largest coffeehouse company in the world.
And then there’s this other guy I know who was raised by a single mother who sometimes struggled to afford food for their family. But like me, this guy got scholarships and loans to attend universities. He became a lawyer and a professor, and then he was a state senator and then a national senator. And then, he became President of the United States. This guy I’m talking about is my husband, Barack Obama. (Applause.)
These stories are the stories of so many Americans, and of America itself. Because in America, we believe that no matter where you live or how much money your parents have, or what race or religion or ethnicity you are, if you work hard and believe in yourself, then you should have a chance to succeed. We also believe that everyone is equal, and that we all have the right to say what we think and worship as we choose, even when others don’t like what we say or don’t always agree with what we believe.