The truth about the Michelle’s Spain trip is coming out:
First lady went to Spain to spend time with grieving friend
“First Lady Michelle Obama took a lot of grief for her decision to vacation in Spain last week, a glitzy getaway that prompted one New York Daily News columnist to liken her to Marie Antoinette. But now we’re learning more about the trip, which, despite the furor over its alleged excess, seems to have been launched with good intentions.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet, the first lady made the trip because she wanted to spend time with her best friend, Chicago physician Anita Blanchard, who lost her father this summer. Blanchard (who is married to President Obama’s best friend, Marty Nesbitt) planned a Spanish vacation with her daughter and invited the first lady and her daughters to come along. Michelle, who missed Blanchard’s father’s funeral in July, agreed and brought along her 9-year-old daughter, Sasha. The first couple’s older daughter, Malia, is away at camp.
According to Sweet, one other mutual friend came along with her own two daughters. And according to the White House, all parties paid for their own hotel rooms and personal expenses.
Speaking of the hotel: As The Upshot speculated last week, it was the Secret Service that booked the Obama group’s rooms at the luxury Hotel Villa Padierna, in part because agents could guard the perimeter of the property much better than they could at rival facilities.
Look for corrections about the 40 friends, the spending, and choice of resort on the critical blogs/