Michelle Obama set out on a week-long trip to Africa to spread goodwill – on the U.S. Taxpayers dime. Of course there is criticism with “extra” trips that this administration’s family has taken. The trip is provoking disappointment from Africa advocates who argue that President Obama, whose father was Kenyan, hasn’t devoted enough time to the continent since winning the presidency.
Mwiza Munthali, public outreach director of TransAfrica Forum, argues that U.S. officials “are not seeing Africa as a big priority. There has been some uncertainty.” The president has made just one trip to sub-Saharan Africa since his Jan. 2009 inauguration and has chosen not to accompany his wife on her journey.
Not devoted enough time to Africa? The last time I looked he was still the President of the United States – not a leader in Africa. I wish that he were a leader of any other country besides the U.S. then I would not care so much about the more than 70 rounds of golf he has played as president. It would be nice if he would devote more of his time to “common sense” solutions to the problems plaguing the United States.
This isn’t the first time the First Lady has come under fire for travel plans. The First Lady raised eyebrows last August when she decided to fly off to Spain on taxpayers dimes, commanding top-dollar luxury accommodations in the middle of a recession. The New York Daily News called her “a modern-day Marie Antoinette.”
On a couple other trips she has been questioned on her international etiquette – in April 2009, she broke royal protocol and hugged Queen Elizabeth, causing a major stir in England. Then in Indonesia last November, Michelle Obama shook the hand of a conservative Muslim minister, a form of social contact between the sexes that violated his religious vows. He blamed the First Lady for the violation.
By the sound of it I really believe she “thinks” she is better than anyone else in the entire world. When the Obama’s travel internationally they are representing the United States, but with her antics I don’t want her representing me. It is sort of like the show “Beverly Hillbillies” when a bunch of poor backwoods people are transplanted to Beverly Hills, California, after striking oil on their land – it just don’t fit.
The First Lady organized another paltry trip to Mexico in April 2010 with Jill Biden. While that trip, too, was aimed primarily on establishing contact with younger civic leaders, some muckrakers called out the First Lady for taking time to travel to a country that’s long been a crucial moment in U.S. immigration policy. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, for instance, argued that the trip was little more than an effort to promote “illegal alien shamnesty.”
Expectations for American engagement with Africa soared when Obama took office, with advocates citing his previous travels to his father’s homeland of Kenya and attention paid to African nations while he was a senator. But while Obama has talked about his “family members who live in villages” and told an Africa-focused Web site that he is “probably as knowledgeable about African history as anybody who’s occupied my office,” he has made just one presidential visit to sub-Saharan Africa.
Maybe we can get Obama to move back “home” to South-Africa and he can “lead” in that country – as he is about done leading this country in the WRONG direction. Now that is something I would promote for him and vote for him on. Sorry Obama I am just trying to help you out – help you right out of my White House!