Friday, August 6, 2010

First Ladies Need Staffs?

Another anti-Obama flap ensues over the First Lady taking an expensive trip to Spain at a time when the country's in its longest recession since WWII and we're seeing record budget deficits. Granted, most of this is pure partisan crap--Republicans didn't seem to complain so much when Republican First Ladies or Presidents took expensive leisure jaunts, and Democrats don't seem to mind vacations when they're taken by one of their own. But here's a serious non-partisan question for all these morons to answer:

Why on earth do we have a massive staff for the First Lady of the United States?

A large part of the expense for the vacation is because we need Secret Service protection and a sizeable entourage of staffers, assistants, etc., to accompany the First Lady. I get the protection aspect--obviously if the First Lady was taken hostage the President would be in a tough position (unless our President was totally badass, and told the terrorists "go ahead, I call your bluff!" The last time we had a president who would actually do that was Teddy Freaking Roosevelt). But staff? What exact "official duties" should the First Lady have? Not to be sexist, but it's a complete bullsh-t job. It's like being First Son or First Dog--you're just there to make the President look normal ("he has fambly just like me!") even though Presidents by their nature are not normal. (Our current President got a Nobel Prize for Not Being George Bush. Guess what? 6 billion people ar Not George Bush. He's not like regular folk! No Presidents are!)

I know, they come up with a bunch of "projects" for the First Lady to do, so they seem "engaged" with current affairs. Nancy Reagan, as we know, won the War on Drugs which is why we never hear of crack or heroin any more. But how about just once having a first lady who says "screw this crap, I'm just going to watch a lot of TV for the next four years"? That would be a breath of fresh air!


  1. Even more awesome? A First Lady who continues with her day job! I love that Jill Biden teaches at a local community college.

  2. Shannon--try and picture the film "Dangerous Minds" where the teacher had a handful of Secret Service agents hovering around her. Those kids would learn their Dylan Thomas real quick!

  3. Let's zoom out. I think we can critique the travel budgets that many people in DC get, because by and large they are a waste of fucking money.

  4. Hannah--of course! People are never so freespending as when they're doing it with other people's money. If high level employees, CEOs, U.S. Presidents, etc. had to actually pay out of their own pocket the full cost of this stuff, you'd see a lot more "staying in Motel 6" and "staycation" going on.

    Though at least with employees/officers of private companies, you can argue they're only wasting their companies' money and the company can choose to end that.