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The 13-Year-Old Spring Breaker



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This isn’t the first time the president and first lady have shown themselves to be out of touch with, and even a little insensitive to, the lives of average Americans. 

From the family’s multiple vacations in expensive locations to the extravagant dinners at Washington D.C.’s most exclusive restaurants; from the president’s ubiquitous golf games to the first lady’s high-priced fashion preferences (no, I don’t consider J. Crew to be an everyman clothing label) and her need to employ a high-priced makeup artist among her entourage (the future queen of England does her own makeup, for goodness sake!), the Obamas have spared no expense when it comes to their own personal pleasure and entertainment.

The Obama’s latest example broke earlier this week (then later un-broke as media types dutifully accept White House marching orders to scrub all stories on the matter) that 13-year-old Malia Obama and twelve of her friends trotted off to Mexico on their very own teenage spring-break vacation.  The shocking thing: There are no parents on this trip. 

To quote a 12-year-old neighbor: “How super awesome is that!?”

But parental supervision isn’t needed on Malia’s vacation because 25 Secret Service agents have accompanied the young girls to Mexico. So, that averages out to two agents per child.  Huh, where have I heard that two-to-one ratio before?

Thinking . . . thinking . . .

Oh yeah, it has a family unit ring to it, as in normally 13-year-olds are accompanied by two other people — their mothers and fathers — on vacations (especially vacations to Mexican beach resorts that cater to spring-breakers). The White House must have realized this when they settled on attaching two responsible (gun-wielding, highly trained) adults to each child — at taxpayer expense, of course. But more confusing to the average American is why in the world is 13-year-old Malia getting her very own vacation — complete with staff?

To say I’m appalled by this strange lapse in the Obama’s formerly pretty spotless parenting record (save for that unfortunate incident when the first lady talked about her daughters’ heft on national television), is an understatement.

I’m not at all shocked that the Obamas fail to see their daughter’s spring-break vacation as a massive waste of taxpayer dollars, Secret Service resources, and military personnel. But I am shocked that they don’t recognize Malia’s time-out in Mexico as a fundamentally inappropriate activity for a 13-year-old, and a terrible message to send American families about what young teens are supposed to expect and the role of parents in looking after them. 

— Julie Gunlock is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum



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