Steve Lombardo, a Republican pollster and corporate research adviser, says via Twitter that “the backlash over the First Lady’s trip is a trap for GOP. Ignore it. Focus on jobs.”
For candidates, he is correct. There are a bunch of nuances that could easily trip up a candidate not well-versed in the topic — what expenses are being paid by the Obamas and which ones are by the taxpayer, exactly how many friends and children are traveling with Michelle and the First Daughters, which costs are a result of unavoidable security necessities, the report that this is some sort of traveling therapy for a friend who lost a parent, etc.
But for those of us not running for office, the scene is pretty well set: a thoroughly lousy jobs report, a first lady taking an exorbitant trip (both her expense and the cost to taxpayers for security), and a president who tells us things are going in the right direction before running off to shoot hoops with LeBron James.