In three years and three months, Barry and Moochelle have taken a total of 17 lavish vacations, at a time when millions of Americans remain unemployed and the national debt surpasses America’s GDP.
Obama’s tone-deaf disconnectedness from the economic hardships of many Americans is now finally registering with an important swing bloc of voters — blue-collar Democrats.
Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner writes, April 26, 2012:
Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.
“They view everything through their own personal situation and if they can’t afford to do it, they can’t enjoy it, they don’t like Obama using their tax dollars to benefit himself,” said pollster John McLaughlin. “In this case, they see him as out of touch. While they are struggling he’s not sharing in that struggle and he’s basically doing what they can’t do on their tax dollars,” added the GOP pollster.
He and several other top-tier Republican pollsters, organized by Resurgent Republic, traveled to 11 battleground states to host focus groups of independent and swing voters, mostly Democrats, who voted for President Obama in 2008 but who are now on the fence.
During the focus group discussions about debt and spending cuts, many in his group volunteered criticism of the presidential vacations as something that should be cut. Among the lines McLaughlin wrote down was one from a Democratic woman who said, “Michelle Obama spends $1 million to take the kids to Hawaii,” and another who said, “President Obama was the only president to take so many trips.”
The theme, said McLaughlin, is that the first family “is out of touch” with working class voters.
He added that the president’s attack on the rich and GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney’s wealth is working, but the voters were also lumping in the president’s vacation spending in with the General Services Administration’s Las Vegas scandal and federal spending for those who aren’t looking for work.
“There really wasn’t a real dislike for Romney. It was just that he is too rich. But on the other hand there is a start of resentment of the government,” he said. “What surprised me is that these were Democrats back biting on their own president,” added McLaughlin.
One of the 17 lavish Obama vacations was in August 2010, when Moochelle and her entourage spent 4 days in Spain’s southern resort of Marbella, staying in 30 rooms in the country’s most exclusive 5-star hotel, the Villa Padierna.
With the announcement by Judicial Watch on Thursday that Moochelle’s Spanish vacation alone cost taxpayers almost half a million dollars (at least $467,585), working-class Democrats who had voted for Obama in 2008 are sure to feel even more alienated.