First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and family dog Bo will fly to Hawaii on Saturday for a winter vacation, Politics Daily has learned, while President Obama remains in Washington to deal with Congress.
The first family originally had been scheduled to head to Hawaii on Saturday; the Obamas for years have celebrated Christmas and New Years in the state where Obama was born.
"Given the uncertainty of the president's schedule, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters will be departing on Dec. 18 as originally scheduled to join their family in Hawaii for the holidays," Mrs. Obama's spokesman, Catherine McCormick Lelyveld, told Politics Daily.
"The first family and Bo will be traveling on a C40B, one of the smaller and most efficient planes available in the White House fleet for this trip. The president will join them when the congressional session is complete. The entire first family will return to Washington, D.C. Jan. 1, 2011."
President Obama is delaying his trip because Congress has yet to finish work -- or give up on taking action for now -- on a variety of issues as of Friday: the budget, the START Treaty with Russia, the DREAM Act and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Obama has a special urgency to get things done now, because when the 112th
Congress is sworn in on Jan. 5, the GOP will be in control of the House and the Senate Democratic majority will be diminished.
Mrs. Obama took a summer vacation to Spain that was billed as a "private mother-daughter trip with longtime family friends" that included a stop at the summer palace of Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain.
The Spain trip earned Mrs. Obama the harshest press of her tenure as first lady. The negative stories started as soon as she arrived in the Mediterranean coastal city of Marbella for a stay in the super-posh Villa Padierna, along with Sasha, her youngest daughter, and some friends. One of the enduring visuals of that trip was the picture of a big Air Force 757 parked at a Spanish airport. Many news outlets and blogs reported, inaccurately, about the size of Mrs. Obama's entourage, contributing to the bad press. But the East Wing declined at first to give out many facts about the trip. I set the record straight in an August Politics Daily column.