Optical disillusion: Left fed up with Obama’s ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ vacations

by WorldTribune Staff, June 28, 2017

Why didn’t he just go to Disney World?

Some on the Left are expressing disappointment that their progressive champion, former President Barack Obama, has since leaving office embarked on a number of lavish “lifestyles of the rich and famous” vacations.

Former President Barack Obama kite-surfing during a trip to the island of one-percenter Richard Branson.

“I’ll tell you who should kick back a little less,” said HBO host John Oliver in an interview with Seth Meyers on Late Night Monday. “This might be controversial – I’m a little sick of seeing photos of President Obama on vacation with Richard Branson. Just tone it down with the kite-surfing pictures. I’m glad he’s having a nice time – America is on fire.”

Oliver was referring to Obama’s visit to Branson’s Necker Island, which an industry analyst says has a nightly price tag of $80,000.

Fox News, in a June 27 report, noted other luxury trips the ex-president has taken since late January include visiting late actor Marlon Brando’s private island; the Four Seasons in Bali – where rooms cost upward of $2,000 per night; a Palm Springs estate; the exclusive Mid Pacific Country Club in Oahu; the 13th-century Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany; and the Rising Sun, Hollywood studio mogul David Geffen’s private yacht.

“I think every time Obama opens his mouth, the fair question is: Which billionaire’s paradise island did he do it from? When is he going to do anything to help people other than enrich himself?” said Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell. “How can he possibly be doing things? How do you do things from Marlon Brando’s island? It’s in stark contrast to (Jimmy) Carter.”

Kendra Thornton, owner of luxury travel agency Royal Travel, said that Obama’s post-presidency destinations include “some of the most luxurious travel destinations in the world. Many of our clients spend tens of thousands of dollars or more to stay at these resorts, which cater to the most discriminating and demanding guests. Anyone who stays at these properties does so because they want the best of the best.”

“Obama is not as wealthy or as conservative as Trump, George W. Bush, or George H.W. Bush, but he enjoys what used to be called ‘the lifestyle of the rich and famous,’ ” said Dr. David Michael Smith of the Houston Socialist Movement. “I am not surprised by Obama’s several recent foreign vacations. As president, he disappointed millions of supporters who hoped he would be a strong advocate for working-class people.”

A person close to former President George W. Bush told Fox News: “He spent the first month (after leaving office) in Crawford, Texas, where he started writing ‘Decision Points.’ ”

Then, once their house in Dallas was ready, the Bushes settled there and started fundraising for the Bush Center and setting up policy programs of the Bush Institute. President Bush went on some speaking engagements handled by the Washington Speakers Bureau. And he and Laura vacationed with their family in Kennebunkport, Maine, and at the ranch in Crawford.

“Obama has a right to do whatever he wants,” Caddell said. “But these trips really are a little bit rich.”

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