Mickey Kaus, back to blogging up a storm after his principled primary campaign against Senator Barbara Boxer, has an exquisite Kaustypical blogpost on Michelle Obama’s trip to Spain. It’s worth reprinting in full:
So Michelle Obama vacations in Spain with her daughter and an expensive posse, leaving her husband alone on his birthday and undermining his party’s political chances (bad recession ‘optics’). This is the sort of story on which I suspect there are three levels of perception:
1. Unsophisticated: Jeez, they must have had some kind of fight. She’s pissed! This is a big ’screw you.’
2. Sophisticated and well informed: At their level everyone is too smart and experienced to let any kind of spat affect state affairs. These things get planned out well ahead of time by staff. Only the unsophisticated jump to conclusions on the basis of crude external appearances.
3. Real Insider: Jeez, they must have had some kind of fight. She’s pissed! This is a big ’screw you.’
I must admit I was puzzled to learn that the First Lady was headed to Marbella this time of year. Isn’t it awfully hot on the Mediterranean in August? I gather that the hotel she and friends are staying at is isolated and luxurious, but Marbella itself — at least when I drove quickly through it in the summer of 1997 — is pretty tacky, with signs (“BANGERS AND MASH” “MAN U ON CABLE”) suggesting it’s full of downscale British tourists.