Michelle Obama jets off to Aspen for ski weekend

Taking a break from her strenuous official duties, Michelle Obama jetted to Aspen, Colorado for a President's Day Skiiing weekend with her daughters.

White House Dossier:

Michelle Obama has embarked on a skiing vacation with her daughters in Aspen, Colorado, according to the Aspen Daily News.

The first lady, who just returned last month from 17 days of relaxation in Hawaii, is skiing in Colorado on Presidents' Day Weekend for the second year in a row. Last year she went to Vail.

Michelle's decision to ski out West again instead of hitting slopes closer to Washington would seem an inopportune choice for a first lady who is helping her husband campaign on issues of "fairness."

The Obama campaign has set itself up as the defender of the poor and the middle class against the "One Percent," a theme which clashes with the image a first lady who is taking frequent and exclusive vacations.

Just last August, she sojourned on Martha's Vineyard, and the month before she travelled to southern Africa for a trip that mixed official business with tourist outings like an African safari. In July 2010, she took an exorbitant excursion to the southern coast of Spain, flying out with friends and family on a large jet that often serves as Air Force 2 and then staying at a ritzy hotel.

What's more, as the government struggles to cut the deficit, the symbolism of a first lady jetting out to Aspen with a security entourage at taxpayers' expense to ski would seem to send the wrong message about cutting back on spending.

Word is she's staying at the home of one of the president's Chicago cronies. While the taxpayer doesn't have to foot the bill for some extravagant resort hotel, the dozens of Secret Service, communications, nannies, dressers, and the rest of her entourage will mostly be staying in motels - not to mention the cost of using one of the 747's to fly out there in the first place.

Nancy Reagan was pilloried in the press for buying new White House china during a recession - even though all the money for the dishware was donated. Mrs. Obama can jet out to Aspen with the only word in the press coming from a bare bones report in the local paper.

Apparently, criticism of the president's wife is off limits - except when it's a Republican president in the White House.