COMMENTARY | According to the New York Post, a recent book on the Obamas reveals an "Alice in Wonderland" party that took place at the White House on Halloween, 2009 that seems like something out of the court of Louis XVI.
The party took place in the State Dining Room, transformed by film director Tim Burton, whose "Alice in Wonderland" film had just come out, into the Mad Hatter's tea party. The icing on the cake was the appearance of actor Johnny Depp, in full Mad Hatter costume, to greet the guests. There was "--a long table set with antique-looking linens, enormous stuffed animals in chairs, and tiered serving plates with treats like bone-shaped meringue cookies."
The Obama White House deliberately concealed the existence of the lavish Halloween party for fear of political implications. The economic downturn, then as now, was in full swing. The tea party movement was gathering steam with mass protests around the country. The Obama administration was struggling to get its health care reform proposal passed through Congress.
The Obama's habit of high living is no state secret. The Obama's frequent vacation trips have even become an issue on the campaign trail. According to the Washington Times, presidential candidate Mitt Romney mocked the Obamas for their holiday trip to Hawaii while the economy was still in turmoil. Martha's Vineyard is another venue for Obama sojourns away from the cares of office.
A number of news reports have detailed the great public expense entailed by the Obamas' recreation. The Blaze stated that the Hawaii trip cost close to $4 million, a chunk of which was borne by the tax payer in travel and security expenses. The Daily Mail reported that First Lady Michele Obama spent $10 million in tax payer money on vacations in 2011 alone.