Membership has its privileges. Membership in the accursed 1% that is. Fox News reports that the president and his missus added the exclamation point to their 17-day winter break in Hawaii with dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants on earth:
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dined Thursday night for nearly three hours at Vintage Cave, an exclusive restaurant that charges up to $500,000 for membership.
According to the restaurant’s website, guests are whisked into a “cave-like environment” and encouraged to “escape the ordinary.” The Waikiki restaurant’s interior is composed of granite “quarried in the mountains of India” and custom-crafted furniture in a space that evokes the “underground architecture of ancient Rome.”
And the meal? About as fine dining as it gets. According to Honolulu magazine, the bill for two can approach $1,000.
The restaurant offers two tiers of memberships: $500,000 for a “charter member,’ and $50,000 for a “special member.”
Just before word of this Lifetsyle-of-the-Rich-and-Famousesque experience took place, CBS News confirmed that the insanely priced meal was anything but one off for the First Couple. In a report affectionately titled “President Obama: America’s ‘foodie-in-chief’,” the network noted:
President Obama has dined at some of the trendiest restaurants in the world, from Japan to Martha’s Vineyard, to his hometown of Chicago and his childhood home in Hawaii. After six years in the White House, the first couple has found plenty of reasons to celebrate at some of Washington’s top eateries, enjoying the city’s best high-brow, and low-brow cuisines, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Plante.
“President Obama is eating at far hipper places than any other president in modern history, partly because Washington has hipper restaurants than we’ve had in a long time, but part of it has to do with the Obamas’ taste. They seem to like going out,” Washington Post writer Emily Heil said.
This is not to begrudge a man who works as hard as the president — even this president — a splurge now and then. It is, after all, his money … or at least up to but excluding the cost of his security detail, which comes out of the taxpayers’ hide. But isn’t this the same millionaire who said in 2012:
I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am … able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their [sic] kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve [sic] got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans.
I imagine his diehard supporters have some way of rationalizing this apparently yawning chasm between Obama’s words and deeds, but until I hear that argument I can only conclude that he is a hypocrite.
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