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Does Obama Deserve Criticism for Date Night with Michelle?

President Obama took the meaning of "date night" to new heights last night, whisking wife and First Lady Michelle off to New York City for dinner and a Broadway show. The First Couple is trying to keep the Saturday night tradition alive, but with the entire world watching their every move, things are different than when the President was just a community organizer.

For one, taxpayers foot the bill for the date. The White House would not say how much the jaunt cost, but the New York Post reports the three planes needed for the trip from Washington D.C. -- press and staff traveled as well -- cost at least $24,000 each. That doesn't include the undisclosed security costs. It should be mentioned that President Obama personally paid $96.50 for each ticket to Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Here's what people are saying about the Obamas' romantic night out:

"I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished."

-- President Obama

"Putting on a show: Obamas wing into the city for an evening out while another iconic American company prepares for bankruptcy."

-- Republican National Committee, referring to General Motors' pending filing.

"While people are losing their jobs, their houses, their retirements, their factories, and the government is taking control of banks and businesses, the American people are paying for the Obamas to jet set across the country and world on date nights."

-- Johnny Franks, The Chattanoogan

"I'm nervous, excited, honored. It's still unbelievable. It's like in Shakespearean times, when the king would come to the shows."

-- Andre Holland, actor, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone"

"The only problem, Barack critics say, is that it's the American taxpayers who footed the bill for the private planes that shuttled the Obamas back and forth (Air Force One got the night off). Obama sprung for the theater tix out of his own pocket. With the economy in the crapper, the Prez can't even enjoy a night on the town without it being a national issue."

-- Gossip site TMZ Check out the AP video:


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