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Nice ride: White House says Michelle Obama will return to Washington via 'government aircraft'

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First lady Michelle Obama has lingered in Hawaii for a few days to celebrate a noteworthy birthday - her pending 50th on January 17.  She’s currently visiting with local, occasional resident Oprah Winfrey, who owns a 12-bedroom house in Maui.

And Mrs. Obama’s transport home when the time comes? The question was posed to White House press secretary Jay Carney at the press briefing on Monday. Is President Obama “paying for the flight back or are the taxpayers paying for it?” asked Fox News correspondent Ed Henry.

“As with all personal travel, the First Family will appropriately fund personal expenses. And in line with travel of past presidents and first ladies, the first lady will travel via government aircraft,” a dutiful Mr. Carney told the curious reporter.

And yes, there will be a party for Mrs. Obama to celebrate the big 5-0 upon her return. According to the elusive invitation, guests have been instructed to wear comfortable shoes, snack before they arrive, and prepare to dance.

“She’s simply Michelle, a down-home, down-to-earth woman of tremendous grace,” Democratic strategist and invitee Donna Brazile told the Chicago Tribune this week.

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