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“If you have kids, you know that telling your spouse that they can go spend a week away from home is actually a big present,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.

There was no official confirmation last week of where Michelle was staying in Hawaii, or when she intended to return.

As far as The First Ladies Birthday Party: guests have been advised to “eat before you come” to the party, which merely promises “snacks & sips & dancing & dessert”.

Andre Wells, a party planner, disagreed. “It seems like a very casual party, and she’s turning 50,” he said. “The older you get, I feel like you can say what you want.”

Either way, the first lady will be aware her every public move will be watched for signs of marital discord.

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