For someone who prides himself on optics, Barack Obama just gave us quite an ugly spectacle.
As the rest of America struggles with uncertain employment status and school reopenings, shifting mask mandates, anxiety over vaccinations and variants, the health of the economy and the citizenry at large, Obama had to go and throw himself a huge, epic, three-day birthday bash on Martha’s Vineyard.
You would think a former president — one who clearly considers himself more intelligent and sensitive than most — would exercise some restraint.
Or at least understand that this was a supremely bad look.
Here was our climate czar, John Kerry, flying in private. His mode of travel was preferred by a host of left-leaning eco-warrior celebs, all Obama’s “close friends,” of course, descending on an already understaffed and emotionally depleted Vineyard.
“His birthday party is insane,” one of Obama’s caterers told The Post last week. “What is he thinking?”
Clearly, Obama thought to do whatever he damn well pleased — even after such backlash caused him to effectively cancel his party.
“This outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with COVID safeguards in place,” Obama spokesperson Hannah Hankins told the press last week. “Due to the new spread of the delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends.”
That, we now know, was a lie.
The Obamas hosted hundreds of guests, all free to go unmasked, while their 200 servers were reportedly forced to mask up. The tiny island’s residents, meanwhile, endured “a s—t-show” of traffic and sudden road closures enforced by the Secret Service.
Is there a more disgusting display of elitist “Rules for thee, not for me” than this?
Famously close friend David Axelrod — who sat for a hagiographic, three-part HBO Obama doc that premiered last week, who just called Obama an “apostle of hope” in the Washington Post, and the adviser most responsible for getting Obama elected in the first place — was, according to the New York Times, cut from the guest list.
Yes, David Axelrod was uninvited at the last minute so “close friends” such as H.E.R., former “Real Housewife of Atlanta” Kim Fields, Bradley Cooper and Stephen Colbert — to name but a few — could attend.
That is some cold stuff.
The uninvited, according to the Times, were “abruptly cut.” It tells you just where the Obamas’ post-presidential priorities are: Hollywood, podcasts, Netflix deals, and socializing with celebrities.
There’s not much daylight here between the Obamas and the Markles. Who would have thought?
Consider that Jackie O, the most famous woman of her era, lived a very low-profile life on the Vineyard. Sure, she had an estate, but she did not move about ostentatiously.
Throw a lavish party filled with hundreds of A-listers while America remained gripped by a pandemic?
Jackie would never.
Barack, however, was playing 18 holes with Don Cheadle and getting serenaded by Alicia Keys. He was working it out on the dance floor with Erykah Badu while his guests drank top-shelf liquor and smoked cigars and dined from a menu curated by Questlove.
And the mainstream media cheers this on!
“Even Scaled Back, Barack Obama’s Birthday Bash is the Event of the Season,” said Vanity Fair.
“Danced All Night,” People mag said of Obama. “He Never Stopped Smiling.”
No wonder the vaccine is still politicized. No wonder there remains two Americas, despite Obama’s constant, self-aggrandizing promises to unite us.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci went on “Meet the Press” to warn that the Sturgis, SD, motorcycle rally (code for “MAGA crowd”) might be a superspreader event.
Then on Monday, a New York Times reporter went on CNN and quoted a Vineyard resident as saying the Obamas were fine because they invited “a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd.”
That says it all. Even Twitter erupted.
“Of course viruses don’t attack sophisticated people, Muffy!” said one.
Perhaps Obama should have winnowed his list down to his close campaign strategists and loyal staffers — those who, according to the Times, were heartbroken to be thrown over for the likes of Chrissy Teigen, famous for little more than her marriage and her cyber-bullying.
These longtime loyalists, the Times said, “generally credit themselves with helping create the Obama legacy that has allowed the former president to settle in so comfortably with the A-list crowd” and all of them had “been looking forward to the reunion after an isolated year.”
Let them eat cake, indeed.