Former President Barack Obama is throwing a huge birthday party for himself at his opulent $12 million waterfront mansion on Martha's Vineyard on Saturday. The birthday bash was originally supposed to include nearly 500 guests and more than 200 staff, but the celebration was "significantly scaled back" to include "only family and close friends" due to criticism over holding a social gathering of that size during a surge in COVID-19 infections.
However, photos emerged of massive tents constructed specifically for the birthday party on Obama's 29-acre estate. There were also images of celebrities arriving at Martha's Vineyard to attend the festivities. The internet was quick to point out that the preparations for the party looked anything other than "scaled back."
Several celebrities were reportedly invited and then uninvited, including late-night talk show hosts David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" actor Larry David, and David Axelrod, chief strategist for Obama's presidential campaigns, according to the New York Times.
The celebrities who did make the cut include Beyonce, Jay-Z, Eddie Vedder, Tom Hanks, and musician Questlove, who reportedly coordinated a meat-free menu for the party. "Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay had pulled out of the party earlier because of concerns over the Delta variant," the Times reported. Steven Spielberg, Bruce Springsteen, and George Clooney were reportedly on the original guest list, according to the New York Post. There were no reports of Obama's "bro" and former vice president Joe Biden attending the birthday party.
The New York Times added that the attendees of the party would be a "mostly vaccinated crowd," but "all of whom had to submit negative tests to gain entry to the property."
The party had been planned for months, and "the former president had baseball caps made for the occasion that read '44 at 60.'"
The Daily Mail released photos of massive tents on the Obamas' grandiose grounds. The outlet also published photos of celebrities arriving at the wealthy Massachusetts enclave for Obama's 60th birthday party, including Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Dwayne Wade, Gabriel Union, Don Cheadle, and Stephen Colbert. Biden's climate czar, John Kerry, was seen in photos taking a private jet to Martha's Vineyard.
The internet reactions to Obama's swanky and seemingly over-the-top birthday party complete with circus-like tents were delivered fast and furious.
- "Do what we say, not what we do."
- "The hypocrisy is the point."
- "These are the people calling you selfish if you don't want to close your small business."
- "Do you feel like a peasant yet?"
- One person quoted "Animal Farm" by George Orwell: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."
- "The virus so deadly the elites risk their lives for a birthday party!"
- "Look, news outlets raised cane when @POTUS45 held events at his compound in Florida during the pandemic. Now. @BarackObama celebrating his 60th with a tent larger than a lot of homes. It's just the news cycle. Stay healthy."