Barack Obama’s special blend of no-nonsense presidential airs continues to be missed, even if people did enjoy seeing him truly enjoying life after leaving office. The sight of him surfing for the first time in 8 years could make (almost) anyone smile, at least briefly, but there’s a distinctly un-Obama-like move coming from the 43rd president for his upcoming 60th birthday celebrations at Martha’s Vineyard. It’s right along the lines of Dave Chappelle and Joe Rogan’s decision to do a joint “socially distanced” residency in Texas last December while COVID cases surged in Texas. In the midst of those shows, Chappelle tested positive and shut down the residency, and now, things are arguably more dire in the U.S. with cases rising again as the Delta variant runs wild.
Plans for Obama’s birthday, meanwhile, do not look wise. As Axios reports, nearly 500 guests (no Biden) are on the agenda. There is talk of a COVID-coordinator for the event, which will be held outdoors with requests that everyone be vaccinated. However, there’s no guarantee that there will be true verification of vaccination status. Most businesses are operating on the honor system when it comes to customers/guests and masks, so there’s no telling how deep the verification process will dive. Tests are also not foolproof, and breakthrough cases happen. Granted, Axios points out that Martha’s Vineyard isn’t currently a “substantially high-risk” area, but guests will come from far and wide. Here are some details, via Axios’ Margaret Talev:
The party already is the talk of Uber drivers, hotel maids and check-in clerks.
One person with connections to Obamaworld said there were 475 confirmed guests — including friends, family and former aides — and 200-plus staff planning to work the party.
Pearl Jam was set to play, and one local hairdresser had been retained to style the hair of a band member. Steven Spielberg also was expected.
So… this probably involves at least 700 people gathered in one place, and even being “outdoors” doesn’t seem to fully deter Delta when it wants to do its thing. And all this is happening while Democrats are currently attempting to convince their Republican House colleagues (who are throwing tantrums and sh*tposting in retaliation) about taking this stage of the pandemic more seriously. Perhaps Obama needs to rustle up some of his commonsense approach, step in, and call this event off and maybe just go surfing again? That would be a great way to celebrate.