Wednesday, December 1

44×60: This was the party (without social distance) for Obama’s sixtieth birthday

  • Obama “I did not confess too much in innocence”

If there is a place in the United States that evokes the image of white, rich and old, it is Martha’s Vineyard. The island located in Cape Cod is the definition of “old money”, or, as it is said in English, “old money”. For having, it even has a town for whites, Edgartown, and another for blacks, Oak Bluffs.

Edgartown is where Barack Obama has his summer home. He bought it two years ago, for $ 11.75 million (€ 10 million). It has two floors, with seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a toilet, and its plant is 640 square meters. This is where Obama held his 60th birthday party on Saturday. A party that has been object of various criticism Because, in the time of coronavirus, it is not the best to transmit a signal about the importance of social distance, at a time when the United States is experiencing a bitter debate about economic inequality – the largest in a hundred years – it was a waste, and with him Democratic Party, to which the former president belongs, raising all the alarms about climate change, the celebration was a bacchanal of private planes.

Paradoxically, the one who went by ferry was one of the richest of all: Obama’s special envoy against climate change and former secretary of state, John Kerry, that is of Boston and has a collection of mansions in the area (Kerry, even though his wife has over a billion dollars thanks to the ktchup Heinz, travels around Washington in the taxi companies Uber and Lift, which shows that sometimes those who have the most are not the ones who show off the most).

And it is that to Martha’s Vineyard (literally, “The vineyard of Marta”) it is arrived fundamentally by ferry, since there are very few flights. And no one will think that Byonc, Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Alicia Keys, John Legend o Chrissy Teigen they are going to go to Martah’s Vineyard on a commercial flight, sitting on one of the humble benches of the ferry, or in the small planes that connect the island with Boston and that move like a cocktail shaker (I say this from my own experience). They all gathered in a huge tent on the Obama farm, which has an area of ​​almost 12 hectares, that is, about 20 soccer fields. There they were, among others, the former basketball player Dwyane Wade, actors Don Cheade y Gabrielle Union, the television star Stephen Cobert, and even the reality TV star and singer Kim Fields. Obama, we are told, is an intellectual, cold, and methodical politician, but the people he invited to his birthday have not become famous for his treatises on epistemology. No one seems to have remembered the tremendous number of undocumented Brazilian immigrants who live on Martha’S Vineyard, and whom you meet as soon as you leave Edgartown. The island where Tashtego was born, one of the three harpooners of the ‘Pequod’, the ship of Moby Dick, witnessed on Saturday another party of the rich and famous more. The “yes we can” and the “change we can believe in” with which Obama entered the White House had been engulfed by the glitter of Hollwood and television.

The dimensions of the celebration had been reduced after the Republican opposition launched its artillery against the show, held just as the politicization of the fight against Covid-19 reached new levels, with several Republican governors – such as Texas, Greg Abbot, and the one from Florida, Ron DeSantis, the latter a clear contender for the presidency in 2024 – rejecting the imposition of masks even though their states are experiencing an explosion of cases, and with more and more companies demanding their employees to be vaccinated if they do not want to lose the job of work (with the aggravation that, if you are fired for not getting vaccinated, you lose the right to collect unemployment benefits).

This is how the Obamas cut the guest list. If at first 475 were going to go, it seems that the final figure was closer to 300. Outside they were their electoral strategist, David Axelrod and the comedian Larry David (‘Seinfeld’ writer and later star of his own show, ‘Curb your enthusiasm’ on HBO). Others had already politely declined the invitation for fear of catching it, such as Oprah Winfrey and the film director Ava DuVernay, for fear of the Delta variant of Covid-19, according to the ‘New York Times’.

Attendees received a treatment typical of the celebration. The organization had created protective masks, with a symbol in gold letters, 44×60 (Obama is the 44th President of the United States, and he is turning 60). The alcohol ran, apparently generously. And at the end of the party, at dawn, the press, which was not invited, heard the police from Martha’s Vineyard talking on the radio commenting that the traffic jam that was mounting was “a shit” (actually, the term used was “shitshow”, that is to say “show-of-shit”, so it is up to the reader to find the appropriate Spanish word). Much of that information we have thanks to two disc jockeys, TJ Chapman y Trap Beckham, who posted photos on Instagram in violation of the event’s rules. Before Chapman and Beckham – who, apparently, were loaded with hashish joints – were forced by the Obama team to remove the photos, the British tabloid ‘Daily Mail’ had already distributed them on the internet all over planet Earth.

Obama, dressed in a white shirt with gray motifs, white pants and white shoes – the classic uniform of the American who goes to a good resort. Nothing ‘waspie’, that is, the posh-white-of-family-good that is the most characteristic species of Martha’s Vineyard with the exception of the white sharks, the seals and the humpback whales – he unleashed dancing in the verbena, which lasted until the early hours of the morning, according to a short video posted by the singer Erikah Baidu, which was also invited. Curious thing, in those images neither the president nor any of his companions – all women – wears a mask. At the party Alicia Keys y John Legend versions of ‘Happy Birthday’ were dedicated to him, presumably with less sensuality than the famous rendition of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy in 1962.

It is not known if there was any Kennedy, despite the fact that Obama owes that family in part his presidency – the other to whom he owes it is Kerry – and that the ‘tribe’ is well established in the region. In the neighbor Cape Cod (literally, “Cabo del Bacalao”, because English names lose a lot when translated), the clan has its family mansion, and, precisely so that they do not spoil the view from it, they have tried by all means to block a project wind power generation park in which the Spanish company Iberdrola participates. And, a half-hour walk from Edgartown, is the Chappaquidick Bridge, where the 1969 presidential race ended. Ted Kennedy when her flirt that night Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned in the senator’s car while the senator was on the run. The Kennedy glamor came to an end on that tragic night of drinking on the way to a picnic on the beach. The one for the Obamas was already over before this party.

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

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