At this difficult time, when so many Americans are struggling to put food on the table, won’t you please think of the Obamas?
This, after all, is a family that’s given so much to America. And look what they’ve gotten in return! Sure, they have the two houses, one in a tony Washington, D.C., neighborhood and the other on even tonier Martha’s Vineyard.
But those lucrative Netflix and book deals aren’t going to last forever — and Barack is forbidden by the Constitution from getting his old job back.
And the former president isn’t getting younger. With his 60th birthday coming Aug. 4, former top Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett took to Twitter to plead for his supporters to kick in a little gift of their own — a donation to pay for the planned Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.
“My dear friend @BarackObama is turning 60 tomorrow,” she tweeted Tuesday. “For his birthday gift, I’m asking you to chip in $6 or $60 to help us bring the Obama Presidential Center to life in Chicago.”
My dear friend @BarackObama is turning 60 tomorrow. For his birthday gift, I’m asking you to chip in $6 or $60 to help us bring the Obama Presidential Center to life in Chicago. Donate at https://t.co/pak27yKqbz #HappyBdayObama pic.twitter.com/AvWnExCSNE
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) August 3, 2021
This came, as Fox News reported, as the former president was preparing “a birthday party critics say would make Jay Gatsby blush – 475 guests, 200 staffers all squeezed together on his $11.75 million estate sprawling over 29 idyllic acres of Martha’s Vineyard.”
The party was planned for Friday.
But on Wednesday, Obama’s actual birthday, the former president’s spokeswoman announced that the massive event — criticized as a potential “superspreader” in the coronavirus pandemic — was going to be downsized “significantly,” ABC News reported.
“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,” spokeswoman Hannah Hankins told the media, according to ABC.
By then, however, Jarrett’s tweet had already met with plenty of derision:
Throwing a party for 700 people at a posh mansion, sure everyone chip in your six bucks to help out the cause ????
— Rodney Muterspaw (@chiefmuterspaw) August 3, 2021
mrs jarrett i am unemployed my rent is tomorrow and i can no longer afford insulin but please send my last $2 to president obama i love him
— Carl Beijer (@CarlBeijer) August 4, 2021
Ain’t giving a dime. His 700 guests should contribute from their enormous resources not struggling families.
— Ubabunike (@latigbo) August 3, 2021
He’s having a birthday at Martha’s Vineyard at his $12M estate with 500 hundred very wealthy ppl.
I find your request incredibly insensitive and ignorant.
Do you realize most of us are barely hanging on? Do you?
— James Scott lives on land stolen from Muscogee N (@Jscott1145) August 4, 2021
But hey, that center isn’t going to pay for itself.
As Fox News noted, the Obama center is a $500 million project scheduled to be built in Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side, but it’s currently caught up in a federal review.
Sure, Obama’s already gotten over $1 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boeing and Microsoft, as Fox reported.
But Jarrett’s tweet sounded desperate. So maybe you could do your part and give Obama “$6 or $60.” Help a former president out.
How badly could Americans be hurting, after all? Aside from the fact that over four in 10 Americans have taken pay cuts or faced layoffs since the pandemic started, according to CBS News.
The numbers come from a report from the Pew Research Center released Friday that showed that roughly “half of all adults who are not retired say the pandemic has made it harder for them to reach their financial goals. This rises to 58% for lower-income people.”
But then, it was lower-income Americans who faced the biggest hit during the economic shutdowns — not only did they face a bigger drop in income, they also weren’t able to cut expenses, since they were spending more of their income on necessities in the first place.
“Upper-income adults are also more likely than those with middle or lower incomes to say they have been spending less and saving more money since the coronavirus outbreak began,” Pew’s report found.
Eight in 10 high-income Americans said they spent less, but only a third of low-income Americans did.
But just think: The Democrats, the party of the working person and the impoverished, they’ll have so much to be grateful for whenever that $500 million library opens.
And in the meantime, maybe Obama will invite one or two of them to his shindig once he reschedules it — as the help, of course, but at least they’ll be invited.
Until then, let them eat COVID lockdowns.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.