“Faux-Beef”, “Faux Pork” and “Faux President” Barack Obama Celebrate a “low key” 60th
“Macramé rocking chairs and canvas outdoors chairs were stacked in preparation to create different moods and areas in which guests can lounge.
“A large raised stage at the far end of the marquee showed speakers and technical equipment unpacked and ready to set up and a multi-screen display. Segments of what appeared to be a wall of pictures of Obama through the years lay as yet unmounted.
“Purple sweet-peas and cream rhododendrons sat in pots and large circular light fixtures sat on table tops waiting to be hung and add drama to this ‘low-key’ family affair.
“A Sperry tent has been erected behind the main marquee and behind that catering tents and stations set up.
“A staging tent with uniforms for servers and staff could be seen on the other side of the house.
“Preparations for the scaled back birthday bash this weekend have been underway all week at the Obamas’ waterfront property where the former president had planned to host 500 friends, donors, former administration members, relatives, and celebrities.
“But the birthday boy was forced to drastically cut the guest list trimming it down to just ‘family and close friends,’ thanks to a surge in the Covid-19 Delta variant that saw the planned party draw criticism from many quarters.
“The president emerged from the family’s $12-million estate shortly after noon Thursday. Making the most of a break in the weather after a rainy start to the day, he took to the greens of Farm Neck Club on the edges of the town of Oak Bluffs.
Former White House photographer Pete Souza shadowed Obama as he played golf.
“The 60-year-old joined the club which boasts that it is ‘fully organic,’ with ground keepers using no chemicals or pesticides, in 2016.
“The course also encourages caddies not carts and the president and his three companions towed the line and walked the course.
“Membership costs $12,000 a year on top of a $350,000 initiation fee and is currently at full capacity with 305 members.
“Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the President and Mrs Obama issued a statement which read: ‘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.
‘President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.’
“But as more plans became public this week, the former president came under fire for the tone deaf event as many areas of the country returned to pandemic restrictions, including mask mandates indoors.
“There was also a ‘coronavirus coordinator’, who was making sure the event was compliant with the most recent CDC guidance.
“Guests were required to take coronavirus tests and submit their results to the medical ‘coronavirus coordinator’ to gain entry to the Obama compound.”
“Resident and columnist Richard Taylor said he thought the concerns over the party were overblown. “ (Fox News, Aug. 7, 2021)
“He has 20-plus acres of land, and everyone was going to be outside,” he told The Times. “You’re dealing with a sophisticated crowd.”
Guess among its many other media-inspired claims, COVID can easily distinguish between sophisticated and the unwashed when it comes to Party Time.
by Judi McLeod,