Did Barack Obama lie about 'scaled back' 60th birthday? Celebs arrive ahead of ex-prez's bash
Days after a spokesperson for former President Barack Obama claimed that his 60th birthday party would be scaled back to include “only family and close friends" amid the ongoing pandemic concerns, an array of celebrities were seen arriving on Martha’s Vineyard on Friday, August 6.
Among the host of celebrities spotted at the Massachusetts island in pictures obtained by New York Post were celebrity couples such as John Legend and Chrissy Teigen and Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union. In some other pictures that Daily Mail got their hands on, famous personalities like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Stephen Colbert, Oprah Winfrey, and John Kerry were also seen on the island.
Actor Don Cheadle was also spotted in a stylish outfit, making his way toward an arena on the island which had been set up with a massive tent flanked by smaller staging tents. An area in Obama's $12 million 29-acre property also had outdoor furniture, a dance floor, and a large stage with speakers and technical equipment, aerial footage showed.
Obama's 'close friends'
According to The New York Times, some of the other famous names that did not make the cut included David Axelrod, Larry David, David Letterman, and Conan O’Brien. The Roots drummer Questlove was set to perform at the party and there was an unsubstantiated rumor that Pearl Jam was also set to rock at the bash. The event was going to feature a vegetarian menu.
The birthday party was originally going to include 475 guests and 200 workers. However, after reports of Obama's proposed public health “nightmare” bash circulated online and was heavily criticized -- especially since there was an outbreak of the Delta variant in nearby Cape Cod -- an Obama spokeswoman on Wednesday said the party would be scaled back. “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,” Hannah Hankins said in a statement.
Apparently, Obama's "close friends" might also include some high-profile men and women. One local businessman joked to Daily Mail that the Democratic leader has a loose definition of “close friends.”
“His close friends apparently include his golfing buddies, politicians, celebrities. Those people are here on the island and I doubt he’ll be turning them all away,” the local reportedly said. “He wants people to think this is going to be small and intimate, but I don’t think we have the same definition of intimate.”
'Eyes wide shut kinda birthday'
As soon as the report of celebrities arriving for Obama's party went up online, the backlash - that had petered down after his spokesperson's statement, flared up again. "The virus is so deadly the elites risk their lives for a birthday party!" one of them said, while another noted, "The rules are good enough for you but not enough for them. And you people keep voting for these people because you think they are out to help you."
A third commented, "I wouldn't give a rats ass about this if they didn't try to make it where I can't also do whatever I want. Wait till the videos from inside come out and no one has masks on. Just like NFL Hall of Fame dinner tonight." The next quipped, "Do as I say, not as I do." Another remarked, "Eyes wide shut kinda birthday." A commenter tweeted, "Maybe he’s only inviting 8 people and the tent is that big to ensure they’ll all be maintaining maximum social distance." A person reacted with, "A super spreader event."
The rules are good enough for you but not enough for them. And you people keep voting for these people because you think they are out to help you. pic.twitter.com/uPEEN3yT8W— Rod Stickler (@RodStickler) August 7, 2021
The virus so deadly the elites risk their lives for a birthday party!— Covid-1984🏳️🏳️🏳️ (@jen_l4u) August 7, 2021
I wouldn't give a rats ass about this if they didn't try to make it where I can't also do whatever I want. Wait till the videos from inside come out and no one has masks on. Just like NFL Hall of Fame dinner tonight— Bradley Ashe (@BradleyAshe) August 7, 2021
Do as I say, not as I do.— Dr. Will Ferguson (@willferg14) August 7, 2021
Eyes wide shut kinda birthday.— laughoffliam (@laughoffliam) August 7, 2021
Maybe he’s only inviting 8 people and the tent is that big to ensure they’ll all be maintaining maximum social distance.— Just Some Guy (@AlwaysPickdLast) August 7, 2021
A super spreader event— David Crowley (@brutemandavid) August 7, 2021