Barack Obama really did scale back his birthday party & disinvite guests

36th German Protestant Church Congress

Barack Obama turned 60 years old on August 4th. He planned out his blowout birthday bash on his 30-acre Martha’s Vineyard oceanfront home, and apparently a lot of invitations went out and it was probably going to be the big event of the summer season. We have no idea if Obama invited many Democratic officials, but we know that President Biden did not attend and neither did Speaker Nancy Pelosi. After Axios and other media outlets made a big deal about how many people were invited (originally the number was around 475) and how the Delta variant is raging throughout the country, dumbass conservatives accused Obama of hypocrisy and they made it into another ridiculously stupid story. Because how dare Obama have an outdoor party with fully vaccinated people. So Obama reportedly scaled back his birthday party plans at the last minute. Or did he? Because it certainly looked like it was still a big bash!

Former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday had been anticipated as the biggest social event of the summer for alumni of his administration and friends of the Obama family — a celebrity-studded garden party at Mr. Obama’s $12 million Martha’s Vineyard mansion. But this week, some invitees were treated to a cold dose of reality when they were abruptly cut from the guest list — while some of the boldest names were not. The party, the uninvited were told, had been scaled back because of growing concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Mr. Obama’s decision to cut back the reported 475-person guest list (a number that Mr. Obama’s camp never officially confirmed) was made almost a week after President Biden effectively conceded that the pandemic had come roaring back, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Delta variant was as contagious as chickenpox and more likely to break through vaccine protections than all other known versions of the virus.

Former administration officials said they were somewhat surprised Mr. Obama was carrying on with what appeared to be an over-the-top event, even though they said they were not concerned about catching the coronavirus while mingling outdoors with a mostly vaccinated crowd, all of whom had to submit negative tests to gain entry to the property. Many had rented houses together for the weekend.

Still, Democrats supportive of the former president privately expressed surprise at the casual disregard for optics and wondered why it took until just days before the party for Mr. Obama to change course. For his part, Mr. Obama was soliciting advice from his most trusted advisers about what the best path forward was for revamping a costly, logistically complicated party that had been months in the making. The former president had baseball caps made for the occasion that read “44 at 60.” He had also hired a “Covid coordinator,” or compliance officer, to ensure the safety of guests.

[From The NY Times]

The NYT was mostly focused on the people who were disinvited and how awkward those calls were, but they made it sound like Obama really did try to scale it down, and that many former Obama administration people were disinvited. As for the general reactions from the cheap seats, I saw no fewer than five Fox News stories about the party, the traffic, the “liberal hypocrisy,” and how Obama was apparently on the dance floor without a mask, gasp! The NYDN notes that Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King and David Axelrod all skipped the party, but people like “Beyoncé and Jay-Z, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union were among those on the island.”

Again, would I have thrown a huge outdoor party at this very moment? No. But I don’t blame Obama for wanting to have a party, and I think he took some good precautions given that this took months of planning. Most of the whining is coming from unhinged Republicans who have been telling their own people to not get vaccinated or wear masks or take any precautions. I can’t even wrap my head around the dumbf–k arguments they’re making, so whatever.

PS… the most disappointing part of all of this is that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen were still invited to the party. Of course Chrissy made it all about herself.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instagram.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

123 Responses to “Barack Obama really did scale back his birthday party & disinvite guests”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Jessie Quinton says:

    It was his 60th. I’m sure everyone was tested and there was measures put in place. He wasn’t breaking any laws. The Republicans will look for any excuse to jump on Barry anyway.

    So over Chrissy. She really needs to stop messing with her face, too.

    • Lemons says:

      Obama’s friends got their vaccines and got tested before attending. They also shower regularly. Republicans (and adjacent) keep forgetting to wash their a**es before leaving the house. No comparison can be made.

    • Chana says:

      If this party happened a few months ago when vaccine rates were high and cases plummeting I wouldn’t have that much of a problem with it (although I would probably side eye a guest list of 200). But since the CDC has advised vaccinated people to mask up again with cases surging, and the eviction moratorium almost lapsing, I think this party is in poor taste. I would expect to see this kind of lavishness at Mar-a-Lago. And I haven’t seen any pics of guests wearing masks yet.

      I’ve seen many takes on Twitter like, “Obama doesn’t owe you anything!” I disagree. He is a public servant, and a president is an idol to many. He should be held to a high standard. Also, wondering if the CDC regrets lifting that mask mandate so early.

      • MattyLove says:

        I whole heartedly agree.

      • Gail Hirst says:

        He WAS a public servant. He retired from public service, remember? He IS a private citizen. He is not “a president” he IS a former President. If you’re going to whinge, please whinge accurately.

        I wasn’t invited, so no axe to grind here…..

      • Chrissy says:

        He might have BEEN a public servant but still very much in the public eye. Bad message – have vs. have nots. Whether it is republicans or democrats, vaccinated or not, BAD timing, bad message…

        Sorry, I’m a big dem who is vaxxed and cannot understand why anyone would be think a party of any size over 25 in doors or out is okay now.

      • SMS says:

        I love Obama but this was an own goal. It also surprises me that ex-Administration people who served this country were disinvited so celebs could go.

      • Kristen says:

        Agree that it was dangerous and in terrible taste. How narcissistic/arrogant/tone-deaf do you have to be? Disgusted.

      • Chana says:

        @Gail I’m hardly whinging? Perhaps public servant isnt the right word, but he’s clearly an active political figure. He speaks openly about the direction he thinks the Democratic party should go in and offers public endorsements. It’s disingenuous to suggest he’s fallen off the face of the earth since leaving office. I can’t help being disappointed in him no matter how rude you are.

    • Anne Call says:

      I’m sure Fox will be just as concerned with the Sturgis motorcycle event with thousands of unvaccinated people descending on South Dakota. What’s that you say? We wouldn’t hear a word about it, you think? Truth.

  2. HandforthParish says:

    Not great optics TBH.

    Happy birthday though!

    • BrainFog 💉💉😷 says:

      I agree. I am a Democrat and I still think that this was not a good choice. We need to hold our own people to the same standards that we do for the Kathy Keens and Prince Baldinghams of the world. I don’t like double standards.

      • Aeren says:

        All of this.

      • AD says:

        I agree. He was determined to have that birthday party regardless but it was not a good idea not with this corona climate. Was surprised coming from him. A bit reckless in my opinion.

      • Lemons says:

        I’m sorry, but in Europe, we’re able to have large events as long as people have been vaccinated or come with a negative Covid test. You don’t need to stay indoors forever as long as you take the right precautions. Obama’s friends are not your MAGA antivax neighbors.

      • thaisajs says:

        Agree 100 percent. Even if everyone there is vaccinated and there were rapid tests, it doesn’t make it safe. Kids under 12 aren’t vaccinated and those partygoers could easily have gotten infected and pass it along to kids at home.

        I like Obama but this party was a really bad idea.

      • Chana says:

        Yes agreed. Been seeing a lot of takes like “well everyone was tested.” If testing was a full-proof means of containing COVID then it wouldn’t be spreading internationally at the rate it is. Most countries require a negative test upon arrival, but we still have Delta! Other measures have to be in place, like limiting your gatherings and wearing masks, neither of which he did.

        And I wouldn’t have been bothered by this party a couple months ago when it seemed like we were out of the woods, but the country is in a dire state. Poor optics.

    • Gab says:

      Double standard indeed.

    • Maria says:

      Yup! This.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      Well, if the Olympics were moved back one year because of Covid, Obama could do it too for his big 60th birthday party. Martha’s Vineyard would still be there.

  3. Maria says:

    The party doesn’t bother me. Chrissy getting invited is unbelievable, lol.

    • Becks1 says:

      This is what I keep circling around in my head lol. The party was just another thing for the right to use to attack him, whether it was 40 people or 400, but Chrissy Teigen?

    • Darla says:

      I don’t even pile on her but I have to admit I saw that INCREDIBLY SMUG staircase picture or video on Instagram yesterday and I really gagged.

    • Kristen says:

      It’s because Legend sang happy birthday. Eye roll.

  4. Darla says:

    If it was great optics Biden woulda went, so would have Pelosi who loves President Obama. But I think that the Obamas spent 8 years having to not put one false foot forward. Like, they couldn’t do things white Presidents and First Ladies did. And frankly, neither could their daughters. Imagine some of the hijinks the Bush girls got up to? No way that would fly, even though it’s perfectly normal teenage behavior. So they always had to be not great, but PERFECT.

    And they’re tired of that isht. They want to live their lives. I don’t blame them. And I would 100% go to a big outdoor party if everyone was vaccinated and tested. I would go to a big outdoor party with no testing frankly. So would most who are pointing fingers (not all, but most).

    • Merricat says:

      Agreed. Also, outdoors, vaccinated, and tested sounds safer than what we’re going to see in public schools in the fall.

      • Darla says:

        Oh A LOT safer.

      • Kelly says:

        Especially in parts of the country that have higher vaccination rates. I’m in the Midwest in the county that has the highest vaccination rate statewide. It’s scary hearing that schools in the SF Bay area are having covid outbreaks. Similar vaccination rates and safety precautions to where I live.

        I can’t imagine that this year is going to be a easy one for parents, teachers, and students. It’s a shame that too many people in this country don’t want to do their part to stop the spread of covid because perceived threats to their “freedoms”.

        I work in higher ed, and have to be back working in person by the end of the month. I give it less than a month and back to a hybrid schedule by end of September, due to students coming from across the country and rising covid cases.

      • Katy Bowman says:

        My son’s year round school just had its first positive Covid test. Kiddos are home online again and I’m spitting vitriol towards the anti-vaxxers that sent their plague rats to school last week.

    • Truthiness says:

      If everyone had gotten the vaccine and masked up in public, we wouldn’t be as bad as we are with covid. I agree with Darla, Obama and his family had to walk a perfect line for 8 freaking years, scrutiny like no president had every been under. A fully vaccinated and tested outdoor party is not the problem with covid today.
      Leave it to Teigan to bring unvaccinated kids to the island and flaunt her presence.

  5. equality says:

    I wonder if a good deal of those “disinvited” were because they didn’t want to attend during a pandemic.

    • AD says:

      Is that even true?

      • equality says:

        Is the “disinviting” true, you mean? That’s what I wonder, if some just declined because they didn’t want to travel or attend a big event.

    • Truthiness says:

      Oprah even makes Steadman quarantine for days in another house when he flies in from somewhere. She’s not risking exposure. Others could think the same way.

  6. Amy Bee says:

    The Obamas have always been disappointing to me. They didn’t do enough while in office and are beholden to cooperate America. Out of office they have proven to be eager to maintaining the status quo and loyal to the establishment and the weirdly, the British Royal Family. Them going ahead with the party is not surprising to me.

    • Marie says:

      while I think the Obamas are decent people, I was never that impressed with his presidency.

      My problem with the party is the ongoing hypocrisy from some people, including many on this board. Swap out the name Obama for Bush, and people would be screaming for blood. (I thought the younger Bush was and still is b-atshit crazy by the way.)

      I’m fine with outdoor and indoor parties at this point, but the Democratic party is not, so for Obama as one of the biggest faces to host this event is bad optics.

      • Rnot says:

        Yeah, if Prince William and Kate Middleton had held a birthday party with the same pandemic precautions people here would be calling for their heads.

    • CarrieVirginia says:

      Yep, over the Obamas. Tacky party. V supportive of the royal ‘family’.
      Hilary Clinton has been waaaaay more supportive of Meghan. Michelle has been quite shady. Michelle is always about her perfect family and I can recall her being snarky about Meghan’s family problems.

      • PinkBerry says:


        “I can recall her being snarky about Meghan’s family problems”. Oh please, she hasn’t said anything about Meghan’s family problems. Her husband had the same problem with his half-brother. Get your fact straight.

      • AD says:

        Yup ditto. I thought that too.

    • Love says:

      The loyalty to the royal family weirds me right out. I have to say, I checked out of the Obamas when I saw the long a$$ post he wrote for Philip’s death. Man whaaat?

    • Darla says:

      Michelle Obama is a black woman who was this nation’s First Lady, and you guys are giving her Meghan-loyalty tests. Do you but I don’t care if she doesn’t line up to kiss that ass. You all got that covered. Maybe show some respect. I don’t think this is a good look but do you.

  7. Sunshine says:

    I don’t think Oprah was going to go in any case.
    Just watched a video of her snd Gayle giving Covid boundaries advice to a new mother.
    Oprah is totally Covid phobic and doesn’t even let vaccinated people in her house unless they’ve quarantined.

  8. DC Gal says:

    The optics of this are horrible, the insensitivity to the Delta surge is horrible, the whole thing is horrible. I’m really disappointed in him, for what it’s worth (not much).

    • Astrid says:

      I agree. The optics are horrible. Lots of families have put off events during the Covid – birthdays, funerals, graduations, weddings. I don’t understand why the Obama’s thought they were special enough to have an over the top birthday party as the Delta Variant is surging.

      • DC Gal says:

        It also just provides fodder for faux outrage on the right and continual railing against restrictions and vaccines. “But look what Obama did.” Everyone that attended is also included in my general disgust.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      I love Obama but I agree. Thinking of the outrage over Kim Kardashian’s small-in-comparison party last summer. Yes these guests were all vaxxed but still. And I bet there’s another party for the disinvited.

      Also I would like a compound on the beach for my family. We’re on each other’s last nerve.

      • North of Boston says:

        Last summer and this summer we’re very different times.

        Up until about a month ago, it was thought safe for vaxxed people to socialize with vaxxed people outdoors, and to travel with precautions. The same can’t be said of when Kk had her party.

      • Jennifer says:

        No vaxxing was available for Kim’s party, though.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Last month there was a big Delta outbreak in Provincetown, MA (on Cape Cod) which is right across the bay from Martha’s Vineyard. The Washington Post reported on a CDC study finding 75% of the Ptown cases were vaccinated. “Critically, the study found that vaccinated individuals carried as much virus in their noses as unvaccinated individuals, strongly suggesting that vaccinated people could spread the virus to others. ” The good news: “only a handful” of people were hospitalized from this case outbreak, and nobody died. The vaccine may not stop transmission, but it protects against severe disease. Evidently, Obama felt his party was worth the risk, and it seems plenty of his guests agreed. Let’s see how it plays out.

  9. MsIam says:

    Well I hope the right keeps this same energy for their own super spreader events. After all “optics”.

    • Erin says:

      Oh I’m sure they will! They will also start masking, pushing vaccines, awarding schools that mandate masks, and if there are any more lockdowns they will definitely follow those to the T because we all know they are all about keeping everyone in the US safe. Oh and no more rallies of any kind.

  10. Lightpurple says:

    Guests had to be vaccinated and tested. Massachusetts has a high vaccination rate and has been fully open for months, including sold out NHL and NBA playoff games at full capacity indoors. Fenway Park has been hosting Red Sox games at full 34,000 seat capacity for months and hosted full capacity concerts by Guns & Roses, Billy Joel, Green Day, and New Kids on the Block. The Pavilion tent has been hosting connects at full capacity of 5,000 for weeks. And the Wang Theater reopened this weekend for sold out Ali Wong shows of 3,500 INDOORS. None of these have been superspreader events.

    The Fox crew is just furious they weren’t invited.

    As for Chrissy Teigan, I think the invite was mainly for her husband.

    • Eurydice says:

      You make it sound like Bostonians have been frolicking, all carefree and maskless, for 6 months, but those venues have been at full capacity only since May 30. And now museums are going back to requiring masks and restaurants are thinking about requiring vaccine cards. Yes, we have a relatively high vaccination rate, but the covid numbers have gone from under 100 a day to over 1,000 in just one month – which started basically one month after venues went to full capacity. I’m not calling them super spreader events, but people are going out and traveling and the numbers are going up and it’s only been a couple of months.

      • North of Boston says:

        The outbreak in Provincetown MA following the 4th of July weekend and “Bear Week” was a huge wake up call, splash of cold water, slap in the face, what have you.

        Hundreds of people were infected as the virus spread, including vaccinated people. Fortunately the incidence of serious illness, hospitalizations with that outbreak has been low. But the realization that a town with a super low COVID rate in a state with a high vaccination rate could see such an outbreak, that the Delta variant could be spread so readily to and BY vaccinated folks is what caused the CDC to start recommending more
        precautions again.

        I can totally see how Obama and his team would have thought an outdoor party with vaccinated AND tested guests might have been okay, given how things were looking in Mass and on the Vineyard 2 months ago.

        But the Provincetown outbreak should have caused the brakes to come on, hard.

        That said, the hypocritical, bigoted concern trolls on Fox can shut their mouths and take a seat about this. Not a single one of them has voiced any concerns, objections or outrage over the RNC, or conservative / right wing groups or Trump and his ilk holding massive conferences, rallies, fundraisers this year … which BTW did NOT require vaccinations or COVID tests or masks or outdoor venues. Or for that matter, any objections to the mob of maskless insurrectionists storming the Capitol, milling, mingling, having close bodily contact, spreading their freedum-laden bodily fluids around.

        And yeah, that invite was entirely for John Legend

      • Eurydice says:

        @NoB – for some of us in Boston, PTown was more of a 5-minute snooze button because we opened almost a month later than the rest of the state. Like groundhogs coming out of hibernation, we blinked at the sun and started making tentative plans for this and that, and then ooops, nope – more weeks of winter.

    • Nic919 says:

      This is what I don’t get. Baseball stadiums are full of people and pose a far greater risk and than Obama’s party, which looked spaced out and he could at least confirm everyone there was vaccinated, which you can’t do at a stadium.

      So until they shut down all the baseball stadiums I don’t see how this one party is a big deal.

  11. Flowe says:

    I don’t think you know how vaccines work. If you have it, it doesn’t mean you won’t get covid it means that you won’t get it that strong. But you CAN STILL get it

    • HandforthParish says:

      Lots of reports of people in the UK in intensive care despite being fully vaccinated.
      The Delta variant is a bit of a game changer- and younger people are catching/spreading it.

  12. Midge says:

    Yikes. I love the Obamas but this was bad. Do I believe it was all outdoors and safe, with vaccinations and tests required? YES. But there should have been a no photo or video policy and really there’s no excuse for inviting Chrissy. She is a shit human.

    • Darla says:

      There was a no photo or video policy but I think a couple of people posted pics on Instagram anyway but then they deleted them. I can’t believe a guest broke the policy honestly. Who gets invited to the Obamas and does that?

  13. ME says:

    Kim Kardashian got a lot of backlash for doing something similar for her 40th bday, but on an island. Was it much different? Nope. The reaction from people though is miles a part. Why is Obama getting a pass? The Covid numbers in the U.S. are out of control. Vaccines don’t stop you from getting Covid, especially the Delta variant. You can still catch it and spread it. It’s good they only wanted vaxxed people to attend but still this is really a bad look.

    • Maria says:

      Kim’s birthday party not only flouted travel restrictions but nobody there was vaccinated, this was in October, and I do not believe they followed any health precautions while there.
      So this is a tad different. A lot has happened since then.

      • ME says:

        True and you make good points but I stand by what I said. It’s hypocritical. We know vaccines aren’t 100%. We know the Delta variant is extremely contagious and dangerous and on the rise in the U.S. This isn’t the time for parties. Have you seen the stats on how many kids are in the U.S. with Covid right now? Kids under 12 still aren’t vaccinated. A number of Obama’s guests have kids in that age group. Even if kids didn’t attend the party, their parents did and you can still catch and transmit Covid even if you’re vaccinated.

  14. MF1 says:

    Listen, I’ve got NO criticism for vaccinated folks who want to party with their vaxxed friends! These are the people who are doing right by our society, getting the vaccine, wearing masks, staying home during lockdown, social distancing, etc. If they wanna party after making a lot of sacrifices for the last 1.5 years, good for them! I’d rather save my criticism for the idiot science-deniers who think Bill Gates is trying microchip us all.

    • JanetDR says:

      Yes. Screw the optics. Did it meet CDC guidelines? I’m guessing it did. They don’t have to be perfect on everything all of the time. I’m sick of Trump zombies dissing everything the dems do.

  15. Ashton says:

    For me it’s not about Obama, I don’t care that’s it’s him who threw this party. No one should be doing this at this moment in time. People are terrified to send their kids to school, there is mixed messaging all over the news, and people are still dying. I wish every person in power would stop acting like hypocrites. You can’t preach to the peasants but then if you’re rich, have power, or fill in any excuse you want here, do whatever you want. I genuinely believe they did take precautions for this party but it still looks bad doing it right now.

  16. Rose says:

    Ugh, I mean he turned 60, I can see a fun garden party would be tempting. Just not right now. Love Obama but I wish he would’ve postponed. Of course the right wing media outlets are making a big deal, that’s not surprising and I’d have to assume Obama and his team knew that. Seems like more risk than worth, especially when the guests list includes the likes of Chrissy T. Whatever.

  17. Tanya says:

    Hmm. “Mostly vaccinated?” I wonder if there was a correlation between vaccination status and being uninvited.

  18. AmelieOriginal says:

    I love the Obamas but no, this was not a good idea, full stop. I get it was his 60th birthday and of course he’s allowed to do whatever he wants, he’s no longer in office. I know people want to give them a pass because only vaccinated people were invited and everyone had to submit a negative COVID test beforehand but we have no idea of knowing if everyone was vaccinated. And negative COVID tests can be false negatives (especially if people used rapid tests which have a huge margin for error, as much as 50% in some cases). And let’s be real, if this were Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump throwing a birthday party for himself on Martha’s Vineyard (let’s pretend they would use COVID precautions but we know they wouldn’t), we’d all be up in arms about it. To pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous.

    I know a lot of us have gone back to seeing friends in person, indoor dining, not wearing masks indoors if we are vaccinated. I definitely have done a lot of that in the past few months (though I am still wearing masks inside stores). But I’m just getting over my first cold, the first I’ve had in two years and the symptoms started right after I went to a wedding (about 90ish people). I got tested twice for COVID while I was having symptoms and both tests came back negative so I came out of isolation after the second test result. I was very annoyed about being sick but my fear was that I had contracted COVID at the wedding (where most people were vaccinated I believe but no one I know of got tested beforehand like I did). As I am still mildly congested and sniffly, I begged off doing any in person events for work this week as I am scheduled to fly out west next weekend to visit some national parks (plus some of the in person events were with kids but I have no way to know if they are all vaccinated and I’m pretty sure that’s where I picked up my cold from). And I definitely do not want to contract something else before I leave on my vacation (thank God I got sick last week and not this week is all I’m thankful for) and want to be as healthy as possible and minimize not just my exposure, but other people’s exposure to me.

    • Darla says:

      So let me get this straight; you just attended a big wedding, thought you might have gotten Covid, are sick now, are flying next week to visit national parks and be at events with kids, but Obama shouldn’t have had a birthday party?


      • equality says:

        I think she’s saying the events with kids are what she cancelled. Maybe BECAUSE of attending something she learned it was a bad idea?

      • Darla says:

        No ma’m . She is talking about a vacation she is going on, and she is flying, and she’s so happy she’s sick this week from the big wedding she attended recently, so she can still fly to her vacation. While telling Obama not to have a birthday party.

        “And I definitely do not want to contract something else before I leave on my vacation”

        No ma’m. this is someone who should not be judging a birthday party. Nope.

      • AmelieOriginal says:

        @equality: correct, I canceled all events this week involving seeing kids in person this week, it was a bit confusing. I’m pretty sure the kids are what gave me this cold in the first place anyways as I had done in person events with them and only got symptoms AFTER I saw the kids. Timeline was 1) seeing the kids indoors (I wore a mask the whole time despite being fully vaccinated but had no choice of the indoors venue and this was all for work btw) 2) wedding 3) symptoms started day after I got back from the wedding. I canceled all in person events for last week and did the same for this week despite being on the mend. Also colds are going around just as much as COVID-19 right now if this article from the NYT is to be believed:

      • Darla says:

        Okay so seeing the kids is part of what you cancelled this week after attending a large wedding where you got sick. And you’re glad you’re sick this week because next week you are flying on a vacation.

        But Obama shouldn’t have a birthday party.

        This reminds me a lot of the guy who tried to tell me here last week that he can go without bathing for a long time “like months” he said, and have no “odor’.

        Some people just think their isht don’t stink, but you really are not seeing yourself clearly here. It’s okay for you to attend large weddings and go away on vacation but Obama shouldn’t have a birthday party.

        Not okay by me.

  19. grabbyhands says:

    I love the Obamas, but this whole thing was unnecessary.

    I’m sure they were careful, but the reality is that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and there is a surge of a new variant going on and I’m disappointed that they went forward with this and only scaled back once they got called out. 60 is undoubtedly a milestone and it would have been a bummer not to be able to acknowledge it, but it’s not the end of the world (yet). Most responsible people are still being very careful, which means still not doing things socially the way we used to. Some people don’t have that option at all – careful or not.

    Bad optics indeed.

  20. T says:

    This party should not have happened given the current numbers. People are still getting sick and dying, and it just looks wrong to still insist, even with precautions, on celebrating a birthday with trash like Chrissy Teigen. I understand the desire and desperation to get back to normal. But it will NEVER happen while people do stuff like this. Someone will see that Obama did it and think it’s ok to do and we will be continuing to live in this semi-quarantined hell of constant new variants out there killing us. Get vaccinated, wear a mask when outside your home and stop large gatherings. If everyone had just done that from the beginning, we probably wouldn’t be here now in the current upsurge.

  21. Melo says:

    The hypocrisy of the dems is overwhelming.

    • Lightpurple says:

      What hypocrisy, Melo? You too are free to attend large gatherings in MA. This week, the Red Sox will be playing at Fenway, full capacity of 35,000 seats while Harry Connick, Jr and Lady A (the name thieving country people) are at the full capacity 4,000 seat Pavilion. If you aren’t vaccinated, we do ask that you mask up. You don’t have to be a Democrat to attend.

  22. Pilar says:

    Teigen? Really? Bad optics for the Obamas to invite a literal online troll. Random people who send hateful messages like she literally go to court for it at least in the UK and most places in Europe. I like the Obama’s but come on they had the perfect opportunity to disinvite them if the invitations were send before that whole thing blew up and they weren’t aware of how badly she conducted herself.I also think they shouldn’t have had a giant party in the middle of a pandemic it just sends the wrong signal. Disappointed in them.

    • Lemons says:

      They invited her husband. She’s a plus one. Her attention-seeking dress sans bra pretty much confirms that.

      • Pilar says:

        Still. They could have disinvited them when they scaled down.. Is he that close to John Legend that Legend just had to be there for his 60th? I really doubt that.

  23. taris says:

    it’s sooo frustrating to hear people call this a ‘double standard’ and try to make the half of society that has followed covid rules for over a year somehow responsible for the (in)actions of the other half.

    seriously, some of us are fully vaccinated already, and we’ve spent the last 18 months wearing masks, social distancing, doing EVERYTHING we were told to do to stay safe and to keep others safe too. we would ALL really like to get our lives back now – and WE’VE DONE OUR PART TO MAKE THAT POSSIBLE by getting vaccinated.
    yet some people choose to continue to be difficult about getting the vaccine, and somehow the vaccinated are to blame?
    because … optics?

    some of us have been responsible for over a year and we would like to celebrate milestones with our loved ones (who are also vaccinated) – for some of them, like our grandparents, it may be their last birthdays.

    • StormsMama says:

      I agree.
      This is where social contracts come into play.
      We the vaxxed have done EVERYTHING we’re supposed to do.
      And we can make our own decisions about how much risk/reward we feel safe with.

      The problem is NOT the Obamas. The problem is the frothing unmasked unvaxxed who have turned their nose up at science and plugged their ears so as not to hear the truth.

      People are entitled to live and let live-
      And if we are going to be up in arms about optics- let’s take laser focus on Fox News and the unvaxxed. Let’s point out that Trump and Rupert Murdoch ARE BOTH VAXXED. Let’s focus on those who are trying to keep us sick and stupid.
      Obama is not the problem.

      • taris says:

        we’ve done *our* part.
        we can’t honestly be expected to remain in our homes for the next 10 years while STILL trying to convince others to get the damn vaccine, you know?

    • Lemons says:

      Preach! I waited and planned for my vaccination certificate. I’m going out!

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Thank you ladies. As a fully vaxxed person with a fully vaxxed spouse and kids we are doing and have done our part. Truth be told we went to orlando last month and will continue to travel and be as safe as possible. We have had tests before (1), and after (4) we went. We are moving into the living with Covid stage. I have seen full audiences at hockey games and baseball games on tv, with no one wearing masks.

      Evidence shows your chances of catching, being hospitalized and dying from the virus is greatly reduced once you are vaccinated.

  24. Marietta says:

    I’m fine with it. These are intelligent people. Its outdoors. I go the farmers market every Sunday, and its just as crowded. This is our new normal.

  25. Nivz says:

    I have a lot of respect for the Obamas. I couldn’t bring myself to gossip about them yknow? I’m disappointed in this party, because it’s something I wouldn’t host or attend. “He doesn’t owe us anything” is disingenuous. He is and forever will be an American leader, and for Democrats in particular. To me, the problem with them hosting this party under the circumstances (delta, breakthrough, uncertainty) is that it sends a signal to the rest of us that it’s ok. Obama has millions of fans. What if one percent of them decided they wanted to have big parties because Obama did it? He is held to a higher standard because he is a leader. Same applies to Biden, Pelosi, Hillary, Harris… Anyway, this is my opinion, and you guys are welcome to weigh in, but I refuse to be told I can’t question the Obamas because reasons. “Have some respect” I keep reading. Oh I absolutely do.

    While I am on it, I am a Sussex Stan, so there’s a lot of personal investment in their whole situation. I am still perplexed by Michelle’s comments (“I shine the light outwards” etc) after Oprah. It’s been said before, but no matter the right wing racism Michelle faced as a black woman in a white space, she was still at the top of the democratic establishment, and loved by half of the country. She wasn’t second lady being smeared by the president and the First Lady to deflect from their own shortcomings. It’s easier to deal with Fox News saying mean things when you have cnn or msnbc supporting you. Wasn’t the case for H and M.

    It still confuses me that Jen Psaki was able to say “Meghan was brave” from the WH podium, but Michelle’s words were able to be used by British media as a sign of disapproval.

    Fwiw if H and M threw a giant party right now, I would be very disappointed in them too.

  26. Rnot says:

    I had dinner at home and saw no one for my 40th birthday. I’m expecting the same this year. It stings. But my milestone birthday is not more important than public health. The Obamas should know better than this. This is pure selfishness. I would have expected this from republicans but not from Team Blue.

  27. Gubbinal says:

    I know that the Republicans ruined his presidency. On the other hand, when I think of the lives of ex-presidents, only Jimmy Carter seems to have been dedicated to people. I just wish Obama had come up with something such as The Duchess of Sussex’s “40 x 40”. That would have been phenomenal. –instead of celebrating himself, to celebrate the way a celebrity initiative can spread.

  28. L4Frimaire says:

    Obama has the right to celebrate as he sees fit but like others said, not the best optics and I would have done something more intimate or charted a luxury yacht in the Grenadines with my nearest and dearest, but he looks like he had a great time and it was important to him, and we’ll see if any health fallout comes from it. I see some people calling out Michelle O. in regards to Meghan Markles birthday and honestly, it’s her husband’s big 6-0 the same day and planning and focusing on that was her priority. She can focus on her husband exclusively if she wants to. I thought Meghan’s 40×40 birthday was awesome but she doesn’t need everyone’s buy in or validation, especially since it’s such a resounding success. How each person celebrated was very different due to their very different circumstances and where they’re at in life.

  29. catlady says:

    My daughter recently went out for lunch with her friend. They sat outside, and are both vaccinated. They both caught Covid. Breakthrough Covid is very prevalent now.

  30. SusanRagain says:

    I turned 60 years old at the end of July too.
    Nobody is wailing and gnashing their teeth about it.

    Let’s face facts, Sturgis ND is getting ready for their yearly Bike rally, I’d be willing to bet that of the people attending BO party vs. Bikers piling into ND, BO party had a goodly if not all vaxxed.

    ND? Not so much.

  31. vivian says:

    Obama was and is significantly about the optics. He is beyond being an ex-president: he is a brand. And the MV party was brazen and bordering on narcissistic. He must know that everyone hired for a service job has to come back and forth from the mainland on the ferry as they cannot afford to live on MV. I was in Woods Hole for the summer a few years ago and I was often on the 7am MV ferry – it was standing-room-only in a sea of workers: UPS, Fed Ex, waiters, nurses, health aids, construction workers, drivers, etc. So beyond all the guests, and everyone they came into contact with traveling, etc., all the hundreds of extra workers who would come from the mainland and travel back there to families magnify the superspreader effect.

  32. Anonymous says:

    @Catlady: I hope she is doing well. Wishing her and your family good health!! The Delta variant is really contagious. Even vaccinated people are catching and spreading it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The pandemic is probably going to be around for several more years. We will need to learn to live with it and make the choices we feel comfortable with. Everyone needs to evaluate their circumstances and make their choices accordingly. He felt comfortable with a 200 person birthday. It’s his choice. Hopefully the guests in attendance felt safe going. Anyone with immunocompromised family or small unvaccinated children might want to consider masking up (in addition to getting vaxed) to avoid spreading Covid to their loved ones. This is a really difficult time for all of us. We do our best.

  34. LRob says:

    I am happy the Obamas were able to go ahead with their carefully planned covid- protocoled outdoor event, These are responsible advocates and they were careful.

    I don’t share the concerns about Chrissy and Joh’s appearance. They have public lives to live even as Chrissy faces the backlash from her trolling, with their businesses, a public family profile, music, modeling, and cooking obligations. I do not expect or want Crissy to hide as she works her way through. She remains accountable and she is still facing disengagement by members of he public who feel like some posters here do and may not forgive her. That’s just no me.

  35. No says:

    This is such a shitty take. This party is immensely irresponsible, scaled down or not. The US opened up way too soon with such a low rate of vaccination, and the entire world will have to pay for your mistakes. You should be going into lockdown now, not encouraging this. How shameful

  36. Anonymous says:

    Its not very likely the US will lockdown again. It’s not economically feasible for most people. The first time the government provided a stimulus, rent/mortgage moratorium, enhanced unemployment benefits,etc. All that money is gone. It’s not sustainable to provide that amount of assistance for three to four years. People need to vaccinate, mask up and be careful.