A massive birthday that included hundreds of attendees amid renewed lockdowns across the country for Americans simply was not enough to celebrate President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday for Valerie Jarrett, who saw an opportunity to capitalize on in her “dear friend[‘s]” honor.
Jarrett, Obama’s former senior advisor and now head of the Obama Presidential Center, took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask Americans to donate $6 or $60 as a 60th birthday gift to the former President’s library in Chicago, Illinois.
“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 obama.org/60-for-60/ #HappyBdayObama,” Jarrett shamelessly tweeted along with a photo of her and the former President.
The social media platform blew up in response to the tweet that many viewed as tone-deaf. Especially considering Obama’s plans for a birthday soirée in his own honor with hundreds of attendees on his Martha’s Vineyard compound during a national coronavirus surge and while renewed restrictions are imposed in the state of Massachusetts.
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
The former President’s birthday bash included a guest list of 475 attendees and 200 staffers that were to be hosted at his nearly $12 million, 29-acre property. After fierce backlash, however, the bash was scaled down according to multiple sources.
Writer Zoé Samudzi pondered what part of this was most baffling, “Obama’s staggering post-presidential net worth or the fact Valerie Jarrett is making a fundraising appeal for her ‘dear friend’ when she’s actually the current president of the Obama Foundation.”
Idk what’s more craven here, Obama’s staggering post-presidential net worth or the fact Valerie Jarrett is making a fundraising appeal for her “dear friend” when she’s actually the current president of the Obama Foundation https://t.co/2ayzfmdH1g
— Zoé (@ztsamudzi) August 3, 2021
Activists are not pleased about the Obama Center coming to Chicago, a move they say will displace black residents. Jarrett and Obama maintain that it will create jobs and renew the area.
That didn’t stop Twitter users and trolls from sharing their gripes over the whole ordeal online:
I’d rather give it to a homeless person and or a veteran on the streets than to that family.
— Pete In Florida 🇺🇸 (@pbyrond) August 3, 2021
spend millions on a party for rich folks but he need my donation?
— manwithaplan 🌹 👿 ✊🏾 (@lebayjack) August 3, 2021
You’re a dear friend makes $600,000 a speech. Let people who didn’t even get enough money for Covid relief focus on their own problems. Thank you.
— Nadine 🌷 #stopBombingIraqandSyriayoucriminal (@Rosannasfriend) August 3, 2021
This is one of the most out of touch requests ever.
— Andrew. (@AndrewCicchett1) August 3, 2021
This may be peak Tone Deafness.
— Kevin Dalton (@NextLAMayor) August 3, 2021
@ValerieJarrett LOL, I have better things to do with my $6 just tell all the Millionaires that will be there to open up their checkbooks. That was a good laugh to start the morning with. Thanks
— Michael Simonelli (@msimo1313) August 3, 2021
He is worth 70 mil… but please send any money you have ASAP!
— Ryan Stevens: GC NASCAR/NFL (@HAHNY0L0) August 3, 2021
Tell yo friend his Presidential Center is about to drive up the rent in an area he himself lived in. Also do we look like we got money? We gettin evicted. Read the room.
— DarkManX (@PlushDogPolitic) August 3, 2021
No thank you. We would prefer that such a mansion be placed elsewhere, and paid for by the wealth accumulated during your, and his, “public service”.
— goobs! (@goobs123c) August 3, 2021
Last I checked his Net Worth jumped up to $135 million in the year of COVID. Maybe.. he should just stroke a bigger check while small business owners ae suffering.
— Tom Brooks (@_Tom_Brooks) August 3, 2021
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