Valerie Jarrett uses big cancelled birthday bash to collect money for Obama’s gift

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.

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.”

The Obama Center, a $500 million project to be built in Jackson Park in Chicago’s south side, has experienced construction delays thanks to a federal review necessary for the historic location.

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:

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