The party is over. Well, not quite – but it has been canceled. Former President Barack Obama has uninvited 500 VIPs who were planning to attend his 60th birthday bash this weekend. Bowing to public pressure, a spokeswoman for the Obamas said the grand affair was scuttled amid the poor optics of holding such a large gathering “due to the spread of the Delta variant” of COVID. Instead, they will hold a smaller private affair with friends and family at their posh estate on the exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard, the preppy capital of the world.
Tea Sandwiches, Anyone?
If you do not know what a preppy is, look no further than the island enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, located just south of Cape Cod, MA. Known initially as a colony for the hearing impaired, The Vineyard, as it’s commonly called, is an exclusive summer hotspot for American WASPs. These White Anglo-Saxon Protestants constitute the preppies because of their prep school pedigrees, and The Vineyard is their epicenter.
It would be an understatement to say that Martha’s Vineyard is not a multi-cultural experience, nor could it be considered diverse. The dress code includes a specific look that can be found at Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer stores. But, of course, you can’t really buy preppy – you must be one. The old Smirnoff Tea Party commercial, sung in rap cadence no less, is the best short course in genuinely understanding the preppy motif.
There is some evidence that locals, who have been summering on The Vineyard for generations, must feel as if they’ve just skirted an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The premise of the movie depicts strange seeds that float to Earth from space and begin to take over an entire city. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who lives on Martha’s Vineyard, was quoted by Business Insider as saying about the party, “Everyone is talking about it and no one is talking about it positively. Some people are making excuses for it. No one is saying it’s a good idea.”
Originally, an estimated 500 invitees, plus some 200 footmen and under-butlers, were set to satiate every whim of the Obama Illuminati – which included Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and George Clooney. A fête for the ages, the outdoor event was to permit indoor privileges where guests could roam the all-white surroundings of the $11.75 million Obama summer home. (All white here refers to the décor. See attached pictures.)
The 29-acre estate sits on exclusive property just off the Atlantic Ocean known as the Edgartown Great Pond. One could say it is far, far away from the Obamas’ former Chicago-area digs. Sitting atop this lush environment is a reported 6,900-square-foot home of the former president. However, a photo of the exterior reveals a structure much grander than a mere 7,000 square feet. The main house boasts eight-and-a-half bathrooms, seven bedrooms, and a private sundeck overlooking a bucolic coastline.
The Obamas claimed the party was planned months ago and insisted they were following COVID guidelines, including mandatory testing and vaccinated-only guests. But any way you cut it, the optics of this occasion were – to put it in preppy-speak – ghastly. Thus, it is unsurprising that the Obamas bowed to the media pressure, much to the relief of the locals who inhabit The Vineyard.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.