Maureen Dowd Eviscerates Barack Obama in her New Op-ed, “Behold Barack Antoinette”

Robert Redford with his Daisy, Mia Farrow, in 1974’s “The Great Gatsby.” Credit…Paramount Pictures, via Everett Collection

Jay Gatsby gave big, lavish, new-money parties at his sprawling mansion on the water because he wanted to seem cool. He wanted Daisy to notice him.

Barack Obama gave a big, lavish, new-money party at his sprawling mansion on the water because he wanted to seem cool. Being cool is important to him.

One difference is that Gatsby opened his house to the uninvited. Obama closed his house to many of the invited after getting flak for hosting “a celebrity mosh pit,” as Stephen Colbert called it, while officials were telling people to mask back up.

It’s hard to stop thinking about the over-the-top fete the former president held at his Martha’s Vineyard manse for his 60th birthday. It is such a perfect taxonomy of the Obama arc.

As president, he didn’t try hard enough on things we needed. He was a diffident debutante with a distaste for politics. Post-presidency, he is trying too hard on things we don’t need. The culture is already swimming in Netflix deals, celebrity worship, ostentatious displays of wealth, not to mention podcasts. Did the world really need “Renegades,” his duet with Bruce Springsteen?

We already knew Obama gravitated to stars but it was disillusioning to see it on such a grand scale last weekend.

“I think the nouveaux riches Obamas are seriously tone-deaf,” said the authority on opulence, André Leon Talley. “We all love Beyoncé. But people have so many things to worry about with Covid, voting rights, climate warming. People are afraid of being evicted from their homes. And the Obamas are in Marie-Antoinette, tacky, let-them-eat-cake mode. They need to remember their humble roots.”

Obama was a cool cat as a candidate in 2008, but after he won, he grew increasingly lofty. Now he’s so far above the ground, he doesn’t know what’s cool. You can’t be cool if you diss the people who took risks for you when you were a junior senator — only a few years out from paying off your student loans — taking on the fearsome Clinton machine.

Many of those who helped Obama achieve the moonshot, becoming the first African American president and then becoming uber rich, were disinvited.

The party crystallized the caricature of the Democratic Party that Joe Biden had to fight against in order to get elected. It was as far from Flint and Scranton as you can imagine: an orgy of the 1 percent — private jets, Martha’s Vineyard, limousine liberals and Hollywood whoring — complete with a meat-free menu.

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SOURCE: The New York Times – Maureen Dowd

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