UPDATED: Aug. 4, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET —
Wednesday marked the 60th birthday of our forever president, Barack Obama. And while it was a given he’d be celebrating his big day by hanging out with his friends and family at his mansion in Martha Vineyard, those plans have been scaled back a bit because of the pandemic.
But more on that later.
As a two-term president, Obama more than deserves the right to do whatever he wants for his birthday. But his selfless nature — which has remained on display since he left public office, but not the public eye — that puts others before himself is one of the many qualities of the 44th president that should be celebrated the most by folks wishing him well on his born day.
Obama’s solemn words in a statement he released in March to address the scourge of gun violence served as a reminder of the kind of leadership that has been restored to the White House with Joe Biden during a time of crises that include the coronavirus pandemic as well as the ongoing fights against racism and police violence.
Obama challenged lawmakers to step up and enact stricter gun control and reform legislation to “make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war.”
“A one-in-a-lifetime pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country,” Obama said in a statement. “We shouldn’t have to choose between one type of tragedy and another. It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough – because this is a normal we can no longer afford.”
It’s that type of unbridled empathy that endeared Obama to so many, prompting them to chime in on social media with what seemed like a nonstop stream of well-wishes to make sure he marks the milestone in style.
Just one day before his birthday, Obama — in classic Obama form — was working hard for his Party and his country by endorsing a slew of Democrats in an effort to build more momentum for them heading into Election Day in November.
It’s just what Obama does — he puts people before himself, something that stands in stark contrast to his successor, the racist egotist formerly in chief, Donald Trump, who preferred to make everything about himself, even and especially when it is not.
Obama realizes that perhaps more than anyone, which is probably why a biographer noted in a book released in May that the former president took a handful of jabs at Trump and his woeful job performance that significantly reduced the United States’ stature on the world stage.
At one point in 2017, Obama called Trump “a madman,” Edward-Isaac Dovere, a staff writer at the Atlantic, wrote in his book, “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Donald Trump.”
Beyond being 100% accurate, that comment was relatively tame.
But as Trump’s presidency progressed, so apparently did Obama’s willingness to be a bit more descriptive when discussing him.
“I didn’t think we’d have a racist, sexist pig” as president,” Obama is also reported to have said about Trump.
But then Obama reportedly took it there, calling Trump a “f-cking lunatic” and a “corrupt motherf-cker,” according to Dovere.
It is for those and plenty of other reasons that are too many to list here that President Obama deserves to live his best life on his birthday and every day moving forward.
Happy birthday, Mr. President, and may you have many more.