UPDATED: Aug. 4, 2020, 10:21 a.m. ET —
Tuesday marked the 59th birthday of our forever president, Barack Obama. Chances are fairly equal that he will be celebrating his big day by hanging out with his family at their mansion in Martha Vineyard or by donating his time to help others.
As a two-term president, he more than deserves the right to do whatever he wants for his birthday. But his selfless nature — which was on display for the world to see when he delivered the moving eulogy at John Lewis’ funeral in Atlanta last week — 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 words at the solemn ceremony served as a reminder of the kind of leadership that is missing from the White House during a time of crises that include the coronavirus pandemic as well as the ongoing fights against racism and police violence.
“America was built by John Lewises,” Obama eulogized last week. “He as much as anyone in our history brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals. And someday, when we do finish that long journey toward freedom; when we do form a more perfect union — whether it’s years from now, or decades, or even if it takes another two centuries — John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.”
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 he does — he puts people before himself, something that stands in stark contrast to the racist egotist in chief Donald Trump, who prefers to make everything about himself even and especially when it is not.
Obama realizes that perhaps more than anyone, which is probably why he took the opportunity while eulogizing Lewis to take a few jabs at Trump job performance that has significantly reduced the United States’ stature on the world stage.
It is for that reason and too many others 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.