Valerie Jarrett, the former senior adviser to President Obama, faced mockery online Tuesday after appealing to her Twitter followers to cut a $6 or $60 check for the Obama Presidential Center in honor of the 44th president’s birthday.
“My dear friend @BarackObama is turning 60 tomorrow,” she posted. “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.”
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Jarrett was criticized at the time over reports that the former president was reportedly planning a birthday party critics say would make Jay Gatsby blush – 475 guests, 200 staffers all squeezed together on his $11.75 million estate sprawling over 29 idyllic acres of Martha’s Vineyard — the tweet was seen by some as tone-deaf.
“IDK what’s more craven here, 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,” Zoe Samudzi, a writer, tweeted.
Fox News confirmed hours after this report was published that Obama decided to cancel the party over concerns about the COVID-19 spread.
Obama has pushed to build the center in Jackson Park in Chicago’s South Side. The Associated Press reported that construction for the $500 million project has been delayed because of a federal review needed in the historic parkland. The center has already received over $1 million in donations from Boeing, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft Corporation.
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The Obama Foundation did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
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Jarrett and Obama have said that the center is intended to bring jobs and revitalize the area. They face some legal challenges but hope to get the project started in the fall.
Fox News’ Julius Young and the Associated Press contributed to this report