The Transparent White House Imposed Strict Secrecy Rules on First Lady’s Lavish, Celebrity-Filled Birthday Party
There was a party in the East Room of the White House Saturday night, an affair attended by a reported 500 people, a lavish celebration with celebrities galore, appearances by some of the world’s top performers, lots of dancing and powerful government officials. But the White House wanted to make sure you know as little as possible about it.
But even so, ABC, NBC spent more time on Michelle Obama b-day than the new Benghazi report: study, that is damaging and worrisome enough to the White House that they tried to pressure Greta Van Susteren to ‘Kill Benghazi Coverage’ by Fox
The White House event was First Lady Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party. According to reports in People, the Chicago Tribune, TMZ, US Magazine, and elsewhere, among the attendees, in no particular order, were: Beyonce, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Janelle Monae, Mary J. Blige, Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Herbie Hancock, Samuel L. Jackson, Grant Hill, Alonzo Mourning, Ledisi, Emmett Smith, Star Jones, Al Roker, Steve Harvey, Magic Johnson, Billie Jean King, Michael Jordan, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Gayle King, Ahmad Rashad, Kal Penn, Rachel Ray, and Ashley Judd. Among the current and former government officials attending were Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Cass Sunstein, Nancy Pelosi, Susan Rice, Eric Holder, and Kathleen Sebelius.
The article Two Marriages, Two Political Power Deals, One Big Question quoting from – the Australian pointed out that:
Despite the speculation that there are once again Obama marriage problems, the Obamas have generally succeeded in presenting a united front (now), and as their daughters have grown, many of their admirers have come to regard them as an inspirational family. But when Michelle Obama did not return with the President after their Christmas Vaction in Hawaii, the rumors began to swirl again, plus the price tag to the American taxpayers for the President’s gift of and extended vacation was frowned upon by many. Also, a former Michelle slip uncovered that the Obamas lived apart for years, perhaps explaining Michelle’s so-called foot-in-mouth comment about being a busy single mother?!?
The White House rarely comments on the first couple’s private life, and there was no official confirmation last week of where Michelle was staying in Hawaii, or when she intended to return.
Yet the security umbrella that surrounds the couple descended on the Winfrey estate where The Daily Caller, a Washington news website, claimed Michelle was staying with a small group of female friends including Gayle King, a television presenter and close friend (and perhaps more) of Winfrey and gal-pal to both the Obamas, Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser that many have leaked is the Defacto President, but definitely someone that the President has an abnormal dependency on. The Times of Israel reported that senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett had been leading talks with Iran in secret for a year before the formal negotiations in Geneva this month; later the Wall Street Journal reported that President Barack Obama had “personally overseen” the talks… something we all know wasn’t the case.
Oprah once said of her Hawaii home that she had “never encountered anyone who doesn’t love it … we sip drinks inspired by whatever is fresh and delicious – mango, guava, pineapple, cucumber, basil. We sometimes ride horses to the top (of the mountain) to watch the moon rise over the ridge”.
It sounded like a blissful escape for a hardworking first lady who has made no secret of her distaste for life under the microscope.
And to minimize the negative press and a rough return to the political world that the first lady may had, the hint of excessive birthday party consumption would just add to the growing list and evidence of presidential extravagance.
So the need to demonstrate frugality may have been the reason for the letters “EBYC” at the end of the invitation: guests have been advised to “eat before you come” to the party, which merely promises “snacks & sips & dancing & dessert”. We are sure that the snacks and dessert were more lavish than the food most of us would ever see or have a birthday party.
The lack of dinner has divided social commentators. “I don’t think it’s rude, but I do think it’s a little … different than what people are used to,” said Lizzie Post, a writer on etiquette.
Andre Wells, a party planner, disagreed. “It seems like a very casual party, and she’s turning 50,” he said. “The older you get, I feel like you can say what you want.”
Either way, the first lady will be aware her every public move will be watched for signs of marital discord, for which it was reported went out of his to make up for and cover-up at the party.
It’s not easy to enforce discipline on successful, wealthy, and famous people used to having their own way. But the White House apparently did not want to see photos of the first lady’s glittery gala circulating around the Internet. So it imposed a strict rule: No cellphones. “Guests were told not to bring cellphones with them, and there was a cellphone check-in area for those who did,” reported the Chicago Tribune. “Signs at the party told guests: No cellphones, no social media.” People magazine added: “Guests had been greeted by a ‘cell phone check’ table where they deposited their camera phones on arrival and it was understood that this was not an occasion for Tweeting party photos or Facebooking details.” The publications cited sources who insisted on anonymity for fear of White House reprisal.
“So great was the secrecy surrounding the party,” the Tribune reported, “that guests were handed an invitation — on their way out, the sources said.”
So far, the crackdown appears to have been a success. Although a few attendees have tweeted that they had a great time, or that they danced until their feet could take no more, the Web has not been filled with photos of the first lady’s extravagant celebration. Perhaps some will appear; maybe the White House will even release an official photo. But it’s unlikely the public will see much.
Why the secrecy, especially for an event involving so many well-known people? Byron York speculated,
“Maybe the Obamas just wanted a little privacy for an important occasion in the first lady’s life, although having 500 guests, including some of the most famous people on the planet, is perhaps not the best way to achieve that goal. Or maybe, since the president has announced he is devoting the rest of his time in office to an “inequality agenda,” the White House felt photos of a champagne-soaked, star-studded party would be somewhat off-message. But the Obamas are well-off, accomplished people. They can have a big party if they want (and if they pay for it). Why hide it?”
Perhaps the need or feeling that they need to hide another lavish party comes from the history of the Obama’s excessive spending since day one of the president’s first election, especially Michelle’s, on vacations, parties and unnecessary extra’s that cost the taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money, especially for security, while average Americans are out of work in record numbers, students are drowning in student loans without the hope of decent employment and at every turn Americans are being asked to tighten their belts. Many more Americans are finally asking… Where is the shared sacrifice??