Commentary by Joe Schaeffer, 247 Real News
Barack Obama is trying to out-crass the king of post-presidential grifters. And he’s making one heck of a case for himself. Somewhere, Bill Clinton is quietly raising a glass to his game challenger.
Showing a stark refusal to be shackled in any way by the least residue of shame, the Obama Foundation is transparently using hallowed names in progressive circles as canned vehicles for a naked donor cash grab.
On Nov. 23, WorldTribune spotlighted how Amazon and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was handing over a whopping $100 million in cash to rename a space at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Given the Obama track record of late, we should have known this was just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s difficult to see how what follows is any different from paying $500,000 for a Hunter Biden painting. Yet the below may actually surpass Hunter art aficionados in one important metric: sheer poor taste.
From a Dec. 9 release by the Obama Foundation:
On the heels of its announcement last month to bring more inclusivity to the traditional naming process, the Obama Foundation is announcing a new set of spaces within the Obama Presidential Center that will be named in honor of civil rights and social justice leaders whose significant contributions to society advanced justice and equality in America.
The Foundation believes named spaces at the Obama Presidential Center will send a message to hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to visit the Campus each year beginning in 2025 and inspire them to act in their own communities. Visitors will learn about the leaders and activists who worked to help create a more perfect union and on whose shoulders the Obamas, and so many others, stand.How it works: Big-ticket donors get to choose the new names:
In addition to the gift from Jeff Bezos that led to the naming of the Plaza after Congressman John Lewis, the following donors who are participating in the new naming approach include:
- Foundation board member Michael Sacks and his wife Cari Sacks, who have opted to name a Museum exhibit on civic education and empowerment at the Center in honor of the late Timuel Black. Mr. Black was a Chicago native and civil rights leader who helped end segregation in Chicago Public Schools and housing in the 1960s through his work as an educator and administrator.
Michael Sacks and his wife, Cari, of Highland Park, were one of two couples who have given money in the past and whose overall gifts now exceed $1 million. Sacks is chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor Capital Management, was once a top fundraiser for former President Barack Obama and is a close ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
He’s only one big fish in the Obama ocean:
- Fellow board member Penny Pritzker and her husband Dr. Bryan Traubert... will name the Auditorium, a signature space at the Center, in honor of Holocaust survivor and political activist, Elie Wiesel.
- Foundation board member Connie Ballmer and her husband Steven Ballmer, will honor Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady, activist, and diplomat, with the naming of the Fruit & Vegetable Garden to recognize her creation of the first garden on White House grounds, known as the Victory Garden.
- Chicago Committee Co-Chair Mellody Hobson and her husband George Lucas... have chosen to honor board member John W. Rogers, Jr. in naming Museum Exhibit Level 3 which features exhibit themes centered around working for the common good. Rogers is the founder of Ariel Investments, the United States’ oldest African American-owned mutual fund firm.
- Exelon Corporation will honor Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space, with the naming of the Museum exhibit about changemakers for collective action.
- Alphawood Foundation and founder Fred Eychaner will name a prominent visitor overlook in the Museum Building in honor of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.
While Democrats attack the rich across the country to gin up votes as part of their 2014 election strategy, one self-described “progressive” Democrat donor is so secretive with his wealth that Forbes magazine isn’t sure if he is even a billionaire.It's reminiscent of a classic episode of the old television show WKRP in Cincinnati, where a former pro wrestler turned religious evangelist is selling cheesy merchandise like "John the Baptist Shower Curtains" and "Dead Sea Scrolls Steak Knives."
Only, the Obamas are doing it with cherished liberal social justice tropes. This is what Barack and Michelle Obama have become, like Bill and Hillary Clinton before them. They are addicted to the pursuit of money. All that they can get their greedy, grasping hands on. It's who they are. It's how they live their lives. Even their admirers have noticed.
From an Aug. 14 Maureen Dowd New York Times column on Obama's vulgar Martha's Vineyard birthday bash:
“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.”The last sentence is a head-scratcher. Go back as far as you like. Humility has never played a part in Barack Obama’s existence.
Nevertheless, this is an interesting development to observe, now that Obama is clearly channeling the Clinton post-White House money chase at full tilt.
Two former Democrat presidents who led their followers to believe they were something they never were leave elected office and become shameless hustlers.
Intelligent liberals, if any such creatures still exist in America today, surely have to ask themselves: Was it all just a scam? Were we being conned every step of the way all along?
Free Press International