After a particularly rough week filled with bad news and blunders, pundits expected to see the president out on the golf course this weekend, as is his habit when the going gets tough. Instead, amidst the continuing chaos in the Middle East, his trade bill going down, the economy taking a nose dive and the disturbing revelation that millions of current and former government workers — including those in the military — are victims of a massive cyberattack, the president decided to party like it’s 1999.
The Obamas threw a party at the White House for 500 guests who were treated to a private concert in the East Room by Prince, supposedly on hand to “celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month,” according to the New York Post.
Really? There’s an altruistic angle to this glorious indulgence?
Stars were on hand aplenty. Incredibly, the whole thing was completely hushed up. I gather the government can keep some secrets when it involves something important.
From the Post:
Spotted at the exclusive two-hour concert — during which Prince played hits including “Kiss” and “Purple Rain” — were Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his date, singer Ciara, artists Jon Bon Jovi and James Taylor, TV & film stars Tyler Perry, Connie Britton, Angela Bassett, Gayle King, Tracee Ellis Ross, fashion designer Naeem Khan and J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons.
Asked about the event during Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was tight-lipped, citing the private nature of the party.
“The president and first lady did host a private event here at the White House over the weekend,” was about all Earnest would say. “Given that it was a private event, they didn’t spend a lot of time talking about it publicly.”
He did offer that the president and first lady covered the cost of the event themselves.
“I think the fact that we’re talking about a private event paid for by the president and first lady, that occurred in their own home on a Saturday night — I think most people would recognize that understandably as a private event,” he said, forgetting to mention that the “private event” included 500 guests and celebs.
Although he’s not known for being politically active, Prince invited Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby on stage during a concert last month, as the musician performed a protest song about Freddie Gray and the unrest in Baltimore.