Washingtonian Mag: Can't Barack Obama Just, Like, Ride To The AirBnB On His Fixie?
Wouldn't a duplex be more sensible?
Barack Obama is embarrassing everyone again by living above his station, or not being a humble enough liberal, or something -- the snooty bastard seems to think he gets to live like the wealthy person he is, which surely proves he's a hypocrite. Washingtonian simply can't choke down its disgust with Barack Obama's decision to live in the tony Kalorama neighborhood of DC after leaving office. You don't often see overt nausea in the headline of a piece posted in the Real Estate section:
It's downright unseemly, according to Washingtonian's Hillary Kelly, reacting to the news that the Obamas had narrowed down their house search to Kalorama and quoting a National Journal piece calling the neighborhood "rich with possibilities."
The neighborhood is also rich, period, a fact which has seemingly escaped most of the outlets that have reported the news. This isn’t exactly a surprise: the President earlier stated that the first family was choosing between Kalorama and Embassy Row, an equally tony neighborhood directly adjacent to it. Their home in Chicago, which they bought for $1.65 million in 2005 and is valued at just over $2 million, is a whopping 6,200 square feet and is set in chi-chi Hyde Park ... So the Obamas are no stranger to luxe living.
Kelly even -- very generously! -- allows that "size and privacy simply must serve as considerations for a former president," seeing as how the Obamas will still have Secret Service protection. And sure, maybe Barack Obama is allowed to live in a nice place while Sasha finishes high school. Kelly even notes, again, quite graciously, that George W. Bush and Bill Clinton retired to fancy digs of their own. For that matter, as a commenter on Kelly's piece pointed out, a November puff piece in Washingtonian had even recommended Kalorama as an ideal post-presidency location for the Obama family. Nonetheless, Kelly is disappointed:
But as far as legacies go, the thought of our President of Hope and Change moving to one of the oldest, most established, filthy-richest neighborhoods in the city just doesn’t jibe. It’s hard to imagine the Obama of eight years ago deciding to forgo the potential to move to a revitalizing area, or just a slightly less hoity one, in favor of a zip code where the blood runs royal blue and the servants’ stairs are still used by the help. It feels bizarrely out of a character for a man who proclaimed “We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed,” to settle down on a block where a 4-bedroom home averages about $2.8 million.
Yes, she acknowledges, "five other former presidents have lived in Kalorama as well." But Barry is different, or should be, since he's no ordinary ex-president, if you know what she means:
Obama is not simply about to be a former president, he’s also a former community organizer. Imagine the good it could do a struggling DC neighborhood if he moved in and established himself as a figurehead of the community, showing his face at local spots and bringing a sense of excitement. The Obamas could have made a real estate selection that would have confirmed their post-presidential commitments to be of the people and not just for the people. Instead, they’ll probably have more marble columns.
Okay, so Bill Clinton did move his offices to Harlem -- and yet, he and Hillary moved their email servers (and house, we guess) to tony Chappaqua. Bill Clinton is always ruining everything for everyone.
Still, we would like to congratulate Kelly for getting through the whole thing without once embedding the theme song from The Jeffersons. By some miracle, a follow-up piece on the house the Obamas have chosen is free of any sniffing about how Barack Obama should be a goddamn fucking hipster instead of an ex-president.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.