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It seems like only yesterday that a youthful and slender Barack Obama strode onto the national political stage. Yet the 44th U.S. president turns 60 today. He's still slim and photogenic, but like most men his age the hair began to turn gray a decade ago. (The presidency tends to enhance that effect.)

Obama celebrated turning 50 in a way consistent with the exigencies (some would say tackiness) of modern politics: He was feted at a Chicago gala that raised money for his own political party. The plans for his 60th were less partisan: a Hollywood-style bash on Martha's Vineyard for nearly 500 friends and swells. This time, the partisanship was on the other side: Republicans got wind of it and sniped that the Obamas were perhaps hosting a "super-spreader" event that wouldn't have gone down real well if it were hosted by a certain Republican ex-president.

These critics had a point, although I must say that if I had the opportunity (and the means) to spend my birthday with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney I'd certainly enjoy it.

We don't live in a world where we want people who disagree with us to have a good time, however, and this was a case where the "Republicans pounced" meme lived up to its name.

"Democrats are imposing unscientific mask mandates while contemplating more lockdowns. Meanwhile, President Obama is hosting over 500 elites at his Martha's Vineyard mansion," said the Republican congresswoman who replaced Liz Cheney in the GOP House leadership. "Typical liberal ‘do as I say, not as I do,'" she added. "This is what socialism looks like."

I don't know what socialism has to do with it, but the Obamas did scale down the party to "close friends and family." And though I interviewed Barack Obama a couple of times, I fit neither of those categories. Nonetheless, I hope he has a good day. Happy birthday, Mr. President.

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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