U.S. President Donald Trump’s rise has divided the United States, with minorities and their allies left deeply concerned about their futures. Many, though, still hold onto their attachment to Barack Obama, who as Trump’s immediate predecessor worked in many respects exactly opposite the current president’s policy direction.
Visiting Martha’s Vineyard this week, a large crowd of fans greeted the Obamas as they were leaving a restaurant, making their continued attachment to the former president and first lady loud and clear. Barack and Michelle walked out of The Cardboard Box restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, to a crowd of hundreds screaming their praises as if they were rock stars.
Martha’s Vineyard’s official Instagram account posted a video of the encounter. In the clip, the Obamas can be seen taking it all in, and at least Barack can be seen waving to the cheering crowd. (Michelle is less clear in the video.)
Check it out below.
Welcome back @barackobama + @michelleobama 🇺🇸💞 💜 @marthasvineyard : : : #marthasvineyard #edgartown #edgartownlighthouse #edgartownharbor #oakbluffs #oakbluff #tisbury #vineyardhaven #chilmark #westtisbury #aquinnah #travel #travelphotography #capecod #nantucket #chappaquidick #photo #photography #photographer #photograph #travelers #vacation #beach #ocean #massachusetts #obama 📸 @dj_hack_it #marthasvineyard
The Obamas stopped in Martha’s Vineyard, an island community off the coast of Massachusetts, just a short time after the former president celebrated his 57th birthday on August 4. The Obamas were in D.C. at that time, where they’ve made their home following their departure from the White House last year.
In honor of his birthday this year, Illinois, where he established the political career that led him to the White House, observed its first annual “Barack Obama Day.” The state’s Republican governor Bruce Rauner formally made that state observance late last year. Although early moves had the holiday a more formal one, with paid time off for state employees and the like, the final deal left the work day as is and made “Barack Obama Day” simply a formal commemoration.
The move is one of many that have been undertaken in the former president’s honor since he left office. Earlier this year, Barack and Michelle had their official portraits installed in the Smithsonian, and that month, the museum saw its highest attendance numbers in three years. So many people came to see the portraits that the museum moved Michelle’s to a different part than it was originally placed in.
They’ve carried on with a string of public appearances since leaving office. Barack went to Africa recently, where he visited his ancestral homeland of Kenya and was part of an event in South Africa honoring the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. TIME called the address he gave at that event his “first big speech since leaving office.”
Michelle, for her part, just recently announced that she would travel across the U.S. for about a week next month as part of a voter registration drive ahead of the midterm elections.
Whether Donald Trump wants to accept it or acknowledge it or not, the Obamas still maintain broad public support across the United States — and that support could very well be concurrent to a “blue wave” in the midterms.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot