Today, news broke that police were called by someone within the residence of former President Barack Obama on Martha Vineyard, regarding a missing paddleboarder, whose deceased body was later discovered.
Although not much information is known, in classic political fashion, the scandal, such that it may be, has already been given a name: Obamaquiddick.
Unlike the parlance of most scandals in the Washington realm, whose “-Gate” suffixes harken back to former President Nixon’s Watergate break-in, this one tries to imply the former president is guilty of someone’s death, as the name recalls an infamous Kennedy scandal where a woman was killed.
On Sunday evening, two paddleboarders were reportedly out in front of the Obama residence, and one disappeared.
It’s unclear if the people in the water were in any way tied to the former president. But a 911 call was placed from the Obama residence, and a massive search began. This morning, search-and-rescue teams found the body of a 43-year-old Black man, who they believe was the missing paddleboarder.
There are currently no reports of whether the former president was home at the time.
But people are already pushing the former president’s potential involvement.
What is Obamaquiddick?
The implication is clear, as the name harkens back to the infamous Chappaquiddick scandal.
In 1969, then-Senator Ted Kennedy drove a car off a Chappaquiddick bridge late one evening. In the car was a female passenger. While Kennedy escaped the moving vehicle, the woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. Chappaquiddick is an island next to Martha’s Vineyard, and right near the Obama estate in Edgartown.
Kennedy maintained that he attempted to rescue Kopechne, but was unable to. Her body was found the next day. A week later, Kennedy pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident but did not resign his position in the Senate despite calls.
Although a judicial inquest found that Kennedy likely operated the vehicle negligently, Massachusetts did not pursue manslaughter charges against Kennedy.
The incident has long been used as an example of both the tragedy around the Kennedys and as proof of conspiracies about the family.
The term Obamaquiddick appears to have been coined by Jordan Schachtel, who runs the right-wing investigative Substack the Dossier.
With Obamaquiddick, the death of the paddleboarder seems destined to become a new conspiracy against Democrats and Obama.