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Obama Seen Out Enjoying Himself Just Days After Personal Chef Dies

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


While former President Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, expressed remorse over the death of their personal chef and longtime friend last week, that didn’t seem to stop them from moving on quickly.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, the body of Tafari Campbell, 45, of Dumfries, Va., was recovered a week ago from Edgartown Great Pond after an extensive search. Police said that Campbell was paddleboarding near the Obamas’ home in Martha’s Vineyard and was not wearing a life jacket. They added that no foul play was suspected in the incident.

But, as reported by the Daily Mail, the ex-President was seen leaving his $12 million property for the first time on Wednesday, and he was spotted heading out again on Friday morning. At the same time, Michelle was observed at the Farm Neck country club in nearby Oak Bluffs, where she gathered with friends to play tennis.

Later the same morning, the former president was spotted playing a round at the members-only Vineyard Golf Club.

Earlier in the week, the Obamas put out a statement about Campbell, who worked for them for 14 years. “Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” they said.

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“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House – creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together,” the couple said. “In the years that followed, we got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.”

“That’s why, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.”

According to a paddleboarder who was with Campbell, he was seen standing on his paddleboard when he lost his balance and fell into the water. The paddleboarder recalled that Campbell struggled to stay afloat but eventually submerged.

The fellow paddleboarder informed investigators that they made an effort to swim to Campbell’s location but were unable to reach him in time, Fox News noted.

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They eventually swam back to shore and sought assistance from someone to call 911. Upon receiving the distress call, the Dukes County Regional Emergency Communications Center promptly launched an emergency search and rescue operation involving multiple public safety agencies, the network noted further.

The search efforts were temporarily halted late Sunday, police said. However, on Monday, police reported that sonar equipment from a boat successfully located the body approximately 100 feet away from the shore at a depth of approximately 8 feet.

“The on-scene observation of the victim by state police personnel and the post-mortem examination by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed no external trauma or injuries,” Fox News noted.

While a 911 call originated from the Obamas’ residence, the former first couple was not at home during the incident.

In a statement, the former president and his wife called Campbell a “beloved part of our family.”

Prior to Campbell’s tragic incident, another former White House chef faced a similar fate. In June 2015, Walter Scheib, who had been an executive chef at the White House, serving former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, drowned while hiking a trail in Taos, New Mexico, Fox News noted in a separate report.

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