Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Presidential Dining Deja Vu: Obama Announces Third "Dinner with Barack" Contest

Retail value of dinner with President has skyrocketed..and this time, the three winners can bring guests...
Update, Nov. 27: Campaign releases 5 new videos from the first "Dinner with Barack"
The global economy may be in hot water, but the value of dinner with President Obama has gone up. In an effort to raise funds for the 2012 re-election campaign, President Obama is for the third time raffling himself off as a dinner date, he announced today in an e-mail to supporters. While the President is a cheap date--dinner can be had for just a $3 donation--the assigned retail value of the prize package has jumped from $1,075 for the first dinner, to $1,600 for the current dinner, which includes airfare and a one-night hotel stay. As an extra enticement for supporters, the contest is now two-for-one: Each winner can bring a companion. (Above: The new logo for the new dinner sweepstakes)

"We're taking names for the next dinner starting now, and this time I want to add a new feature: If you win, you can bring a guest," President Obama wrote.

This time there will be three dinner winners, rather than four, for a total of six guests sharing a meal with the President. It's proved to be a popular fundraiser, but the phrase "we're taking names" sounds a bit Orwellian, doesn't it? As he notes in his e-mail, the President dined on October 27th at a Virginia restaurant with the four winners of the first contest. He has yet to dine with the four winners of the second sweepstakes, and the Campaign has not released their names. The current contest closes for entries on Dec. 31. The prize is taxable, and no donation is *actually* needed to enter the contest.

The e-mail had the subject heading "You and a guest".

The text:


A few Thursdays ago, I had dinner with four Americans named Ken, Casey, Juanita, and Wendi -- the winners of the campaign's first Dinner with Barack contest.

I loved getting to know each of them.

We're taking names for the next dinner starting now, and this time I want to add a new feature: If you win, you can bring a guest.

Chip in $3 or more today to be automatically entered to win a spot for you and a guest at the next dinner.

The folks who this election is all about tend to fall under the radar of the D.C. pundits and traditional news media.

They're people like Juanita, who helped put her three sons through college on a teacher's salary while saving what she could for retirement.

Like Ken, a single dad who stood by his mother as she fought insurance companies while battling two forms of cancer.

They're like Casey, whose three young kids may not yet appreciate what courage it took for their dad to take a chance and start his own business.

And Wendi, an artist and third-generation teacher who canvassed, marched, and phone banked in Indiana in 2008, the year her home state defied the traditional electoral map.

These people weren't just there for themselves -- they were representing you, this movement, and the folks I go to work for every day as president.

These dinners are important to me because I want to spend time whenever I can with the people who sent me here. They're proving wrong the conventional wisdom that says campaigns should cater to Washington lobbyists and powerful interests. And they're an important reminder that this movement -- and my presidency -- have never just been about me.

I'm proud that we're choosing to run the kind of campaign where a dinner like this isn't just possible, it's a regular thing. And next time, I don't just want to meet you -- I want to meet someone else in your life.

Donate $3 or more, and start thinking about who you'll invite to dinner:


Thanks for being part of this,



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