Obama for America to Alexis Cloud, February 28, 2012

You don’t have to be a great chef. Barack will eat anything.

Alexis —

Very few people in this world will ever have the opportunity you have right now. That’s just a fact.

We are at the precipice of a remarkable time in the history of this nation — and your donation can push us over the edge, into the gorge of prosperity.

We can’t do this without you. That’s why 250 grassroots supporters of this campaign will get the chance to have dinner with Barack and Michelle — at your place.

We’ll put all the names of people who donated to the campaign in a hat, then pull out 250 people’s names to feed the President and First Lady between now and election night. They won’t be picky about what you cook. They’re just happy to have someplace to go.

And think of the money we’ll save on all those dinners.

Money we can then spend on transportation for our staff, better ways of reaching our supporters, and incredibly extravagant lunches.

Make sure you throw your name in the hat before the deadline:




Julianna Smoot

Deputy Campaign Manager

Obama for America


The Obama reelection effort has had to come up with some pretty creative fundraising ideas to combat the Republican SuperPAC machine. First, the “Dinner with Barack” promotion was created, allowing small donors the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime meal with the President. Last January, though, a family of 5 won and spent the entire dinner arguing with each other about why having a gay son wasn’t a disappointment, why a degree in Philosophy really was a good choice in this economy, and how church wasn’t going to attend itself. Obama, for his part, tried to crack a few jokes, but spent the bulk of the meal shifting awkwardly in his chair and looking at his watch. When the tiramisu came out runny and a screaming match broke out about the Red Sox pitching staff, the President excused himself, went to the bathroom, and never came back.

Still, the idea of having a regular meal with his supporters was appealing. Realizing pushing the cost and time of preparing a large meal onto a poor sap would save the campaign a number of headaches, David Axelrod launched “Dinner with Barack at Your Place,” which has brought in hundreds of thousands in precious campaign funds. Unfortunately, the email above overstates the President’s willingness to try new food, and observers of the first event noticed Obama pushed around some overcooked chicken on his plate to make it look like he ate some. He also made a crack at the chef’s pasta, saying “I only hope my opponent is as soft and watery as this penne!” Rumors abound that he and Michelle stopped off at Wendy’s on the way home.

The first such event was Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Big Game with the Big Guy” promotion, where donors could enter for a chance to hunt lions in Africa with Teddy Roosevelt. After the entire party was lost, presumed killed by tribesmen, the event was scrapped. Richard Nixon’s legendary “Swingin’ with Dick and Pat” key parties formed a solid fundraising backbone in his 1972 reelection campaign, perfectly capturing the mood of the time while giving donors a chance to see a glimpse of the first couple usually reserved for key Republican players and the highest echelon of the Department of Defense.


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