Yesterday, the president of the United States sent out an email blast that began:
Dear [your name here],
I've set aside time for four supporters like you to join me for dinner. Most campaigns fill their dinner guest lists primarily with Washington lobbyists and special interests. We didn't get here doing that , and we're not going to start now. We're running a different kind of campaign. We don't take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs -- we never have, and we never will.
He continues with: "We rely on everyday Americans giving whatever they can afford -- and I want to spend time with a few of you. So if you make a donation today, you'll be automatically entered for a chance to be one of the four supporters to sit down with me for dinner. Please donate $5 or more today.... We'll pay for your flight and the dinner -- all you need to bring is your story and your ideas about how we can continue to make this a better country for all Americans."
Today, Julianna Smoot, deputy campaign manager, Obama for America, sent out another email blast plugging this date-with-the-prez fundraiser -- and she included the goofy "Dinner with Barack" graphic shown here:
It's worth noting that Mr. Obama's and Ms. Smoot's emails both include small print that reads, in part, "No purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win. Contributing will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on 6/30/11. ... Four winners will each receive the following prize package: one round-trip ticket within the continental U.S. to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion; hotel accommodations for one; and dinner with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion (approximate combined retail value of all prizes $1,075)."
(Damn, I really need to reread Joe McGinniss' The Selling of the President.)
This afternoon, the Obama for America campaign released this video of the president plugging the "Dinner with Barack" contest:
Whoops! Sorry -- wrong video. But you get the idea.
~ ~ ~ Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.