Remember those mailers from the Publishers’ Clearing House, which began with , “You may already have won?”

Apparently the President of the United States thinks along those lines as well.

Karl of Patterico’s Pontifications had some fun with a “dinner invitation” President Barack Obama sent to his supporters:

Clingy.  Desperate. That phrase is the sort of emotional extortion that usually prefaces a request for something you don’t really want to do, e.g., an odious household chore, an unusual sex act, etc.:

President Obama continued pushing his jobs bill in battleground states on Wednesday, telling a fired-up crowd of students at North Carolina State University that, “If you love me, you’ve got to help me pass this bill!”

The Artist Formerly Known As The One also would like to go on a dinner date with you… if you’re buying.

Mr. President, America’s just not that into youReally.  Your appeals to what remains of your cult of personality increasingly make you look like Sally Field’s character in Soapdish, running out to some mall in New Jersey for an ego boost from gullible fans while the ratings dwindle.  People will start to talk.

As it happens, Mrs Pico and I (or at least I; the invitation did not specify that I could bring my darling bride with me) got the invitation. I was pretty upset to find out that the invitation might not have been as genuine as I originally thought, and wrote:

Wait a minute! Do you mean that dinner invitation I got wasn’t real?

And Elaine already went out and bought herself a new dress. How am I supposed to break the news to her that we won’t be having dinner with our close personal friends, Barack and Michelle?

And, even more disappointing, the e-mail wasn’t sent to a close circle of friends, but just anybody can go!

What Would You Ask?

Posted by Mary on September 17, 2011

If you had the chance to sit down for Dinner with Barack, what’s the first thing you would ask him?

President Obama is inviting four supporters to sit down to dinner with him this fall. Enter for a chance to have a place set for you, and let us know what you would talk about at dinner with the President.

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 midnight on 9/30/11. You may enter by contributing to Sponsor at or click here,, to enter without contributing. Four winners will each receive the following prize package: one round-trip ticket from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations for one; and dinner with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate combined retail value $1,050). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or of majority under applicable law). Promotion subject to Official Rules,, and additional restrictions on eligibility. Sponsor: Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.

Well, it just so happens that I got the explanation letter from, well not from the President himself, though it was President Obama who sent out the original invitation, but from some guy who signed himself Messina:

Dana —

You got an email from the President a couple days ago, inviting you to sit down to dinner with him.

I know some people might think this is just some kind of trick or something. It’s not.

The fact is that someday soon, four people reading this note right now will be on a plane to have dinner with President Obama in Washington, or Chicago, or wherever he might be that day.

Think about that for a second. The four people who win will sit down with the President of the United States of America — not for a two-minute photo-op or a quick meet-and-greet, but for a private meal with face-to-face conversation. That’s just not something too many people will ever get to do.

The President obviously has very little time to spend on anything related to the campaign. And this is how he chooses to spend it — having real, substantive conversations with people like you.

This is really something you should be a part of.

Donate $75 today and you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to have dinner with the President and three other supporters.

Worst-case scenario: you don’t get selected. But if you donate, you’ll have pitched in to support an organization that’s funded at the grassroots level by folks across the country — not Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs. You’ll have given this campaign a boost, however small, to hire organizers, open offices, and build our organization this fall so it’s ready for the hard work ahead of us.

And best-case scenario, you’ll find yourself sitting across the dinner table from President Obama.

So give it a shot — donate $75 or more today:



“Messina” is Jim Messina, Campaign Manager for Obama against for America.

So, the Obama campaign is, in effect, raffling off the President for a (doubtlessly short) evening dinner. I figured that it would be a waste of time to enter the raffle, even though “no purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win,” and “contributing will not improve (my) chances of winning.”  I’d guess that the Secret Service would first vet the winners, and once they read this website, I’d get scratched off pretty quickly.

But this is hardly the first time I’ve received such appealing sounding dinner invitations.  Then-Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) invited me to dinner, right in the middle of her very busy presidential campaign schedule, and I have even received a previous invitation to dinner from the President himself.  I kind of hope that, should one of the Republican challengers win the 2012 general election –from my keyboard to God’s monitor screen! — he won’t be raffling himself off for dinner.  The idea that the President would want to meet with just regular, ordinary citizens, in a venue where he actually could talk to them, is a good one, and one which this President and the next ought to take seriously as an idea of something to do, but it shouldn’t be raffled off.


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