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Dinner with Barack Obama
Online contests abound. Opportunities to win free extreme coupons, trips to idyllic islands, and special prizes chosen especially for you can be found on innumerable web sites. People want to give you stuff.
Not to be outdone, the current president recently identified an opening in his busy schedule. In between haranguing Congress and chatting with Jimmy Kimmel, he has you penciled for a languid lunch. Your next meal just might be taken while surrounded by Secret Service Agents dressed as wait staff. In this land of opportunity, it could happen.
Simply click here. Reveal your email address and zip code for a mostly free opportunity to feast with the first family. To be fair, the opportunity to quiz Michelle about her latest overseas vacation may not be afforded: you'll probably find yourself seated with The Commander in Chief, an official photographer, and a subtly placed teleprompter. It's all good.
At what Cost?
Simply tell the website your email address and your zip code. You will be automagically entered into a free drawing. Subsequent pages solicit your financial support for future political aspirations.
Here's where things get a little confusing...
The home page, listed above, asserts a free drawing for Dinner with Barak Obama. The solicitation page, which pops up only after you reveal an email address, reveals the necessity of a donation for entry into the drawing. Perhaps you receive a second entry when you kick in a few dollars.
Expect to be immediatly solicited
A semi-personalized email arrives almost immediately. The Internet is amazing. Jim Messina, 43 year-old political staffer on the Obama campaign, took time from writing top-10 pop songs to solicit me. His down-to-earth common-man casual manner of writing inspired me to believe that his president truly covets my involvement:
"So let's fight like hell and win this thing:"
That's how I talk when I discuss matters of political finance with people who are just like me. Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un can relate.
Read carefully the fine print. You may be signing up for Jury Duty or AmeriCorps. You must be a US citizen or lawful US resident: expect a lawsuit from Arizona. Your airfare and accommodations will be provided by the campaign machinery and any contribution made through the contest is not tax deductible. It's a real contest.
They may raise millions. Jump in with all your email addresses or make up some new ones at gmail, hotmail, Yahoo, or AOL. No validation whatsoever is performed. You can probably sign up your friends as well: they will thank you for it when those cheeseburgers arrive hot and tasty.
Did you win? Apparently we all did. Let me know if BHO drew your name out of Michelle's pillbox hat. What was on the menu?
The dignity continues, or not.
More classy email from Jim Messina: