The latest fundraising pitch at barackobama.com involves a lottery:
Make a donation today—and be automatically registered for a chance to have dinner with President Obama and three other supporters. We will cover your airfare and the meal—all you need to bring is your story and your ideas.
I'm struck by the "supporters" qualifier. I guess critics or fence-sitters will not be bringing themselves or any "ideas" along to dinner with the president.
Bolstering my hypothesis, yesterday, whoever ghost-writes Barack Obama's official Twitter feed requested conversational topics for #DinnerWithBarack. Today the campaign tweeted a link to its featured results. We stand at the brink of a second Great Depression and the president will soon be addressing average citizen concerns such as the following:
How can we work smarter in public schools to close the achievement gap?
I would ask what he believes to be the most useful way people, such as myself, can help him get re-elected.
What I, and other 16 year olds, can do for the country even if we generally aren't heard in larger politics.
Ask him about his biggest obstacles, his dreams and his family. Share mine with him, Enjoy dinner and thank him for trying to make America even greater than it is...with dreams, goals, hard work and optimism.
I would like to let the President know how the changes he made to medical coverage have helped me personally. And the positive effect he has had by being in office. I'd also like to know how this time in office has affected him and what he thinks about it.
I would love to talk to him about how he balances family life with his responsibilities. I've always been very impressed with how connected he seems to be with his children.
That's the complete list. Morning in America, folks! Unemployment plus underemployment sum to a depression-like 17 percent, despite two years of the largest Keynesian spending binge in world history and the vigorous expansion of that liberal favorite, the regulatory state, and there isn't a single voter concern expressed, however obliquely, about growing our economy or putting anyone back to work. I suppose I should be grateful that no featured comment praises our president for saving or creating so many jobs--"Just imagine how awful it might have been without him!"
Out of the six campaign-highlighted comments, three deal with how great the president is, one praises him for his wonderful but as-yet unimplemented health reform law, and only one has to do with something that needs improving--public education. I don't even know how to categorize the aspirational tweet from the 16-year-old.
This is Barack Obama's first time running for election on the basis of an actual record, except he is not because he cannot.