Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Dinner with Barack' Goes Hollywood With New 'Obama, Clooney & You' Sweepstakes

Two winners & their guests will party with the President and film star George Clooney at his LA mansion... 
UPDATE: The post about the dinner is here
 Obama for America has now put the ongoing Dinner with Barack sweepstakes on steroids, adding a big injection of Hollywood. Donors are newly being wooed with the 'Obama, Clooney & You' sweepstakes, and being offered the chance to dine with both President Obama and George Clooney at the superstar's Los Angeles manse. In an e-mail sent on Thursday, Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot asked donors to drop just $3 into the President's war chest to meet America's most ineligible bachelor during a fundraising dinner for the President already scheduled for May 10th. The deadline is April 30; two winners will be chosen, and each winner will be allowed to bring a guest. (Above: Clooney during an Oval Office meeting on March 15)  

"Want to meet George Clooney and Barack Obama--at Clooney's house?" Smoot wrote. "It's just not a chance most people get--well, ever."

Clooney lives in a gated Craftsman-style compound at the top of a secluded canyon just to the east of Beverly Hills. He is "saving seats for two grassroots supporters like you and their guests," Smoot wrote. (Above: One of the donation page logos)

"George Clooney is doing his part to help re-elect the President, but he also knows that it's folks like you who will decide this election," Smoot wrote.

The event is being co-hosted by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. The rest of the "grassroots supporters" attending will pay $40,000 each for the opportunity to mingle with the President and the movie star. Barbra Streisand is expected to attend.

The most recent Presidential dinner contest, Dinner with Barack IV, helped raise $53 million for the President's re-elect effort in March; the Campaign claims that small-dollar donations make up the majority of support. First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have previously been offered by the Campaign as co-dinner guests to sweeten the presidential dinner contest prize packages. Mrs. Obama dined with supporters, but the 'Dinner with Barack and Joe' event never happened.

Clooney--and loads of other top-dollar donors--joined President Obama at the White House on March 14th for the State Dinner for Prime Minister David Cameron. Clooney was seated at the Head Table across from the President and Prime Minister, and beside Mrs. Obama. The next day, he returned to the White House for an Oval Office meeting to discuss his work in Sudan with the President. (Above: Clooney and Mrs. Obama at the State Dinner)

Prizes are taxable, and winners will be used in Campaign promotions...
OFA will draw the names of 50 potential winners on May 1, 2012, and then select the two winners, according to the Official Rules. Each Clooney prize package has an assigned retail value of $1,600, and is taxable to the winners under IRS rules. Packages include round trip coach airfare to Los Angeles and other transportation, valued at $1,200.00. The dinner and hotel stay is valued at $200 each. OFA "will choose, in its sole discretion, the airline, hotel, flight dates, flight times, departure city and airport and other Trip logistics and details," according to the rules. (Above: The invite for high-dollar donors)

In addition to going through background checks and security clearance, winners must agree to be used without compensation in future Campaign materials; OFA releases videos and other promotional materials about the lucky winners' time in the spotlight with the President.

From the Official Rules: "Entry into the Promotion constitutes permission to use each winner's name, hometown, likeness and/or prize information, without limitation, for promotional purposes without further permission or compensation."

There have been four previous Dinner with Barack contests: The President ate dinner with the four winners of the first "Dinner with Barack" contest in October of 2011, at The Liberty Tavern in Arlington, VA. The second dinner contest was fulfilled with a luncheon; the President took his four winners to DC's Scion restaurant on January 6, 2012. On March 8th, the President and Mrs. Obama dined at DC's Boundary Road restaurant for the third contest, which had three winners who were each allowed to bring a guest. The President has not yet enjoyed a meal with the winners of 'Dinner with Barack IV.'

Click here for links to all Clooney posts

Smoot's e-mail announcing the sweepstakes had the subject heading "Clooney."

The text:


Want to meet George Clooney and Barack Obama -- at Clooney's house?

He's hosting supporters at his home next month to help build support for this campaign and elect President Obama in November. And he's saving seats for two grassroots supporters like you and their guests. It's just not a chance most people get -- well, ever.

For a chance to hang out with President Obama at George Clooney's house, donate $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered to win.

George Clooney is doing his part to help re-elect the President, but he also knows that it's folks like you who will decide this election. That's why we're reserving a few spots for grassroots supporters.

If you donate $3 or whatever you can today, you'll be doing your part to support the campaign, and be automatically entered to join them in Los Angeles.

If you ask me, this is far too good to pass up:



Julianna Smoot
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America

*Photo at top by Pete Souza/White House: "President Barack Obama meets with...Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan; and George Clooney, in the Oval Office, March 15, 2012." State Dinner photo by Getty/pool.