Tying the knot? Celebrating a landmark anniversary? Marking a big birthday? Obama for America thinks the perfect gift is a donation to President Obama's reelection war chest. On Friday, the campaign unveiled the Obama Event Registry, a site that supporters can customize for their special events in order to accept campaign donations in lieu of gifts. It's the latest in a series of gimmicks designed to try to best the big-dollar haul of GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, who reportedly has donations pouring in.
"It’s a great way to support the President on your big day," noted OFA. "Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl."
Perhaps they mean gravy boat, but whatever. The registry can be customized with supporters' photos and dollar amount requests. Notes the blurb online:
"Instead of another gift card you’ll forget to use, ask your friends and family for something that will go a little further: a donation to Obama for America. Register your next celebration—whether it’s a birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, wedding, or anniversary—with the Obama campaign. It’s a great way to show your support for a cause that’s important to you on your big day. Just log in or sign up to build and customize your page—and congratulations!"
The site also suggests language to use when rolling friends and relatives for campaign cash:
"For my big day, I'd like to show my support for a cause I believe in -- re-electing President Obama," it reads. "That's why I'm asking my friends and family to donate to the Obama campaign. Thanks for chipping in!"
President Obama spent more money in May than he raised, according to Politico. Obama 2012 has used the President and First Lady Michelle Obama's birthdays as fundraising opportunities, asking supporters to sign cards and then make a donation. There was even a card fundraising campaign for the third anniversary of First Dog Bo's arrival at the White House.
UPDATE, June 23: Internet jeersThe Obama Event Registry was almost instantly the subject of jeers on the internet, which included negative comments on BarackObama.com, such as "Is this what the office of the President of the United States has come to? Pandering for wedding and birthday money?"
Another observer wrote "Yes, it has, but stay tuned--he has quite a way to go before he hits bottom. Should be amusing."
"Funerals will be targeted next, a donation in lieu of flowers," wrote another commenter.
On Twitter, the rebukes led to#ObamaFundraisingIdeas becoming a trending topic, with users deriding the gift grab, and posting their own photos of "fundraising ideas." @CuffyMeh tweeted the graphic, above, writing "Hey kids! I'm handing these out at the door this Halloween."
A sampling of other tweets, with the #ObamaFundraisingIdeas hashtag removed:
@jamestaranto: Does the Obama campaign accept EBT?
@RJF_723: Tell your kids that if they're good all year Santa will donate their gifts to Obama
@benshapiro: Need cancer surgery? Send the money to Obama's re-election campaign instead. You'll eventually die anyway
@CAAmyO: Pay to have Nancy Pelosi read all 2500 pages of Obamacare so we can find out what's in it
@freddoso: Terminal illness? Don't forget to put my campaign in your will!
@bbrown7008: Have a beer summit and charge for it.
@usuallyrite: Sell high quality fake voter ID's
*Graphic by Cuffe, aka CuffyMeh