Thursday, June 28, 2012
"I don't think the President gives as much attention to these five-dollar donors as he does to the millionaires," O'Brien says...
Comic Conan O'Brien skewered President Obama's 'Dinner with Barack' contests on Wednesday night during a bit on his eponymous TBS show. Operating under the theory that silk-pocketed donors get far more presidential attention than the legions of grassroots supporters who have dropped $5 to enter the contests, O'Brien offered an edited version of one of the gushy videos put out by Obama for America that features winners discussing their date with destiny.
"It's a really clever idea to break up the perception that President Obama only dines with his rich donors," O'Brien said as he introduced the video. "I'm sorry, but I don't think the President gives as much attention to these five-dollar donors as he does to the millionaires."
Entries closed on Tuesday for the fifth dinner contest, which will have 3 winners and their guests joining the President and First Lady Michelle Obama for a meal somewhere on the campaign trail. (Above: The card that flashes at the end of O'Brien's video)
Dinner turns into lunch...
O'Brien didn't note that there's another way donors get "screwed" by the promotions: OFA aggressively touts the contests as "dinners" with the President, but two of the meals have been lunches. The Commander in Beef enjoyed a cheeseburger and fries during a lunch with the winners of the 'Dinner with Barack IV' on June 15th, when OFA took over DC's Lincoln Restaurant (those winners are the people featured in O'Brien's video). The second dinner contest was also fulfilled with a luncheon; the President took his four winners to DC's Scion restaurant on January 6, 2012.
One of the highlights of the promotions for the just-closed contest was OFA's video with dating tips from the President and Mrs. Obama, released this week to encourage supporters to enter the contest.
The original OFA video O'Brien edits for his comedy bit was released ahead of the Tuesday contest deadline to encourage entries:
The winners in the video are Janet Jones, 64, a grandmother from Accokeek, Maryland; Paula Matyas, a retired GM auto worker from Milford, Michigan; Jim Heath, a firefighter from Aurora, Ohio; and Wyndi Austin, a realtor from Gilbert, Arizona. Winners of the contests must agree to be used in campaign promotional materials throughout all eternity, with no compensation. Their prize packages are also taxable under IRS rules.
*Top video from TeamCoco.com; second from Obama for America