"Get flown in for a meal with me," President writes...
UPDATE, June 20: First Lady added to the line-up
Before heading off to lunch in DC today with the winners of the fourth 'Dinner with Barack' sweepstakes, President Obama sent his first e-mail to supporters about the current contest, 'Dinner with Barack V.' It's been open for entries/donations since May, but the President's Friday run to Lincoln Restaurant, well-covered by media, ensured that all America would be reminded that he actually keeps his campaign promises and eats with regular ol' grassroots supporters. (Above: The graphic created for the contest)
In a change from the other previous contest meals, which took place in the DC vicinity, the three winners of the new contest will be flown to join the President on the campaign trail. He spotlighted this in his missive, which had the subject line "Get flown in for a meal with me."
"I'm about to sit down for lunch with a few grassroots supporters who are being flown in from Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio," the President wrote. "Next time, I could be on my way to meet you."
The President asked for $3, and warned that the dinner contests are coming to an end.
"I'm not going to get to do too many more of these before November. That's just a fact."
Each of the three winners is allowed to bring a guest. As required by law, no donation is actually necessary to "drop your name in the hat;" there's an alternate entry page for those who'd like to be considered as gratis presidential dinner companions (and good luck to them).
The approximate retail value of the prize package, taxable to the winners, is $1,600. Winners and their companions also have to sign an agreement that they will be used in Campaign promotional materials, as well as pass security screenings. The deadline for entries is June 30th.
The transcript of the President's e-mail:
I'm about to sit down for lunch with a few grassroots supporters who are being flown in from Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio.
It'll just be me and these four supporters, with enough time to relax and have a real conversation.
I can't wait.
I'm not going to get to do too many more of these before November. That's just a fact.
So if you'd like to be there for one of the last ones, please chip in $3 or whatever you can -- and you'll be automatically entered for that chance:
Next time, I could be on my way to meet you.