As the entry deadline for the 'Dinner with Barack and Michelle' contest loomed, the White House blog spotlighted the President and First Lady's foodie outings...
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have been on the campaign trail a lot lately, and three photos of their visits to eateries, taken by White House photographers, have gotten plenty of play on the official White House website in the last week, spotlighted as "Photo of the Day." The "surprise visits" to the restaurants --not listed on either Mr. or Mrs. Obama's official schedules--coincided with a major push from the Obama campaign to woo donors to enter the 'Dinner with Barack and Michelle' fundraising contest, which closed for entries on Tuesday.
The popular dinner contests are never mentioned on the White House blog; that could come under fire for violating federal election rules. But three photos of eat n' greets being posted in the space of a week is a first for the White House website. Wednesday's Photo of the Day, at top, shows the President chatting with school kids during his Tuesday stop at Atlanta, Georgia's historic The Varsity restaurant. Obama for America has just launched the sixth 'Dinner with Barack' contest.
Above, Tuesday's White House Photo of the Day is an image of the President enjoying a Hot Fudge Sundae at the UNH Dairy Barn in Durham, New Hampshire. The President dropped by on Monday, and offered to treat everyone in the joint.
"My treat, now,” the President said. “This is legal. I could not do this in front of a polling place, buy you ice cream. But I can do it here."
The campaign used a similar we'll-pick-up-the-tab pitch in dinner contest e-mails, and in tweets posted to the President and Mrs Obama's Twitter accounts. "Today is last call for dinner with the First Couple. Airfare is on us—and your odds are better than you think," wrote @BarackObama on Tuesday.
Mrs. Obama's campaign trail eat n' greet in Colorado on June 20 was the White House Photo of the Day on June 21. It was posted on the same day Mrs. Obama sent an e-mail to supporters encouraging them to enter the dinner contest. The First Lady dropped by Nacho's restaurant in Pueblo in between two fundraising events. The photo, above, was taken by the White House photographer who accompanied Mrs. Obama on her trip.
Instagram photos of the President's visit to the Dairy Barn and Mrs. Obama's visit to Nacho's were also tweeted on the @BarackObama and @MichelleObama accounts.
Above is the Instagram of the President's visit, tweeted on Monday with the note "Ice cream break: President Obama chats with voters in Durham, New Hampshire this afternoon."
The names of the supporters the President and Mrs. Obama posed with in the photos were not released by the White House.
*Presidential photos by Pete Souza/White House; First Lady photo by Sonya N. Hebert/White House. Instagram from @BarackObama.