A Monday e-mail from campaign headquarters wooing $3 entries for the 'Barack's Birthday' fundraising contest included this adorable photo of a pre-presidential Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and their two young daughters celebrating Mr. Obama's 43rd birthday in 2004. "Warning: This Picture is Cute" read the subject line.
Daughter Malia, at right, would have been seven years old, and daughter Sasha, center, would have been three. The fundraising birthday bash in the backyard of the Obamas' Chicago home is on August 12th, with the deadline for entering July 26th, so the campaign is pulling out all the stops.
Can an e-mail that includes a photo of the President and First Dog Bo blowing out a birthday candle be far behind? Fingers crossed.
Today's missive was not signed by a specific staffer, and the text was simple. It read "Want to celebrate President Obama's birthday with him--at the Obamas' house in Chicago? Donate $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered today," with a link to the donation page.
During his birthday in 2004, Mr. Obama would have been an Illinois state senator, running for his first term in the US Senate; he was elected in November of 2004.
Mrs. Obama first announced the birthday contest on July 16th; the President sent his own e-mail wooing donors last week. He turns 51 on August 4th, and the fundraiser is one of three scheduled for Aug. 12 in the Windy City. "Wish Barack a happy birthday, face to face," reads the donation page on BarackObama.com. As with all Obama for America online contests, there's a required page where hopefuls can enter the contest for free--but don't hold your breath.
The prize package includes air fare to Chicago and a one-night hotel stay, according to the official Rules, reprinted below. The assigned retail value of $1,600 is taxable to winners, who must also pass background checks and agree to be used in campaign promotional materials throughout eternity.
Malia turned 14 on July 4th, and Sasha celebrated her 11th birthday on June 10. Mrs. Obama turned 48 last January 17. The White House has declared the girls off limits for media coverage, though they appear routinely in campaign ads. There is not a single photo of either child in Mrs. Obama's book about the White House Kitchen Garden.
Related: The President's signature White House gesture is the birthday cake presentation.