resident Obama's campaign strategists are not big on restraint. Indeed, Team Obama has sent out so many emails talking up a shot at dinner with Obama and George Clooney, Bill Clinton, or Sarah Jessica Parker — you simply need to donate for a chance to join in — that commentators have been complaining about the flood of messages since last fall. "It's like they're practically coming to my house and asking me to take part in this George Clooney fund-raiser thing," said New York's John Heileman on MSNBC's Morning Joe. There must be "a little bit of fear in the eyes on the Democratic side financially now." Here's a look back at some of the relentless fundraising pitches:
1. "Sometime soon, can we meet for dinner?"
From: Barack Obama, Sept. 14
Main pitch: "Please donate $5 or more to be automatically entered for a chance to join me for dinner.... No matter what our opponents do over the next 14 months, dinners like these are how we will continue to put people at the heart of this campaign — and prove that we don't need checks from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PAC money to win an election.... Maybe I'll get to thank you in person."
2. "How this dinner thing works"
From: Jim Messina, campaign manager, Sept. 16, 2011
Main pitch: "I know some people might think this is just some kind of trick or something. It's not."
3. "Yes or no, [your name]?"
From: Ann Marie Habershaw, chief operating officer, Sept. 23, 2011
Main pitch: "The scale we're talking about is unparalleled, and any time someone uses the word 'unparalleled,' that means it probably doesn't happen for free."
4. "Take him up on it"
From: Michelle Obama, Sept. 28, 2011
Main pitch: "As someone who's eaten countless meals with my husband, I want to tell you the one thing to do if you're selected to join him... Just relax."
Follow-up text message: "Checked your email yet today? The First Lady sent you a note."
5. "What's stopping you, [your name]?"
From: Joe Biden, Sept. 30, 2011
Main pitch: "This has never been about Barack and me. We're just two guys."
6. "Seriously: Not another fundraising email"
From: Mitch Stewart, Battleground States Director, Jan. 3
Main pitch: "I want to thank you for opening this email — especially because I know you’ve been pretty bombarded with messages from us lately. All the work we do here at headquarters... ultimately relies on someone like you deciding to open an email..."
7. "Throw Bo a bone on his anniversary"
From: BarackObama.com, April 14
Main pitch: "On April 14th, 2009, Barack followed through on his promise to Malia and Sasha — the Obamas welcomed Bo into their home. Now he's got three years under his collar as the First Dog. This April, wish Bo Obama a happy anniversary as a member of the First Family."
From: Julianna Smoot, deputy campaign manager, April 19
Main pitch: "Want to meet George Clooney and Barack Obama — at Clooney's house? He's hosting supporters at his home next month to help build support for this campaign and elect President Obama in November. And he's saving seats for two grassroots supporters like you and their guests. It's just not a chance most people get — well, ever.... If you ask me, this is far too good to pass up."
9. "George Clooney. Really"
From: Rufus Gifford, national finance director, April 20
Main pitch: "....This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Follow-up text message (April 30): "Last call, deadline tonight: If you want the chance to meet President Obama at George Clooney's house, we'll pay for airfare."
10."My best friend"
From: Barack Obama, May 11
Main pitch: "If you're lucky enough to get to marry your best friend, you'll know what I'm talking about. Michelle amazes me every day.... And no matter what we do on Mother's Day, it never seems like enough. This year, I wanted to try something a little different. I know Michelle treasures every single person who is part of this movement we've built, so I'm hoping each of you will sign my card to her today. It'll mean a lot to her."
11. "A card for Michelle"
From: Katherine Archuleta, national political director, May 13
Main pitch: "The President asked for our help to make this Mother's Day a special one for the First Lady. Join over 300,000 people, and sign his Mother's Day card for her today.... Thanks. She's going to love this."
12. "'The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama'"
From: Jim Messina, campaign manager, May 17
Main pitch: "A 54-page, $10 million proposal by top Republican strategists titled 'The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama' shows in vivid and gruesome detail what the President and all of us are up against.... This is going to be worse than we could have imagined. President Obama needs your help to stop it before it starts. Pitch in today to fight these attacks and show them this only makes us stronger."
From: Marlon Marshall, deputy national field director, May 18
Main pitch: "Flash forward to November 6th. Some people you know just didn't make it to the polls. Either they didn't register in time or they didn't know where to go. That could mean victory or defeat. And it's in your hands."
14. "Sarah Jessica is hosting"
From: Katherine Archuleta, national political director, May 23
Main pitch: "In three weeks, you could be knocking on Sarah Jessica Parker's door in NYC to spend an evening with President Obama and the First Lady. Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour will be co-hosting.... If that sounds like a pretty good night to you — or an absolutely incredible gift for someone you know — then give it a shot."
15. "Meeting you"
From: Bill Clinton, May 24
Main pitch: "I've been in President Obama's shoes before — less than six months to go before an election to let you finish what you started. It was tough enough back then, but this election is going to be tougher.... Pitch in what you can today to strengthen the campaign — and you'll be automatically entered to join me and President Obama in New York City, with the campaign covering transportation and accommodations.... I can't wait to meet you. I hope you'll give it a shot."
Follow-up text message: "Make sure to check your email today: President Clinton sent you a message."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why conservatives see rural America as the 'real' America
Subscribe to the Week