Obama’s ‘Free Dinner’, not really so free

May 21, 2012
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Obama's "free" dinner, not so free

The irony stared back at me not with the usual sly, sarcastic smirk, but rather a full blown in your face, “Get used to it, it only gets worse from here”.

The headline was a simple, “Fiscal Cliff” and the editorial illuminated the danger lurking post November elections.

The banner ad across the top of the screen just to the right of the Joplin Globe masthead beckoned one and all: “ENTER to WIN” – “DINNER with BARACK”.

America is facing a “fiscal cliff” never before seen and all the leader who brought us to the brink of that cliff can do is offer a sleazy, “win a dinner” sweepstakes to troll for campaign donations.

Not since a certain “blue dress” and using the Lincoln bedroom as a campaign brothel have I seen the office of the Presidency of the United States of America so sullied.

But believe it or not, the cynicism actually gets worse. Clicking through to the “official rules” of the Presidential dinner-stakes reveals the devilish details.

First is the bold, all caps notice that the IRS will be accompanying all winners:

ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZE ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF WINNER.

Second is the “you win, we own you” disclaimer:

10. Use of Winner Name, Likeness, etc. Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Promotion constitutes permission to use each winner’s name, hometown, likeness and/or prize information, without limitation, for promotional purposes without further permission or compensation. As a condition of being awarded any prize, except where prohibited by law, each winner may be required to execute a consent to the use of his or her name, hometown, likeness and/or prize information, without limitation, for promotional purposes without further permission or compensation.

So, according to the campaign’s official rules, winning is only the beginning.

The campaign is so cheap, that not only does it not cover the taxes on the “prize” it requires the winner to give up all privacy and allow his/her information to be used at will and with no further compensation.

The Obama campaign may be quite proud of itself for its use of the internet and social media.

But there is no pride in using it to cheapen what used to be the most respected office in the world.

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