The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

President Obama campaigns with contest to win personal dinner

Courtesy of

Will you have dinner with me?

President Barack Obama would love to know.  His 2012 campaign has sent emails asking recipients to join the president for dinner.

Obama’s campaign created a contest, the prize for which is a personal dinner with the president — after they donate to the campaign, that is.

“He’s making the White House more accessible to the public,” said Dr. Bernardo Attias, a political rhetoric expert and chair of CSUN communications department. “He’s done several things, the town halls, Youtube, Twitter. Anything he does to make the White House more approachable is a positive thing.”

Obama’s twitter account, @BarackObama, frequently sends followers updates and information about the White House, and his website continuously updates and allows registered users to leave comments.

“The last 20 years, there has been an overwhelming sense of detachment from Washington,” Attias said. “Presidents and senators are living in a different world than the rest of us. Obama is inviting the public in.”

Supporters of Obama during the 2008 election and anyone who has contributed to the 2012 campaign have received this email, and CSUN students are no exception.

“I signed up to receive the 2012 Obama sticker,” said English literature major Carmen Ruiz. “I don’t have a lot of money to donate, so I can’t enter the contest. I am a huge Obama supporter, and would love to help him get re-elected.”

CSUN alumnus and practicing lawyer Abe Berger said he receives emails like this all the time.

“In the past, I did donate through these types of emails; I did not donate at this time,” Berger said.  “If I am going to donate again, I will wait until the campaign draws closer.”

The 2012 presidential election is 14 months away, and Obama’s newest campaign effort comes after a Sept. 8 jobs speech, which slightly raised his approval rating, though the numbers fell again later in the week.

By entering people in the contest after they’ve donated, the campaign can screen out nonsupporters, but another group is alienated, Attias said.

“People who can’t contribute are a different population,” Attias said.

The minimum donation allowed on the website is $10, and participants are required to provide their name, address and employer, if the contributions exceed $200, according to the website. But the amount of money donated will not increase their odds of winning.

“People will contribute along ideological grounds,” Attias said.

More to Discover