Heinze: Obama's golden ticket

BY MATT HEINZE | JUNE 15, 2012 6:30 AM

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"From coaching basketball to knowing how many Jonas brothers there are, Barack is a pretty cool dad …" or so began another anxious Obama for America campaign email sent Wednesday on behalf of first lady Michelle Obama.

Perhaps, then, it should be of little surprise to learn that Mitt Romney is quickly gaining on Obama's lead in Iowa and further managed to outraise the Obama campaign in May for the first time in history. Oh, and by "outraised," I really mean outraised (by more than 25 percent, to be exact).

Normally, one might meet such a desperate plea for election money with disappointment, but not I.

Following a bevy of emails received over the course of the past few months promising the opportunity to dine with POTUS and a celebrity guest ranging from George Clooney to Sarah Jessica Parker if I donate the prerequisite minimum donation, I'm left wishing for more.

A Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, for example, might get me to send some money. I mean, that's what Obama's previous campaign "raffles" have showcased before, right? Providing a campaign lottery where real money is doled out is just taking the quid pro quo in campaign finance to the next level. It's just too bad the Federal Election Commission would probably have to run amok and ruin the fun in such an awesome idea.

Or wait, here's an even better one Obama: Why don't you send everyone who sends you a donation in the next month a little chocolate bar? Of course the trick of it is, out of all the chocolate bars you send out, only five of them have a "golden ticket" that allows the recipient a chance to tour the White House. Cut to the chase, and any "golden ticket" winner's campaign contribution may just allow them to shoot off into D.C. airspace while Obama explains that they now run the country.

But all joking aside, the current Obama for America mentality baffles me. Claiming to move "forward" at a time of such economic indigestion while the country suffers from a near-paralytic divide seems to me a unnecessarily contentious choice for a slogan, especially for a campaign that recently rewrote the book on modern campaign finance.

Listen, Obama, I get it. It would seem the year 2012 qualifies as "tough times" for running a re-election campaign.

The economy stinks and doesn't look to be improving at an expedited rate anytime soon. U.S. foreign affairs are a mess while you simultaneously attempt to reconcile your administration's current policies with your pre-08 campaign discourse. Romney is a much more photogenic guy than McCain and probably won't be naïve enough to select someone as rogue (stupid) as Sarah Palin for a running mate.

And, you still regret giving that guy with a big mouth your number in hopes of bedding an appreciable running mate.

But to fall headlong into the practice of campaigning not only as a "pseudo-celebrity" but as "the guy who hangs out with celebrities" is misguided. You've been called out as a celebrity numerous times before, Obama, and that claim has never been closer to the truth.

Further continuing to belittle your remaining bastions of support by spewing forth nothing but Hallmark rip-offs is overly preachy at best.

If Obama wishes to win key swing states such as Iowa in 2012, he'll need to find unique ways to reach out to Iowans who, rather than mass unemployment, increasingly face the uncertainty of a dying and decaying American middle class. Placing more emphasis on internal campaign factions such as the Rural Iowans for Obama Steering Committee and further retooling the grass-roots message to demographic and geographic conditions are the only ways the Obama campaign has a chance to match the well-maintained coffers of Romney.

Well, that and Publishers Clearing House.

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