We will say up front that Obama’s actions subsequent to his election have been far less radical than we would have predicted (given the content of Dreams From My Father and Obama’s membership in a racist church). If, despite the very poor first impression he gave us during the campaign, he does a good job, we will acknowledge that he has exceeded our expectations.
Obama must realize in turn, however, that fundraising through rigged online lotteries (this one is legal because it provides a way to enter without making a donation) undermines his credibility and reinforces negative expectations. This is not, incidentally, the first time this has happened.
We received the following solicitation from Michelle Obama today.
- Last week, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced that we’re bringing 10 supporters to Washington, DC for several days of Inaugural celebrations.
With the deadline coming up on Thursday, I’m pleased to announce the selection of the first grassroots supporter who will be attending the Inauguration.
Cynthia Russell from Newberry, Florida, and her guest will attend the welcome ceremony, Barack’s swearing-in, the Inaugural Parade, and our Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.
Cynthia is a builder and has been feeling the impact of the recent economic crunch. She wrote:
“I’m a single woman who has been building homes for over 18 years. I’ve supported myself and have been able to help out my mother from time to time. Now I find myself wondering how much longer I can hold on and be able to pay my bills and keep the doors open for business. Barack gives me hope. Hope that 2009 will truly bring change to Americans who find themselves in this mess with me.”
We need to select 9 more supporters like Cynthia, and I would love for you to be one of them.
Make your donation of $5 or more before midnight on Thursday, January 8th.
Supporters like you made this historic moment possible.
You gave your passion and hard work to this movement, and you brought millions of new people into the political process. Thanks to you, this campaign was open to more people than any in history, and we’re counting on you to do the same for the Inauguration.
You could be there to celebrate your amazing accomplishments and give a strong start to the change you fought so hard for.
Please make a donation of $5 or more and help us celebrate everything you did to make this day possible:
Nothing could be better than having you there to be a part of this historic event.
Thank you for everything you’ve done to bring us to this moment,
P.S. — The opportunity to be part of this historic event is open to everyone, regardless of whether you make a donation. Participate now by telling us what this Inauguration means to you.
Unlike a similar previous lottery that required a donation to enter, this one is certainly legal because the page on which you make the donation says, “If you’d prefer not to make a donation, sign up here and you could still be selected to attend the Inauguration.” Nonetheless, the ethics of announcing winners before the entry deadline means that not every entrant has an equal chance to win, and this reflects very badly on the incoming Presidential administration.