Barack Obama was so flush with campaign loot four years ago that he wouldn’t even take the government’s money. He was confident that he could play the dairy farmer and milk Democratic cows on his own. He was right. There were cash cows aplenty.
But that was then, and this is now, and many of his most reliable cows have gone dry. So he has to come up with novel and even bizarre ways to raise money. To that end, he’s inviting everyone who still has a taste for hopey-changey to sign up for “the Obama event registry.” It’s sort of like a gift shower for newlyweds or couples expecting an addition to the family. Only different.
An online Obama Event Registry asks Democrats whether “you’ve got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up.” Even raiding the festivities at a civil-union ceremony will do, which may explain the president’s convenient crush on gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the “transgendered.” (“Transgender” presumably means “transsexual” because gender is none of your business unless you’re a noun or a pronoun.)
“Let your friends know how important this election is to you,” the president says in his wedding letter. “Register with Obama 2012, and ask [your friends] for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the president on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate — and goes further than a gravy bowl [he means a gravy ‘boat’]. Setting up and sharing your registry page is easy — so get started today.”
This will be the ultimate thrill, or at least the second-biggest thrill, for many a summer bride. And not just as a substitute for a gravy “bowl,” but also for the usual china place settings, silverware, crystal goblets, wine racks, biscuit tins, mixing bowls, cheese slicers, blenders, sterling-silver asparagus tongs, laundry hampers, bath towels (matching His and Hers, His and His, and Hers and Hers) and all the other accessories and accumulations guaranteed to make a happy and lasting marriage. Who needs all that stuff, anyway?
In fact, sacrifice of mere things will produce such bliss as to send bride and groom (and bride and bride and bridegroom and bridegroom) in search of further sacrifice. Really passionate newlyweds would sacrifice the entire wedding and repair to a justice of the peace to encourage all the out-of-town guests to stay home and send what they would have spent on the trip directly to the Obama campaign fund. Newlyweds who trash their wedding trip can send the savings to Chicago. Is there an Obama bride in the land who wouldn’t jump at such an opportunity?
The Obama campaign is searching for remaining fans abroad, too, though so far there’s no attempt to encourage skimping on foreign weddings. Seven Obama bundlers raised $2.3 million four years ago, and more than a dozen bundlers, not to be confused with “boodlers,” have pledged to raise $4.5 million abroad this summer. There’s nothing illegal about it; the American donors are assumed to be paying their proper taxes on what they earn. Mitt Romney expects to collect a little Republican swag, too, when he goes to London next month for the Olympics.
The president clearly is on to something. Gay dogs usually are flush with cash, and they’re passionate consumers, and if the Obama campaign can divert the money the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered would spend on the peau de soie, pink tulle and lavender silk, the campaign will have the cash for louder and more frequent television commercials down the stretch.
Sacrifice might not be limited to weddings and birthdays. Not everyone marries, but everybody dies. If there’s boodle in brides, there’s cash in corpses. Wakes and visitations cost money, too, and if the friends and families of the newly dead really want to show a little love for Mr. Obama, they’ll cut back on the deviled eggs, hams and green bean casseroles for mourners and send the savings to campaign headquarters in Chicago.
There’s every indication that the president’s friends are treating the president’s appeal to nix the lavish nuptializing with all the seriousness the appeal deserves. His suggestion has inspired an outpouring of imaginative sacrifice.
“I started a lemonade stand this morning,” one Obama fan writes in answer to the online appeal, “but the local constable shut me down because I didn’t have my permits. I was doing very well for six hours. I collected 87 cents and 2 washers. In any event, I will forward these monies posthaste.” Is that showing the love, or what?
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.