Obama has his eyes on wedding donations

US President Barack Obama’s campaign is asking couples to forgo wedding gifts and donate to his campaign instead. It’s the latest fundraising gimmick by his campaign, which has seen a steep dropoff in donor support since 2008. A blog post on the Obama/Biden 2012 website rolled out the ‘Obama Event Registry,’ which asks anyone with an upcoming birthday, wedding, or anniversary to “support the President on your big day” by asking for donation money “in lieu of a gift”.

Fork over your money: In addition to asking couples to ask their guests to make donations, the Obama registry asks anyone with an upcoming birthday, wedding, or anniversary to support the President. Pic/AFP

“Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?” a news item on the website says. “Let your friends know how important this election is to you — register with Obama 2012, and ask 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 a lot further than a gravy bowl.” The story links to a website that reads, “Got a special milestone or event coming up? Instead of another gift card you’ll forget to use, ask your friends and family for something that will go a little further: a donation for Obama for America.”

Campaigning tricks
In April, the Obama campaign offered donors a chance to attend a high-dollar fundraiser at George Clooney’s house. Obama also used his dog, Bo, to raise funds by asking donors to “Throw Bo A Bone On His Anniversary,” the bone being a campaign contribution. “The first dog is wagging his tail in anticipation,” the solicitation read. 

Critics were not very kind to the idea. “Not long before they start hitting up kids for their tooth fairy money,” quipped one. “Is this what the office of the President of the United States has come to? Pandering for wedding and birthday money?” said another. Many of the commenters suggest that the president comes off as desperate as he struggles to keep pace with his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. 

Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $76.8 million (Rs 438 crore) in May, beating the $60 million (Rs 342 crore) taken in by Obama and the Democratic National Committee, and Romney has closed in on Obama as Americans are more confident in the former Massachusetts governor’s ability to improve the economy. Donor support for Obama has fallen off a cliff compared to 2008.  

Rs 438 cr Amount raised by Mitt Romney in May
Rs 342 cr Amount raised by Barack Obama in May

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