LaborTalk for December 5, 2011

The First Lady Has invited Me to Have Dinner
With Barack and Her. She's 'Excited' to Meet Me!

By Harry Kelber

On December 2, I received an invitation from Michelle Obama inviting me to have dinner with her and Barack. Although no date for the dinner was mentioned, I figured I was on my way to becoming a nationally respected personality.

I thought the invitation should have been embossed with a card containing the President's seal, but it came as an e-mail. Well, I thought, she was too busy, probably working on her garden or planning a healthy diet for school children.

But I admit I was annoyed, when the invitation was addressed just to "Harry," like I was an old friend, with no sign that she knew my surname. But I quickly forgot the slight when her opening sentence said: "I'm excited for the chance to meet you and whoever you decide to bring to dinner."

I got the impression that this was to be a cozy dinner. White tie or black tie? I would have a chance to ask Barack what was the real story about Libya and what about al-Qaeda when our troops left Iraq and Afghanistan? What would we be talking about? Should I bring the Obamas a gift? What do you give people who have everything?

Michelle's invitation was conditional, I quickly realized. It had been sent with the same message to maybe a million people on the White House various fund-raising lists. I could spare the $3 she asked for the "entry fee. " But what were my chances of winning a national lottery of Obama supporters?

However, Michelle encouraged me: "I really hope you give this a shot," she said. Her concluding words on the e-mail were: "Hope to see you soon."

President Obama Liked the $3 Pitch to the Less Wealthy

The President explained why he liked the dinner invitation to four guests. In an e-mail, he remarked: " Michelle and I don't get as much time as we'd like with the people who are building the 2012 campaign." He promised to bring Michelle to the dinner.

Obama also pushed the low-priced fundraiser by stating: "We're looking forward to the chance to thank you in person, so I hope you'll take us up about it."

Our compliments to White House hospitality. And to the four guests, whom Barack and Michelle are eagerly awaiting to feed, "Bon Appetit!

LaborTalk will be posted here on December 8, 2011 and on our two web sites www.laboreducator.org and on www.laborsvoiceforchange.org.

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