Barack Obama turned 52 yesterday, and while I’m not usually the sort of person who keeps track of that sort of thing, I couldn’t miss it. That’s because Organizing for Action really wanted to make sure I didn’t forget that the president’s big day was coming up.
Over the last four days, Obama’s former campaign organization sent me seven separate emails reminding me about President Obama’s birthday—and including little notes saying that, oh yeah, it would be nice if I kicked in some money too.
“Everyone likes getting birthday cards – and this one is for the President,” explained the first birthday email, which showed up at 2:14 p.m. last Thursday. It urged me to sign an online card for President Obama before it was sent along. And at the very bottom, just below the signature line, it also urged me to donate. “The other side will spend millions to maintain the status quo. We're fighting for change – chip in $5 or more to support OFA today.” By 6:15 p.m. last night, I’d received six more emails from OFA about the president’s birthday, most asking me to sign the card, all asking me to chip in now.
One of the emails didn’t mention the birthday card. Instead, it invited me to a celebration to honor the president’s birthday and one of his “signature accomplishments”—the 2010 health care legislation. The email said that people would be gathering together on Sunday to “celebrate the good things that are happening under Obamacare.” Come show your support: “Opponents are spending millions of dollars trying to convince Americans that Obamacare isn't working,” the email said. “Obamacare's opponents might have plenty of money -- but we have the facts on our side.” Not mentioned? That the law also has a hefty taxpayer-funded advertising account: According to an Associated Press tally based on federal and state sources, the total amount to be spent on advertising, publicity and marketing for Obamacare will be at least $684 million. Happy (belated) birthday, Mr. President!