EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

July 5, 2014

Column: Folksy political emails are unrelenting

Perhaps, like mine, your inbox is being flooded with emails from Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Michelle Obama.

President Obama usually says “hey” or “Ann” or “So, Ann.” Biden says “Here’s the thing, Ann.” And Mrs. Obama says “Hi” or “Hi, Ann.”

Obama wants to thank me in person by telling me to enter a contest to travel to Austin, where, presumably, he will be waiting to meet me although we live just a couple of miles apart in Washington. I’m not sure why he wants to thank me. He doesn’t say.

But this is the amazing part. He only wants me to contribute $3 to be eligible for a free flight and hotel room in Texas and handshake.

Michelle is more practical. She wants me to give $10 to have a chance at this opportunity. Unlike regulated contests, however, my friends Barack, Michelle and Joe don’t tell me what the chances are of winning.

Obviously, political columnists may not participate in such giveaways, let alone contribute to politicians. So if the goal of the emails is to make me give money to Democrats, that email deluge is having no effect.

It’s the same thing from Republicans, although they want me to give more -- much more. Hundreds of dollars. Thousands of dollars. Hundreds of millions of dollars. (I am on these email lists by mistake because somehow Republicans are not taking advantage of the personal information out there for free which might indicate that anything in that range is highly implausible.)

Messages from the president, vice president and first lady warn that because Obama’s name won’t be on the ballot in November, many Democrats may not be motivated to vote or give money. In that case, they note with alarm, Republicans will have enormous amounts of money to fund their candidates and take over the Senate. Joe in particular is worried that the Koch brothers, those astoundingly rich guys (think $1 billion) in Kansas who loathe Obama and everything he stands for, will control the outcome of the autumn election by giving conservative candidates millions of dollars.

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