Dinner With the President

WArriving in my email this morning was a letter from James Carville. I’m sure many of you received the same invitation. Particularly enticing is this sentence:

And since you have the President’s back, I wanted to make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to join President Obama for dinner later this month.

My “chance” to break bread or arugula with the Prince of Peace depends, though, on a contribution of “$20, $35 or more.” Alas, it is a lottery. Because even after this donation is received, my name will be entered, along with the name of my guest, in a drawing. If I’m selected, I will receive not just dinner with the Nobel recipient but, also, a gift of airfare and hotel accommodations. I’m assuming my guest will as well. Especially since all this free stuff and “chance” are restated in another paragraph.

Carville concludes his tempting offer with a reference to the Obama transformation talk—you know, the bullshit we heard during the race for the White House. Carville is trying to whet my appetite with his appreciation for my contribution, which “will be put to work fighting for the change you and I voted for last November. “

Of course, if I tell him I didn’t support Barack Obama last November, he could contrive to eliminate me from the drawing–regardless of my donation. Regardless of just how much I want to have dinner with Barack Obama so that I can tell him what I think about his policies. Regardless of my zealousness to remind Barack that he is supposed to be representing the people of this country, not just large corporations.

Need I let Carville know how well his words about my having Obama’s back resonate? This is painfully obvious. It is, in fact, an inconvenient truth that We the People have only his back.

Should I write James and tell him to get a message to Obama that it’s not his back I want to have—that it’s his ear? I would so like have my words penetrate the President’s hearing to remind him of all those promises he made about change we can believe in. And tell him that he’s turned his back on us.

MISSY BEATTIE lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com