Winning a dinner with the president
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dine in a DC restaurant Thursday evening with winners of an Obama campaign contest.
March 8th, 2012
07:38 PM ET

Winning a dinner with the president

Maybe it's not winning the Powerball lottery but dinner and some serious conversation with the leader of the free world does rank up there. Three lucky supporters and their guests dined with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a small Washington DC restaurant Thursday night.

It's all part of the campaign's effort to attract grassroots supporters' donations.The president has spent many evenings in the past months rubbing elbows with high dollar donors who pay as much as $35,000 for a chance to have dinner with him.

But the concept of "Dinner with Barack" and tonight's "Dinner with Barack and Michelle" is for the president to be able to talk "with a few of the people who have taken ownership of this campaign," according to a Democratic campaign official.

Tonight's winners included a non-profit executive from Nashville, Tennessee, ReGina Newkirk, a former social worker from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Cathleen Loringer, and a retired school administrator from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Judy Glassman. Each was allowed to bring one guest.

This is the first contest featuring a dinner with both the president and first lady. There have been three other contests where the winners dine with the president solo. It's apparently been so popular and successful the campaign is currently running another contest soon.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Name*Liz Carter

    I think that with many more dinners like this President Obama will keep getting the pure, true message from 'we the American people' one on one, without the shadiness, the whitewashed, the edited points of view which is often given to him 'purged' through 3rd and 4th party messengers, like the Congress and the media polls!

    March 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • John

      Right – for $35K

      March 9, 2012 at 6:45 am |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        Read the whole thing before you spew John. These people WON a dinner with the President, simply because they are putting in time in their communities and states towards his relelection campaign! Yes...he's been to dinners where he 'rubbed elbows' with the rich 35K! So what? That's the kind of thing ALL Presidents have done! YES! That is an expensive plate, but everything cost more these days! And I know this, the people who bought the plates were the ones who WANTED to and COULD afford them! So what is it to you other than jealousy? Try to get yourself one of those 'free' dinners...see if you can WIN one too. I got an email inviting me to put my hat in the ring for the drawing! They were going to fly me there and everything. I just didn't throw my hat in! LOOK DEEP BEFORE YOU LEAP, JOHN!! Your biggotry and hate is still showing!!! You hate the President and anybody that is putting their money where there mouth is to support him!! And that's a whole lot of hate and envy! You and folks like this one Joey simply can't understand how in the world this man can still draw in so many wealthy, intelligent supporters anyway, after all you and the rest of your 'con' buddies have done to paint him into a bad light! Thank GOD for the intelligence we have left in this nation of fools!! You loathe anyone who stands up for him just through the blogs, while you pat the ones on the backs who denounce him like you do! You all are pathetic! Get ready for four more years! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!! YES WE CAN AGAIN!!

        March 9, 2012 at 7:59 am |
      • John

        Jean, you see nothing wrong with bashing people who earned their money, likr Romney, but you don't question people who spend $35K for a dinner w/BO? The class warfare only goes one way I see... And again, sticks and stones.. You libs are hateful...

        March 9, 2012 at 8:50 am |
      • OBAMA2012


        You seem to be the hateful one in this situation. You should be glad that a "regular" American citizen is provided the opportunity to speak for everyone regarding what is "REALLY" happening to communities, cities, and families such as your own. If you are truly concerned about the well being of your family, friends, community, etc., then the most logical and rational thing to do would be to retain President Obama for the next 4 years. My take on life today is that "as long as we are living" we will always have debt. Believe me the debt crisis will not be over within the next 4 years nor the next 20 years. The debt crisis in America and the World will end when GOD calls it to an end.

        March 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Doug

      It was ONLY extended By A Political Contribution, that is the game now. Your states are politically important to winning re-election, good press back home, just saying.

      March 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  2. Joey

    This is pure PR. As if Obama really cares how his "guests" feel. They're just pawns that will be used in a big commercial.

    March 9, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      @Joey!! Shut up will ya?!? You all are nothing but a bunch of sour grapes and you have been ever since this man opened up his mouth and had the audacity to announce he was running for President of The United States! My all are certainly pieces of work....good LORD!!!!

      March 9, 2012 at 8:08 am |
      • Lefty

        I know, you hate anyone who doesn't share your views. If you had your way dissent against Obama would be a crime.

        March 9, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Clarissa

      There is a difference between a view and a ignorant assumption, if he didn't care why would he even bother to go through this every single month? His "view" is just a assumption that he knows what is going on in Obama's campaign,, which is obviously nothing

      March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  3. robk

    WOW, I can't believe this is even being debated by the public.
    If people have the money to spend, why not spend it on what they want??

    I doubt a few bought or WON dinners will bring in alot of voters.

    RON PAUL 2012!!
    If he became President, he would set his base salary to $39,000, like the average Americans pay. And I doubt that he would charge for a few dinners with his followers.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Emmy Skaddittle

      do you really think he is going to win? by getting some crumbs and not winning any states?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  4. Retired Soldier

    I can't beleive all the hate we have in the Unitied States Of America in 2012. This President has showed us that he is a President for the people by being our voice for the common man and woman in DC. I got to give him credit for that, Thank you Mr. Obama, and i got you back in November 2012.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Steve

      I agree 100%!

      March 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • jsmoulder

      As he said " I won we will do things my way" really listening to the people. NOT!!

      March 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  5. Mark

    I rather starve !!!!! He's a liar....

    March 9, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • 2cents4free

      It's a free world dude. No one will miss you when you die of starvation lol.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:27 am |
      • OBAMA2012

        Well said! lol

        March 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Davis

      Yes...starve one less idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Emmy Skaddittle

      first of all these people are pretty well vetted but you wouldn't want a change to tell the president what you feel about his policies directly? wow, just like the republicans like their voters dum b

      March 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • jsmoulder

        He would have to pay me to be in the same room with him.

        March 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Maritza


      I am sorry, but you are an ignorant.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      Mark...You go ahead and put your Rethuglicans back in office and you 'rathers' will certainly become a reality! LOL!!

      March 12, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  6. Name*Liz Carter

    Hate? Well maybe a little dislike and contempt, especially when it's personal and so obviously unfounded!! But not hate, because I don't know you!! I just know what you say and I see most of it as nothing but biggotry, selfishness, envy, and personal!! And just like all of you who daily wage words of ill-repuke against him...I will wage mine words for him!! Btw...this is a crime in most other countries!! It should be made a crime if you all plan on treating a US President like the way you have treated this one again! No other President has been treated this unfairly and with this much vitriol and this much disrespect in my lifetime!! Shameful!! You should be so lucky!! Hate? I could say the same thing about you!

    March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Steve

      Fantastic post Liz. I agree with you all the way.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Nofoodnowork

    No President has ever been treated this way – WOW – what a short memory you have – or is it selective memory and hearing when it comes to B.O. I guess you don't recall the insults that Bush received – "war monger" – compared to Hitler – moron – ignorant – dumb"....guess it only goes one way. I'm an independent but my god – how did this guy ever become President – what experience or record did he have – ZERO – if all the candidates had to submit their resumes for the Office of the Presidency -Barack would have never got by the first screening process.
    – Foreign Policy experience – None
    – Private Sector or Business Experience – None
    – Gov't/Legislation – 2 years as a Senator
    – Budget – Never had to be accountable for one

    He was elected because he's a great Orator – best salesmen on the planet – all hat an no cattle – Keep drinking the cool – aid.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  8. george of the jungle

    excellent idea. This president stays in touch with the average american by actually talking to them for more than a minute. Great news job numbers are up. If this keeps up repos will have to find something else to complaine about. Obama 2012

    March 9, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  9. Steve

    I have volunteered my time and I donate regularly to the Obama campaign and would love to attend one of these dinners but I know the chances are slim to none of being chosen. I still can't believe that three years into his presidency that there are still throngs of haters in the country that think he's some kind of secret Muslim bent on destroying the country. Quite the contrary actually. Even with one hand tied behind his back he's prevented another great depression, improved health care, saved the auto industry in America and he's taken out the worlds most hated terrorist along with most of his buddies. I debate regularly with conservative friends and have found that they are all so locked into their conservative bubble that they can't even comprehend the facts that this president has done so much to get the country ion the right track again. I am 57 years old and I think that Barack Obama is by far the greatest president in my lifetime.


    March 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • jsmoulder

      he has not proved other wise.

      March 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • jsmoulder

      Wish I had read your whole comment first. Your crazy. He makes Carter look like a great president. He has added more national debt than the previous 43 presidents combined.

      March 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Steve

        The debt belongs to Bush and the Republican's. I guess you think he should have just taken office and done nothing while the country was headed down the drain. You need to get your facts straight.

        March 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Justin

      You sir are diluted.

      March 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  10. Jimmy Mack

    How typically pathetic of him. Prostituting himself out again like the used car salesman that he is. And nothing more. Sad.

    March 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  11. Jimmy Mack

    How typically pathetic of him.Prostituting himself out like the used car salesman that he is.Sad.

    March 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  12. 77

    wonder if this post will even get on, since there is much bias here-anyways i think its a great idea that our president and first lady dine with real american people! thats the majority who do the voting-the REAL american people, not lobyists, corps, politicians. many REAL americans have great ideals because WE have to live under the policies made for us. Its a BRILLIANT idea.

    March 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  13. jsmoulder

    Win dinner with the fool, not likely he does not want to here from those who do not agree with him. These winners where hand picked by his campaign.

    March 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Jules

    Great – another chance coming up. I hope I win. It would be so awesome.

    March 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Steve- Illinois

      Unless you rely on government funding for your job or survival, you have no chance!

      March 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  15. grandma sue (colo. springs)

    I am a 70yr old grandmother living on social security and a small pension. i fear daily that i wont have enough money for basic necessaties , co-pays and extended medical care and medicines. but thats the facts of life and i know our president has been working hard to protect and improve these needs. however, our congress has blocked his every proposition. they have forgotten how to compromise and us. they appear to serve their own self interest. i am proud of our president and feel strongly that we need him 4 more years. stop hate! hate serves no purpose. ps i have never responded to political dialoge and have never emailed before but i urge our seniors to speak out.

    March 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  16. tamara reina

    Please up my salary when i get this job in west va. So i can say check please

    March 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  17. 77 AO 612

    I think its a brilliant idea! too bad so many people are jealous and like to silence those who call them out.

    March 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  18. Emmy Skaddittle

    hell, i would have had dinner with W if he was footing the bill

    March 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  19. Kev

    OH Please is this worth being on CNN. I would NOT have dinner with this President if he was the last man on thsi Planet. Why should I? Seriously? What can we possibly talk about? The weather? Get real.

    March 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  20. James

    Who let this guy into Texas–I'm insulted–No Passport I'm sure–

    March 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  21. Steve- Illinois

    An executive for a non profit, a social worker, and a school administrator. Hmmmm All people who basically rely on government funding! Not often you have a "lottery" where the winners are "vetted" before anounced!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  22. Marlee

    If I had that much money to spare I would donate it to charity. I will pass on the hoopla but I would be honored to sit down at a family dinner with the Obamas.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |