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Opinion: Almost a million people sign a birthday card for someone they’ve never met (Obama)

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Keep the party hats, streamers and cake.

All Barack Obama wants for his birthday is a card with your digital signature. And your e-mail address. And your ZIP Code. And maybe an optional personal note, if you’re feeling sentimental. And, well, if you wouldn’t mind, he could sure use some cash. How does $25 sound?

I took pause last week when thumbing through the e-mails on my phone. ‘Will you sign Barack’s birthday card, Mark?’ was the subject line. (To save you the trouble of looking down at my byline, I’ll tell you that my name is Mark.)

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I don’t have any friends named Barack, so that struck me as odd. Neither do I regularly exchange e-mails with anyone named Michelle Obama.

These types of oddly personalized messages zip across pretty frequently. I don’t expect the president or his wife to actually share a personal e-mail address called info@barackobama.com. Somehow I got on the mailing list for the Democratic National Committee’s BarackObama.com and never felt the need to unsubscribe.

But this one struck me as more....

... peculiar than the rest. ‘This has been a big -- and hectic -- year for him,’ wrote the supposed Michelle Obama. (A DNC spokeswoman acknowledged the e-mail but did not return a request for comment.) ‘So I’m putting together a birthday card that I would like you to sign. Together with other Organizing for America supporters -- and me, Malia, Sasha, and Bo -- we’ll wish him a happy birthday.’

Why? Maybe it’s to prove that people still support President Obama, contrary to popularity polls. A DNC worker named Mitch Stewart followed up on ‘Michelle’s’ note last Thursday, saying nearly a million people signed the digital card in its first day.

Or maybe it’s to make up for Michelle and daughter Sasha skipping out on Obama’s birthday this Wednesday (Aug. 4) for a mother-daughter vacation to Spain.

Either way, now I’m curious. So I filled out the form using the name Moe Ginsburg. (Never shopped there, but I think it’s a funny name.)

‘Thank you for standing alongside us, with the President,’ reads a note on the submission page. Great, you’re welcome! ‘Now can you make a donation to help us take on the year ahead?’ it says immediately after that.

Clearly, it’s not the thought that counts.

-- Mark ‘Moe Ginsburg’ Milian
twitter.com/markmilian

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Image captured from BarackObama.com


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