I received another dispatch from Barack Obama a few days ago, and this time the subject line made me blush: David, can we meet for dinner?
The room whirled and I thought for a moment I might need my jacquard brocade fainting couch. But then I recollected myself and marveled at the boldness of the solicitation. What if I succumbed to temptation and ended up in an assignation with the commander-in-chief? What were my chances for long-term happiness?
I am taciturn, white and barely able to voice coherent sentences. Barack is profoundly personable, biracial and possessed of the oratorical powers of a Pericles. Could he still manage the vicissitudes of life in the spotlight if I were in the picture? How would OK! Magazine respond to such an improbable pairing? Would Mom ever forgive me?
It occurred to me this might be a cruel jest on Barack’s part. Or he’d confused me with another David he’d met in a previous visit to the Philadelphia area. Rereading the e-mail, I focused on these sentences:
If this sounds a bit familiar to you, it’s because we’ve done this before. In fact, my hope is that I’ll be able to keep doing these dinners throughout the campaign.
No, he knew who I was. I’d sensed strong feelings during our previous encounter, when Barack appealed for support of his plan to put Americans back to work, a quaint idea that occurred to him at the very moment he launched his re-election campaign. The pretext this time was to ask for a five-dollar donation:
I hope you’ll take a minute to help build this campaign. When you do, you’ll have a chance to join me for dinner… Maybe I’ll get to thank you in person.
This was clearly an electronic billet-doux.
In the end I had to turn down Barack’s offer. Life is complicated enough without political intrigue. Barack is no longer keeping company with Rahm Emanuel — that loathsome little man! — or with the unseemly Lawrence Summers, but his confidantes still include the likes of Timothy Geithner and William Daley. And then there was the prospect of having to deal with Michelle.
And why would I become involved with a man for whom I don’t even intend to vote?
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You’re such a tease.