It’s about ten to six and the room is already packed. The downtown Phoenix OFA headquarters is buzzing for the premiere of “The Road We’ve Traveled.” Moviegoers have been moved into an overflow room and the organizers are trying to manage the crowd. We’re passing out one-on-one forms and registering new voters like crazy! People are chatting and making friends - after all, half the fun at these events is the chance to meet other supporters. There’s a lull and a man named Ken, with a camo cap and a bright smile says, “Since it’s gotten quiet, I don’t mean this to brag, but I just have to share, I won one of the dinners with President Obama.” Shouts, cheers and a sudden round of applause leave Ken awed. “Didn’t expect applause,” he says.
Questions bounce across the room, and he tells us the story - his total disbelief when he got the call, the generosity of the campaign to fly him out, and the fantastic food at dinner!. But what stands out most of all is his description of President Obama - friendly, approachable, funny, and charming. Exactly the way he seems on TV. It was an amazing night with Ken and so many supporters watching the film, but his story stands out in my mind. He donated a few hard-earned dollars and got the chance to have dinner with the leader of the free world.
Being an organizer, it can sometimes be difficult to enjoy the small victories in campaigning - one new person volunteering, one more person registered to vote, one more person donating a few dollars, one more person persuaded to re-elect the President. We’re all a part of this great campaign. I reveled in my new friend Ken's small victory as I thought of an ordinary man from my hometown in Arizona who got to sit across the dinner table from the President -- telling him about his life, and challenging him to a quick game of basketball.
Two seats remain for the latest round of Dinner with Barack. And as Ken's experience reminded us last night, one could be yours. So click here for your chance to have Dinner with Barack!