My Dinner With Obama

You know that classic arty movie where Wallace Shawn lisps his whole way through dinner (with Andre)? Called My Dinner With Andre, predictably enough? It’s the paradigmatic movie that consists solely of conversation over food.

Well, the Obama campaign is having a fun raffle where if you donate to the campaign, you get entered into a random drawing to have dinner with presidential candidate Barack Obama. Three civilians get to sound off on how to change America for the better–all expenses paid at a restaurant of his choosing.

So this was just the excuse I needed to donate, given that I was thwarted in my goal of purchasing the totally cute official “Obama Mama ’08″ campaign t-shirt…THAT’S BEEN BACKORDERED SINCE JANUARY, hello? What gives? We feminists for Obama could’ve let our t-shirts do the talking when all those annoying We Are Second Wave Feminists Hear Us Roar essayists and Clinton supporters trained their guns on women who voted for Obama instead of aiming their WASWFHUR guns at misogynist jerks like Senator John “Beat the Bitch” McCain, etc etc.

Here’s what I wrote in my note:

Dear Senator Obama,
I’m an Asian Pacific American feminist and a strong supporter of Obama ’08 since day one. I’m married, live in Los Angeles, and have a 4 year old son.

If I had a chance to bend your ear at dinner, I’d want to talk about your plans for reviving the economy and dealing with the subprime fallout, legislation for gun control in a 2-mile radius around all public schools (let’s see the NRA argue FOR “hunting rifles” near schoolkids–no really, let’s throw down the gauntlet on their ridiculous claims), an overhaul of the USDA/school lunch program and better nutrition for schoolkids, and revamping the FCC rules plus continued campaign finance reform to address some infrastructural problems that have allowed pseudo-fascist right-wingers way too much access to American attention spans. (I believe your campaign is a model of how future candidates should fundraise. If we mandate that at least 33%, if not 50%, of campaign funding comes from individual donors giving less than $200 through the primary, then I think we’ll start to see very different candidates for public office. And it would get rid of spoilers like Nader (and now Clinton!), because candidates would have to demonstrate a popular base of support.)

And, because my parents are naturalized American citizens originally from China, they’d never let me get away without asking you, “What’s your stance on the People’s Republic of China?” I’m APA, so I don’t share their intense focus on China, but I do want to know how the U.S. and China can partner to reduce global warming and together create sustainable technologies, as well as consumers of/markets for clean energy sources.

Hmmm, I’ll have to talk fast as I understand there’ll be three other regular folks with all of *their* concerns too. :) I don’t think you’ll get in a word edgewise.

All the best,
Jane Chu Public

I figure someone else far wonkier than me will have the Iraq war de-escalation covered. Me, I thought I’d bring some highly idiosyncratic, nerdly, but necessary concerns to the table. I highly doubt I’ll be chosen–I never win these things. But it’s fun to shoot off an email as if someone on the other end is seriously reading these things and taking notes.

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