President Obama invited me to join him for dinner. Wow! The president of the United States wants to have dinner with me. And I’m not even a supporter of his. Now that’s true bipartisanship.
Funny thing is, he’s really pressing me to accept. Actually, I think he thinks I’m a supporter. A couple of weeks ago he asked if I would join him and three other supporters for a meal and conversation sometime soon. Then, more recently, Michelle urged me to accept his invitation and offered some advice based on her having had a lot of meals with Barack (she calls him Barack, not Mr. President, but I suspect I should call him Mr. President when we do sit down together). Michelle (she signed her note Michelle, so I guess it’s okay to call her by her first name) advised me to just relax. She says Barack wants this dinner to be fun, and he really loves getting to know supporters like me.
Oops, there’s that supporter thing again. But he’s a bipartisan guy, so I don’t think he’ll mind that I voted for John McCain. Michelle also told me to come prepared to tell my story, and say whatever is on my mind. I’ll have to think about that one for a while. Seems like it would be rude, given that he’s paying, to tell him what’s really on my mind. But then maybe he’s not paying. He seems pretty comfortable with some people paying for other people’s stuff, so maybe he’s lined up some billionaire, like his friend Warren Buffett, to foot the bill.
So anyway, then I got another note from the president just a few days ago saying that because he and I don’t have a lot of chances to have dinner together, he hopes I will taken him up on his invitation. Well, he’s right about that. We haven’t had a lot of chances to have dinner together. But it’s hard, you know, me being way out here in Portland, Oregon, and him being back there in the White House.
This whole thing has caused me a lot of anxiety. I’ve probably offended him by not getting back to him straight away, but I’ve struggled with what to do. I’ve never had an invitation to do anything with a president of the United States, and now President Obama is begging me to have dinner with him. And he’s even got his wife after me.
But the thing is, he keeps calling me a supporter. He must have me confused with somebody else. Or maybe they need some help with their records. I don’t know. But I’m nervous about showing up and then having to admit that I’d prefer just about anyone to him in the next election.
And one other thing. He wants me to send him $3, or even more, before I come. That makes me nervous too. What if I get there and he wants me to pay for dinner? Actually, I might be willing to do that, particularly if he let me spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom.
Jim Huffman is the dean emeritus of Lewis & Clark Law School, the co-founder of Northwest Free Press and a member of the Hoover Institution’s De Nault Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom and Prosperity.