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The GEM Debate: Fine China or Campaign Contribution ?

Oh boy.

I heard this the other day and actually thought it might have been a joke. Alas, it was not. It appears that one of President Obama’s campaign staffers wrote on the president’s blog the following:

“Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up? Let your friends know how important this election is to you — register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate — and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.”

Really? Must we politicize EVERYTHING? Good Lord,  there are so many things wrong with this I’m not even sure where to start.

Perhaps this staffer had never heard the theory about not discussing religion and politics. Maybe she was just blinded by her own affiliation. Maybe she was just so damn selfish she didn’t understand that this wedding had nothing to do with politic and everything to do with partnership. Eeeee- gad.

Now before you accuse me of being anti-Obama (and frankly I don’t care if you do) understand that is not what this is about. This is about common courtesy; about not imposing your beliefs on other people, especially on their special day.

Am I completely off base on this one? How would you feel if an email like this landed in your inbox? Would you give the gift of a campaign donation or stick with the more traditional say, crystal?

Lemme here ya!

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  1. Whitney

    June 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Rene, I so agree with you….can’t we do anything without politics always being in the middle of it? It’s the time we are in, I get plenty of emails, but now on my wedding, birthday, or anniversary registry? Nope, did you see Jimmy Kimmel’s take on it? Funny….

  2. Carmen

    June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I understand the reaction, but I think it depends on the couple. When I read it, I almost immediately thought of one couple I know who would LOVE it if their friends did this. They are very politically active (and their friends are very aware of this), have been together for ten years, and are only really getting married to appease their relatives. In fact, they’ve already asked people not to send them gifts. So you never know… 😉

    I agree, though, that it could cause some awkwardness in certain situations though. Especially nowadays where people seem to equate politics with a fight to the death…. :/

  3. m.e. johnson

    June 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hey, any politician can do this. And just because the media hasn’t reported it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. Or won’t happen.

    Many non-profit agencies are asking you to consider including them in your will. Churches take up special collections for this or that. Obits request donations to X charity in lieu of flowers. Ain’t no law against asking. Hell’s bell, you don’t have to give.

  4. Dave M

    June 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I think the main thing is the difference between who’s asking. If I’m the happy couple, or it’s my birthday or what have you, I’ve seen lots of people say “give to my charity in lieu of gifts,” etc. But to be a political candidate and then tell people you want them to give a donation as a gift?! Can you imagine being the bride (or groom) and getting a card with “hey, we gave money to the president as your gift!” I mean, I don’t care the party or affiliation. These guys raise millions upon millions of dollars, most of which end up carried over for OTHER campaigns and you want me – on one of the few days I’m allowed to be selfish without my Catholic guilt – to give that to a guy who will never know you or what your day entails? If you gave to the homeless shelter you’re making an impact. Give to a political race and you’re a drop in a freaking bucket. Sorry. This is just tactless.

  5. Ella Rucker

    June 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Seeing as how I STILL have wedding gifts in boxes in a storage facility somewhere, I say this might not be a bad idea. Of course, cash in hand is more appreciated, but how many other wasted gifts (egg poacher anyone) from loved ones who can’t follow a registry do you get?

    If they give this from the heart because they think it is something I would want…give it. If they give because they think that what the prez stands for will make my life better..give. You know me. I’ll take anything 🙂 And these days the donations can get you into the running to meet the Prez so…

    Can’t hurt to ask? Would it change your view of the candidate?


    June 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I want to say this a selfish act, but I just believe not much THINKING went in to this request. Even though our politics are expressions of our lifestyle and thinking, part of it is VERY personal. To request a political donation (of ANY party) is in low taste as a wedding gift. To receive ANYTHING period, one should be grateful. Anyone who’d participate in this wont be a “bad guy/girl”. Just Bad judgment would be practiced in this case. When politics are incorporated in such a delicate occasion such as this, it kinda “shadows” the moment.

  7. Carolyn

    June 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    This is even worse than couples asking for cash in their online wedding registry to go towards their honeymoon. If they can’t afford a honeymoon, go somewhere cheaper, or wait till you can afford to pay for it. Super tacky!

  8. thedoseofreality

    June 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I think that if you as a couple want to have charitable donations for your wedding (and more power to you if you do!) then you choose one charity or even a few choice charities that in no way could be considered political or religious in nature. People can feel free to give generously without the potential to ruffle any feathers.

  9. Tiffany T

    June 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I think that the biggest thing that bothers me about this is that the couple asking for these political gift donations is assuming that I want to support this particular candidate. What if I’m all for the other guy? Obviously, if that’s the case, I won’t give money to their candidate of choice, but if a couple is so politically involved that they would actually use this sort of registry in lieu of a gift, one would hope that they’d understand that not everyone is going to want to give money to “their guy”. If they had tact, they’d encourage you to give to the “political cause of your choice”.

    Of course, I think this whole idea is tacky, but that’s me. If someone asked me to do this, either a) they’d get a gift card, b) they’d get cash or c) they would just get a super thoughtful card. 🙂

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