by Keith Koffler
The Obama presidential campaign is launching an effort to collect Republican email addresses by inviting its supporters to submit information about their Republican associates to the Obama 2012 website.
The effort could help the Obama campaign build a database that would enable it to target Republican voters during the general election campaign. But, more perniciously, it could also become part of an Democratic effort to influence Republican primary voters to select a candidate Democrats think Obama could most easily defeat.
The Democratic National Committee last month released a video that seemed designed to damage Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate feared most by the Obama campaign.
The Obama information collection effort is cast under the mischievous guise of asking Obama supporters to “have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life” by signing them up to get an email from the Obama campaign ribbing them for having “inspired” the Obama supporter to donate.
The result, however, is that the Obama campaign gets a new trove of Republican email addresses that it could never have collected through voluntary submissions.
From the Obama website:
Who inspires you to give?
This holiday season, we’re giving you a chance to have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life by letting them know they inspired you to make a donation to the Obama campaign.
Simply enter their name and email address below. Then, we’ll send them a message letting them know they inspired you to donate.
Thank you for supporting this campaign, and happy holidays.
Important: By making a donation today, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to have dinner with Barack and Michelle Obama. By clicking on the “Submit” button below or otherwise participating in the promotion, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and represent that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements.
The effort is being supported by emails from the campaign to members of the vast Obama 2012 email list urging them to participate.
One message, from Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot, also invites donors to buy something from the Obama 2012 store for their Republican friend.
Really want to fire up your GOP friends? Buy them a gift from the 2012 store. I recommend the birther mugs — they get the message across pretty well.
The email was sent Tuesday. If the Obama supporter sends the gift directly to their Republican friend, then the campaign has a new personal address for its database.
[CIM Comment: Photo added to original post.]