Final Word

By Jeff Girod

Posted June 28, 2012 in News
You shouldn’t have—that’s what President Obama wants you to say.

The next time someone hands you a gift card or a smartly wrapped present on your big day? Obama would rather you stick out the other hand and ask for a receipt, then mail the cash value back to his re-election campaign.

Highlighted on is something tastefully branded as the “Obama Event Registry”:

“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.”

You tell ’em Barack! Gravy bowl, shmavy bowl. Who needs gifts for ourselves when you can guilt your unsuspecting party guests into donating to a political candidate they may or may not hate.

Woo-hoo! Blow out the candles! No wait. Pull them out of the cake, lick off the frosting and put them back in the box. We can return them to the grocery store and mail Obama another 79 cents.

Pairing your celebration with an Obama Event Registry assumes everyone on the invitation list votes the same way you do. It also opens the fiesta for political debate, and nothing says “raise the roof” like a jovial discussion about healthcare and immigration reform.

Birthdays, weddings and anniversaries are some of the few happy social occasions we have left, when someone actually gifts us something for no other reason than they like or love us.

Politicians feel the same overwhelming sense of joy whenever somebody gives them a bribe.

If I received a party invitation and it said, “In lieu of gift please donate to his Royal so and so . . .” I think I would stop being that person’s friend out of principle. Actually, no, first I would drive to the party and smack the guest of honor like a piñata.

This is what I know for certain: Win or lose the next presidential election, Barack Obama is going to retire a multi-millionaire. You and I are not. We all can’t live in a pre-furnished mansion like the President of the United States. I’ve been married for 9 years and, never mind a gravy boat, I still use the toilet seat cover we got for our wedding.

Isn’t Obama already raising enough cash? Less than a month ago, he held a $40,000-a-plate celebrity fundraiser at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manhattan home. Add up all the action figures and sweaters I ever got for presents, it doesn’t come close to 40 large.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have 80 birthdays, 50 anniversaries and 2 to 3 weddings tops. I’m going to bet Barack Obama will never send you anything giftwrapped or jump out of your cake. So why give up as much as a free birthday pancakes at Denny’s for him or any other starched suit?

Spend your money on yourself. Donate it to your favorite charity. Set it on fire in your front yard. All of these options are better than giving it to a politician.

Hasn’t our government taken enough? Gas costs more. Milk costs more. Electricity costs more. Pretty much everything you get a bill for or want to buy? It costs more.

Nobody has gotten a raise at his or her job in 4 to 5 years—if you’re lucky enough to call someone “Boss.” Oh and save the boxes from your presents, because you may wind up sleeping in them the way banks are foreclosing on homes.

How dare you, Mr. President. In this economy, after your neutered, tepid do-nothing three-plus years in office full of colorful bumper stickers and empty promises, how dare you ask anyone to forgo a gift—for a wedding, no less!—to help you get re-elected.

You want to be president again, Mr. Obama? Get out and do it yourself.

Just once I’d like to hear a politician tell me, “No, that’s quite all right. You’ve given enough. I’ll take it from here.” Stop pointing, blaming and grabbing for every last penny, nickel and dime.

That’s my birthday wish.

Contact Jeff Girod at




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