The Obama campaign is using veterans to grow its email list, placing on its website an offer to let people thank veterans for their service as long as they enter their name, email address, and zip code.
The campaign employs its email list to contact supporters and potential supporters and marshal them in various campaign efforts. Getting the zip code is also important because the efforts, including door to door canvassing, are highly localized.
From the website:
HONOR OUR VETS
This Veterans Day, we’re honoring our nation’s veterans and military families for their service. Leave a personal note of thanks or share your reason for celebrating our men and women in uniform.
The note abuts a form into which you can place your “personal note of thanks.” The note is not a required field, but the email address, first and last name, and zip code are.
The note is accessed by a link included in a message from Obama 2012 Campaign Manager David Messina touting Senate passage of an Obama-backed proposal to provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans. The Messina message is on the website and was also sent to those on the email list itself.
About the Senate action, Messina chest thumps:
This wouldn’t have happened without your persistence and the President’s refusal to take no for an answer.
A political campaign exists for one reason only – to elect a politician. Everything it does, by definition, is political. The Obama campaign ought to keep our veterans out of its reelection effort, particularly on Veterans Day.
Saluting the veterans is fine – campaign operatives are people too. Using them to build your campaign is disgraceful.
To their credit, each of the leading Republican candidates – Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry – has a tribute on their websites to our veterans. None of them asks for your email address as part of the tribute.