@BarackObama wants us to wish President Barack Obama a happy birthday.  Check out the Normal Rockwellesque-style photo featuring First Lady Michelle Obama holding a giant birthday cake that obviously does not meet federal nutrition standards. How cute and sweet and lovable!

But the intent of this “birthday card” is not what it seems.

Anyone who fills out the card thinking he or she is simply wishing President Obama a happy 51st birthday is immediately whisked away to a page asking for a campaign donation:

Well, you don’t have to donate. But, alas, you’ve already given the campaign your email address. Under its “privacy policy,” the Obama campaign reveals how it plans to use it:

  • to send you newsletters and otherwise provide you with information or services you request or that we think will be of interest to you, such as sending you information to keep you informed about various campaigns, candidates, issues, events, resources, promotions, contests, products and services;
  • to help manage the campaign and to connect you with other supporters, and to solicit volunteers, donations and support for OFA and for candidates, issues and organizations that we support;
  • to remind you to send in your voter registration form and to vote;
  • to assist you in finding your registration information, polling location, and campaign events near you[.]

Michelle Obama’s name is being used to further the deceptive ploy:

The Obama campaign has used this gambit before. In one case, it used a Mother’s Day greeting card to tout Obamacare.  It’s standard operating procedure.

If a candidate for public office wants to openly request contributions and e-mail addresses for its campaign database, that is perfectly unobjectionable. But using cute greeting cards as a ruse to harvest email addresses and solicit campaign donations strikes us as a bit underhanded.

Some Twitter users (presumably Obama supporters) seem to agree: