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Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Trip With Beyonce or on Hair Force One? You Decide.


First came the e-mail from Beyoncé Knowles: want to fly to New York to hang out with her and President Obama?

Then a message from Mitt Romney arrived: how about spending a day with him on the campaign plane his wife calls “Hair Force One”?

On Thursday, the presidential campaigns got creative with their pleas for cash, trying to grab supporters' attention after a summer filled with increasingly desperate fund-raising e-mails. Both campaigns sent out messages asking for small donations in exchange for face time with the candidates.

Supporters have received a barrage of e-mails from the campaigns in recent months with subject lines ranging from the overly familiar “Dinner?” and â €œRain Check?” (from President Obama) to the gloomy: “A laundry list of broken promises” (from Mr. Romney). But a personal message from Beyoncé? Now that might get your attention.

With the subject line “I don't usually e-mail you,” Ms. Knowles invited supporters to donate and enter their names to meet her, her husband, Jay-Z, and the president in New York, with airfare and hotel included. The e-mail was signed “Love, Beyoncé.”

Mr. Romney's e-mail, titled “Fly With Me,” attempted to use a little humor. The note said that his wife, Ann, liked to joke that the campaign plane should be called “Hair Force One,” a reference to Mr. Romney's well-groomed locks. Those who donated could win a trip aboard the plane for a day of campaigning.

“And, who knows,” Mr. Romney added, “maybe you and I will come up with a better name for the campaign plane.”

The Obama campaign has been playing catch-up in the f und-raising game. On Monday, the campaign announced that it had raised $114 million in August, noting that the amount was more than the Romney campaign for the first time since April.

The Romney campaign and the Republican National Convention said they raised more than $111 million in August. Both campaigns have touted the money they have earned from smaller donors to prove their grassroots appeal.