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Obamas dine with supporters, contest winners

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 8 2012 5:05 p.m. MST

People wait as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have dinner with grassroots supporters at Boundary Road Restaurant in Washington, Thursday, March 8, 2012.

Susan Walsh, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama broke bread with a group of small-dollar donors to his re-election campaign on Thursday, gathering for an intimate dinner in a popular Washington neighborhood.

Obama's campaign staged its third "Dinner with Barack" event at Boundary Road, a restaurant along Washington's H Street, a once riot-scarred corridor that has undergone a massive redevelopment. The campaign has offered meals with the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden to boost contributions online in preparation for the 2012 campaign.

The Obamas sat at a table near exposed brick walls, chatting with supporters from Tennessee, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. The president's campaign has emphasized nominal contributions from average Americans, pointing to such donations as a sign of his broad appeal. Giving was not required for the contest but the campaign asked for donations of at least $3 for anyone willing to contribute.

Obama's campaign said the dinner guests included: ReGina Newkirk, a nonprofit executive from Nashville, and her guest, Robert Newkirk, Sr., a professor at Tennessee State University; Cathleen Loringer, a former social worker from Wauwatosa, Wis., and her guest, John Loringer, an Wauwatosa attorney; and Judy Glassman, a retired school administrator from Cambridge, Mass., and Mitch Glassman, a Cambridge artist. The White House did not say how the guests sharing surnames were related.

Boundary Road opened earlier this year, offering a seasonal menu that includes paprika dusted flounder, brick chicken and grilled hanger steak. Obama handled a straw in his glass of ice tea while he chatted with the supporters at the start of the meal. A small contingent of reporters traveling with the president was ushered out of the restaurant before dinner was served.

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