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Obama lunches with campaign contest winners

The Associated Press

In a sort of power lunch for the not-so-powerful, President Barack Obama broke bread Friday with four winners of a contest for people who give to his campaign in small amounts.

The suggested donation to enter the drawing: $3.

The winners, including a teacher and an Afghanistan war veteran, gathered at Scion, a restaurant serving trendy, Asian-inspired cuisine in Washington. The Obama re-election campaign has offered the meals with the president, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to boost online contributions.

Obama's campaign said the lunch bunch was made up of Kathie Toigo, an early-childhood special needs teacher from Yerington, Nev.; Bill Blackwelder, an Afghanistan war veteran from Fayetteville, N.C.; Val Grossman, a postal worker from Westminister, Colo.; and Scott Zoebisch, a firefighter from Atlanta.

The small media contingent that travels with the president was allowed into the restaurant briefly to capture images of Obama chatting up the supporters, mostly with small talk about his guests' children.

Donors typically give thousands of dollars to attend Obama's fundraising events. Last month, for example, about 20 people came to an Obama Victory Fund event at The Jefferson Hotel in downtown Washington, for $38,500 per ticket.

Giving wasn't required to enter the small-donor drawing, but the campaign requested donations of $3 or more.