Obama to dine with Alex in Denver. Who is Alex?


President Barack Obama talks with Rebekah Erler, of Minneapolis at Matts Bar before going to a town hall meeting at Minnehaha Park, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Minneapolis. The president is in Minneapolis for the first in a series of Day-in-the-Life visits he pans to make across the country this summer. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jerry Holt, Pool)

The bear, aka President Obama, is being let loose once again. Continuing his efforts to reconnect with voters, Obama is traveling again, this time to Texas and Colorado, in part to meet ordinary Americans who have written to the president about concerns in their everyday lives.

As part of his tour, Obama will have dinner with one Alex in Denver tonight. Following Obama's State of the Union address in January, Alex’s boss voluntarily gave her a raise, ensuring she could “pay rent and afford groceries without worry” according to the White House. Alex’s boss was inspired by the president’s call to Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

The White House has offered little more information on who Alex is, but she will introduce Obama before a speech on the economy in Denver tomorrow. The White House has said more information on tonight’s dinner will be available when Obama arrives in Colorado.

Obama has a long way to go if he hopes to win over every American voter one dinner at a time, given the 314 million people in the United States. In some cases, his efforts have not been entirely successful. Last week, Obama dined with Rebekah Erler, a 36-year-old accountant in Minneapolis who wrote to the president about her day-care bills. After Obama lunched with Erler in a local burger joint, White House aides cut off reporters when Erler became flustered by the media attention.

The White House will be hoping that Alex, whoever she is, can cope with the glare of the media pack following Obama on his latest attempt to “bust out of the bubble”.

Sebastian Payne is a national reporter with The Washington Post. He is the Post’s 35th Laurence Stern fellow.
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