Friday, July 30, 2010

Fundraiser-in-Chief Obama

With the ascension of Barack Obama as President of the United States, we were promised change. Lots and lots of change. We gotten it, alright. It's just wildly unpopular change. About the only function Obama has left is to raise money - without press present - for the Democratic party.

As Michael Barone reminds us, "Two years ago, Barack Obama was elected president with a historic 53 percent of the vote -- more than any other Democrat in history except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson". He has squandered any good feelings from the majority of the American people.

As written in The Washington Times, President Obama is chasing the big bucks for the Democratic party. The president is headlining four Democratic fundraisers in three days and hosting another four events next week. For now, he's playing it safe, holding the eight events in noncompetitive states or in a competitive place where he's sure to be embraced - his home state of Illinois.

Despite increasingly low polling numbers, he can still sell high dollar tickets to fundraising events. This is what a president does. Even during the darkest of days in the Bush administration, people were willing to attend fundraising events with him as the headliner. The president is traditionally viewed as the head poohbah of his party and the task of fundraising for the party is all important.

The ironic thread with the current president, however, is shining forth for even the most slobbering of reporters to note. As Michael Shear writes in The Washington Post,And yet as his poll numbers slide, the president's greatest utility to Democratic candidates may not be his presence at campaign events -- some would prefer that he keep his distance -- but his still impressive skill at vacuuming up millions of dollars from some of the country's richest and most generous donors.

After eighteen months in office, after eighteen months with the bully pulpit, after eighteen months of lambasting Wall Street executives and successful CEO's, guess who comprise the guest lists for Obama fundraisers? Obama loves him some "fat cats", though he enjoys making them the villains in political agenda speechifying.

The DNC has a $50 million fund for campaigns throughout the country. The Hill reports To date, the DCCC has received $1.5 million, the DSCC has received $1.5 million, and various governor’s races have received a total of $1.5 million in support.

The Hill reports the latest Democratic scheme in the pool of re-election moves is to paint the GOP in line with the Tea Party movement. “You don’t know where the Republican Party ends and the Tea Party begins, and they have to own that,” she said. Wasserman Schultz said the Tea Party had some “disturbing elements” and noted, based on her own observation, “there are racist elements in the Tea Party.”

While Wasserman Schultz said the events of last summer featured “a lot of people who really were abusive and rude,” there has been “no angst expressed in caucus meetings over that happening again.”
Good thing all those paid union members bussed into Connecticut towns to protest CEO's of bailed out companies and banks never acted "abusive and rude".

Locally, the Houston Tea Party Society is doing a series of Grassroots Training Series for those willing to stop the influx of Democratic money and people on the ground. From a recent message: November is right around the corner. Do you know what the Left is doing in Harris County? Do you know how many people they are bringing in from all over the nation to train to register new voters? Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they are spending here on getting out the vote?

And those polls Obama claims he doesn't really pay any attention to? Sam Stein at HuffPo reports he's paid more out to conduct them than Bush did. The White House declined to comment on the nature of its polling, noting that it was done under the purview of the DNC. But sources familiar with the expenditures say that the administration has indeed done broad-themed polls on several recent hot-button issues including immigration and energy reform. And while the administration claims it hasn't made decisions based on the results, it does put heavy stock in the data.

Among the firms that have benefited are David Binder Research, which has been paid close to $800,000 this cycle; Harstad Strategic Research, which was paid more than $850,000; Benenson Strategy Group, which took in the biggest haul at $2.36 million; and AKP&D Message and Media -- WH Senior Adviser David Axelrod's old firm - which has not done polling itself but for $334,000 has helped coordinate messaging and questions for the polls, prompting the CRP to define those receipts as a polling expense.
It's good to be a part of the Chicago gang!

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