Obama as ATM: Democrats want him as fundraiser, not campaigner
As the election season ramps up in August, President Obama is putting on his fundraiser hat, attending $30,000-a-plate dinners but not spending much time campaigning for candidates.
It hurts, but it’s true: When you’re an unpopular president, candidates from your own party would rather see you raising money for them than standing beside them at a campaign event. Those photo ops with candidates in tight races often turn into attack ads by the other party.Skip to next paragraph
As Iowa's Kent Sorenson jumps to Ron Paul ship, rat analogies abound
Could Romney 'train' be derailed by Gingrich? Perry? Someone new?
Virginia primary: Was it so hard for Perry and Gingrich to get on the ballot?
Donald Trump as third-party candidate: Will he woo Americans Elect?
Ron Paul: why racist newsletter flap could hurt him in Iowa
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
President Bush went through that, and now it’s President Obama’s turn, in the first midterm elections since his own victory almost two years ago. But no hard feelings. Presidents know that their party’s base of donors will still pony up, even in tough times, and have some fun in the process.
Wednesday night, the president spent an hour apiece at two Manhattan fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee – one at the Four Seasons hotel, the next at the Greenwich Village home of Vogue editor Anna Wintour. (No word on whether the devil wore Prada. Press were not allowed inside.)
About 50 donors came to each event, and the price tag was designer, not knock-off: $30,400 per person, the maximum an individual may legally donate to a political party.
The high-dollar fundraising contrasted sharply with Mr. Obama’s stop earlier in the day at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., where he met with the owners and touted the importance of small business to the economy’s recovery.
And, Mr. Burton noted, fundraising is what the president “traditionally does.” What he didn’t say is that by combining presidential and campaign duties, travel costs are shared (saving the candidate or party committee money). The events can bring in millions of dollars, central to a high-stakes election season whose result will determine control of Congress – and therefore the future of Obama’s agenda.
Even though some pundits suggest Obama would be better off with a Republican-run House, making the GOP a better foil for his 2012 reelection bid, the White House is making good on its promise to raise money for the House Democrats.