Monday, April 2, 2012

ICYMI: Obama’s Campaign Cash Haul Trailing Pace of ‘08

Excerpts from The Washington Times

By Susan Crabtree
March 29, 2012

"With the president's re-election fundraising drive thus far coming up short of his record-breaking 2008 pace, Team Obama - with the president and first lady Michelle Obama in the lead - is pushing hard to pump up the money figures ahead of Saturday's financial-reporting deadline.

"By some measures, Mr. Obama's re-election drive, which at one point was projected as perhaps the first $1 billion campaign in U.S. history, has collected tens of millions of dollars less than President Bush's campaign had at the same point in 2004, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) figures...

"But the less-than-imposing numbers have prompted a flurry of fundraising emails to supporters to donate ahead of the March 31 first-quarter deadline, including separate appeals from Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama just in the days since the president returned from an international summit in South Korea on Wednesday...

"Through the end of February, the campaign had raised a total of $118.79 million, for a total of $157 million when combined with the $38.25 million left over from the 2008 race.

"At the comparable point in 2004, Mr. Bush had raised $158.25 million for his re-election effort, with barely more than $1 million of that coming from his previous campaign, according to the FEC.

"At times, Mr. Obama's top aides have openly fretted about the level of resistance they are encountering from some Democratic donors, especially in the face of the challenge posed by the pro-GOP super PACs...

"The expectations game
"While pushing for more donations, Mr. Obama's aides are pushing back at suggestions that the campaign is strapped for cash or falling well short of expectations...

"So far this cycle, the DNC has raised $157.68 million and has $37.17 million in cash on hand and $5.9 million in outstanding debts, while the Republican National Committee has collected $127.66 million and has $42 million in cash on hand and $10.9 million in debts, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...

"Down 'by any account'
"But Republicans are all too eager to point out the angst-filled emails as proof that something is amiss.

"'No matter how you look it, the numbers don't lie,' said Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Republican National Committee. 'The support for the president's election is down by any account, and I think they are having trouble getting the coalition that propelled them to victory in 2008 back together based on the policies of the last four years.'

"Potentially more worrisome for Team Obama, however, is how fast money is flying out the campaign door, the so-called 'burn rate'...

"Still ahead...
"But Democrats remain deeply concerned about the pro-GOP super PACs, the power of the ads they fund, and the Democrats' inability so far to compete with them through independent groups of their own.

"After blasting their formation and calling them a 'threat to democracy,' Mr. Obama's campaign has embraced them, recently announcing that many of his aides, as well as current and former members of his Cabinet, would appear at fundraisers for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting him.

"But Priorities USA Action has struggled to compete with its GOP counterparts. It reported raising just $2 million in February, half of which came from comedian Bill Maher, bringing its total raised for the election so far to nearly $6.5 million...

"So far, all super PACs have raised a total of $153.82 million and spent $81.7 million - mainly to tear down other Republicans. Team Obama is bracing for an onslaught of negative ads from those same super PACs once the primary is over and the president becomes the main target in the general election."

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Source: RNC Press

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