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Subject: Obama and the 1%- Schmooze or Lose? rss

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William Boykin
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Creating a sense of intimacy with the President is especially important with Democratic donors, a frustrated Obama fund-raiser argues: “Unlike Republicans, they have no business interest being furthered by the donation—they just like to be involved. So it makes them more needy. It’s like, ‘If you’re not going to deregulate my industry, or lower my taxes, can’t I at least get a picture?’ ”


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/27/120827fa_fact_...


"Schmooze or Lose: Obama doesn’t like cozying up to billionaires. Could it cost him the election?" by Jane Mayer, in the August 27, 2012 edition of the New Yorker.

Ms. Mayer has a fascinating article about how Obama might be facing a fund-raising perfect storm. Ideologically opposed to the fund raising reality in the post-Citizen's United world, Pres. Obama just also doesn't have the Clinton love of schmoozing. Combine that with the reality that his many of his programs, while arguably for the 'good of the country' are NOT in the financial interests of many of the biggest donors in this country, makes it very difficult for Obama to compete with Romney in raising money. Obama has a harder sell to Wall Street to make, and he's not that good of a salesman.

The result is the gap between the two campaigns on money.

Quote:
Mitt Romney has raised more money than President Obama for the past three months, and in July the Obama camp made its financial situation a bit worse by spending far more than it took in. According to new financial documents released Monday night, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised $75 million and spent $91 million in July. Meanwhile, Romney and the Republicans added $101 million to their accounts, and that isn't even counting the reported fund-raising bump after Romney announced Paul Ryan as his VP pick. Overall, the Democrats ended the month with about $124 million while the Republicans had $186 million, which means that in July Romney more than doubled his cash advantage over Obama.


"Romney Widens Cash Advantage, Now Has $62 Million More Than Obama", by Margaret Hartmann, August 21, 2012, New York Magazine.
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/08/romney-now-has-62-milli...

Now, it is an open question of whether or not a gap of $62 million dollars will matter that much in a campaign completely awash with money. It isn't as if Romney, with this advantage, would be able to completely dominate the media cycle and crowd out Obama's message- yet.

However, Mayer's article is instructive in pointing out that while Obama has a harder sell to make than Romney, especially given Mr. Obama's rhetoric against Citizen's United and his attacks on Mr. Romney's work at Bain, the sad truth is that it doesn't take much to keep donors happy, and the Obama team isn't seen as really trying.

Quote:
“There’s been no thanks for anyone!” the major Democratic donor says. He adds that in 2008 he gave “multiple millions” to groups working to elect Obama. But, he notes, although he has attended various White House functions, and has met Obama on several occasions, “I don’t think they have a clue who I am. I don’t think they even know how much I gave.” He says that he has been introduced twice to Jarrett, “and neither time did she remember who I am.” Instead, he says, “she seemed to think she was blessing me by breathing in the same space.” Despite repeated pitches, he has not yet given money to Priorities USA. In his view, the Obama White House has not followed the fundamental rule of donor maintenance, which he himself has practiced while fund-raising for other causes: “You have to suck up!” With Obama, he says, “I don’t know if it’s a personality thing, an ego thing, or an intellectual thing. I just don’t get it. But people want to be kissed. They want to be thanked.”

Obama, he says, is “so interested in doing the right thing that he thought other people would be interested in him for doing the right thing, and he thinks that’s all that’s needed.”


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/27/120827fa_fact_...

This is true even for the very biggest of donors, like George Soros.

Quote:
Soros declined to comment for this article. But several people familiar with his thinking suggest that Soros—who was born in Hungary, and who has made his fortune in global investments—is currently preoccupied with other issues, such as the fate of the European Union, and is not inclined to take an outsized role in the 2012 Presidential campaign. As an advocate for greater government transparency, he is reportedly uncomfortable with the burgeoning role that secret donations now play in U.S. elections. In addition, confidants say that, although he still supports Obama, Soros has been disappointed by him, both politically and personally. Small slights can loom large with wealthy donors. When Soros wanted to meet with Obama in Washington to discuss global economic problems, Obama’s staff failed to respond. Eventually, they arranged not a White House interview but, rather, a low-profile, private meeting in New York, when the President was in town for other business. Soros found this back-door treatment confounding. “He feels hurt,” a Democratic donor says.

“They pissed on him,” a confidant says. “He didn’t want a fucking thing! He didn’t want a state dinner, or a White House party—he just wanted to be taken seriously.”


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/27/120827fa_fact_...

One line of attack which Romney has been making against Obama has been the 'You didn't build that' commercials. While polling doesn't necessarily demonstrate that this attack has really worked that well with 'average voters', it does seem to resonate with the business people which Obama needs on his side in order to compete on fundraising. Combine that with Obama's own patchy record on campaign finance- in 2008, the Obama campaign decided to forgo Federal Matching funds due to their impressive fundraising levels compared to challenger McCain, and Obama appears to look both preachy and condescending to the business community at the same time.

Quote:

Obama acknowledges that his record on campaign-finance issues is not entirely pure. In 2008, after championing campaign-finance reform in the Senate, he broke his own pledge to accept public financing as a Presidential candidate, and became instead the first nominee since Watergate to depend entirely on private funds. The decision was pragmatic: he was so popular that he handily raised more money than John McCain, ultimately spending a record-breaking seven hundred and forty-five million dollars. In 2007, Obama admitted that he suffered “from the same original sin of all politicians, which is: We’ve got to raise money.” But he insisted that he would fight to reform the system: “The argument is not that I’m pristine, because I’m swimming in the same muddy water. The argument is that I know it’s muddy and I want to clean it up.”...

...
Maraniss, the Obama biographer, believes that the President’s attitude toward money is complicated. “There is a misimpression that his family was alienated from the capitalist system,” Maraniss says. “Not so.” He points out that both Obama’s grandmother Madelyn Dunham, a vice-president at the Bank of Hawaii, and his mother, Anne Dunham, an anthropologist who developed a microloan program for Indonesian artisans, worked in the financial realm. But it’s also true that Obama never had any interest in business, and that instead of pursuing more lucrative opportunities he chose to become a poorly paid community organizer in Chicago. While attending Harvard Law School, Obama spent his one summer at a corporate firm debating fellow-associates about the need to “give back” to society.


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/27/120827fa_fact_...

Now, is the funding difference between Obama and Romney going to overturn what is increasingly looking like an Obama race to lose? Probably not. Romney hasn't been able to keep 'on message' for long, and with the exception of the 'You Didn't Build That' ads, hasn't really had any 'breakout' attacks against the President. Polls still show that while the race is still close, Romney is not closing the gap and it could be growing in key battlegrounds.

However, the real importance of Ms. Mayer's article isn't the current race in 2012. Rather, it underscores the new fund-raising reality of keeping the donor base of the Super Pac's happy. Moreover, while donors are willing to donate for the sake of altruism, naked financial advantage is a much, much, easier sell.

The potential danger to the entire concept of Representative Democracy becomes apparent.

Darilian
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Xander Fulton
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Darilian wrote:
The potential danger to the entire concept of Representative Democracy becomes apparent.


Uhhh...doesn't this last line kind of cut the wind out of any criticism the rest of the post might be making?

I mean...quick show of hands who actually wants our leaders concentrating on kissing up to the top 1/10 of 1% at the expense of 'the best interest of the nation'?
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William Boykin
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XanderF wrote:
Darilian wrote:
The potential danger to the entire concept of Representative Democracy becomes apparent.


Uhhh...doesn't this last line kind of cut the wind out of any criticism the rest of the post might be making?

I mean...quick show of hands who actually wants our leaders concentrating on kissing up to the top 1/10 of 1% at the expense of 'the best interest of the nation'?


Its the tension, ain't it?

I mean, you can be against kissing up, and not get elected. That opens the door for people who truly WANT to use the office for their aggrandizement- and to help their political backers.

Obama is in a pinch- he views the fundraising reality created by Citizen's United as unethical, but he's unwilling to play that game in order to maintain power.

That's fine and dandy, if ideological consistency is what is important. However, this is about power- and failing to play the game well means that Obama is opening up the door to people who LIKE Citizen's United, and who can play that game better than he can.

Seriously- how hard would it have been to have shown up for some 'Grab and Grins' at a Bar Mitzvah or wedding every now and again?

You know-
For the kids.

Darilian
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Eric Schiedler
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Darilian wrote:


... at a Bar Mitzvah ...?


Darilian



Is this a slip on who you really think holds 1/2 of 1% of political money and power?? Like, you know, the wink, wink globalists?

Don't worry, my attempt to derail your thread here will fail. You already derailed your tread here with your other thread about the abortion and rape buzz over Akin. Everyone is going to throw out their strawmen over there.

A carefully argued thread about Real Money and Real Political Power? Sheesh! Don't you know after all of these elections that NO ONE, NO ONE, not even in RSP, really cares.
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William Boykin
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eschiedler wrote:
Darilian wrote:


... at a Bar Mitzvah ...?


Darilian



Is this a slip on who you really think holds 1/2 of 1% of political money and power?? Like, you know, the wink, wink globalists?

Don't worry, my attempt to derail your thread here will fail. You already derailed your tread here with your other thread about the abortion and rape buzz over Akin. Everyone is going to throw out their strawmen over there.

A carefully argued thread about Real Money and Real Political Power? Sheesh! Don't you know after all of these elections that NO ONE, NO ONE, not even in RSP, really cares.


*LA LA LA LA LA LA LA*
I'm putting on my +5 cloak of cynical indifference and not paying attention to you.

I have dreams that someday, people might actually pay attention to politics with an eye to their civic duty....

.....oh, who am I kidding. There's titty on Showtime.

Darilian
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Kelsey Rinella
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I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
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I think you mean Skinemax.

Also, titty singular? Is this breast cancer survivor/amazon soft porn?

A, no, I see--we're using "titty" (appropriately) as a mass noun.
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