It’s getting pretty desperate in the fundraising corners of the Obama campaign. Not only is Obama being forced to do something sitting presidents don’t normally do, attend many fundraisers late in his reelection campaign, but Democratic Party officials are openly acknowledging Mitt Romney’s success at fundraising has them frazzled.
On Monday, Obama zoomed to New York for a fundraising dinner with 60 attendees at a cost of $40,000 per person. The previous Friday he attended two fundraisers, one in Washington D.C. and one in Virginia. The week before that Obama frequented several fundraisers on the West Coast.
Don Peebles, who serves on Obama’s Finance Committee, said, “there’s a big push to keep the president competitive financially.” Another Democrat who is working on the campaign said, “It’s just a reality of the campaign-finance situation as we have it … if you’re facing a flood of cash, you’re going to have to spend more time fundraising than in the past.”
Democratic strategist Karen Finney admitted that Obama’s added fundraisers are a result of the powerful groups backing Mitt Romney: “You just can’t take anything for granted this cycle, and seeing the unprecedented amount of money being spent, it’s not surprising that he will have to continue to stay competitive.”
Mensa Joe Biden was his usual bullying self, issuing a threat to Obama supporters:
“… if we don’t win this election, it will be because we didn’t close the spending gap when we could. In the last two weeks of this month, Romney and his allies had an almost 2-to-1 spending advantage in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia — and that could be the election right there. We’re running out of time to close the money gap when it really matters.”
And even Obama acknowledged that Romney is outstripping him: “If things continue as they have so far, I’ll be the first sitting president in modern history to be outspent in his reelection campaign,” he said.
Obama has always been a frontrunner; he has never had to fight a real battle in an election. In 2008, he had a huge cash advantage over John McCain. But this time, he faces a truly formidable foe when it comes to fundraising, and it will be interesting to see how Obama functions when he has a real fight on his hands.