Even after President Barack Obama and his allies spent over $1 billion to get him re-elected, Obama’s top strategist David Axelrod said to reporters on Thursday that one of the key lessons from the 2012 campaign was that candidates could not “buy the White House.”
He was serious.
Axelrod said it was “heartening” to know that “you can’t buy the White House” while slamming the efforts of Republican-affiliated super PACs like American Crossroads that spent nearly $400 million dollars in 2012 and did not get any returns on their investment.
This is a breathtaking statement when one considers Obama, so hellbent on raising money to buy the White House, has often made fundraising and wining and dining top donors his top priority. For instance, even after what his administration’s ineptitude led to the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in what was one of the most consequential day of his first term, Obama flew to Las Vegas to attend fundraisers the day after.
Obama’s campaign team had top data crunchers whose jobs were to determine what celebrities would entice the most number of people to donate to the campaign — and then ruthlessly exploited their findings.
In addition, the Obama campaign was so intent on raising small dollar donations, much of which did not need to be disclosed because they were less than $200, that they paid millions more in fees to turn off the “CVV” security feature on its online donation pages. This made Obama’s donation pages vulnerable to fraudulent donations from abroad and at home.
Further, the Obama campaign mysteriously did not own the rights to Obama.com, a site that redirected visitors to Obama’s donation page and was owned by Robert Roche, an Obama campaign bundler who lives in China and has business interests with the Chinese government.
Obama also awarded many of his top bundlers with access to top administration officials and crony, government-backed loans for green boondoggles like Solyndra and Abound Solar, investments that would spectacularly fail.
And when Obama wasn’t buying the White House, he was blatantly bribing various parts of his coalition. He announced that he had evolved on the issue of gay marriage to gin up the gay and lesbian vote. He scared blacks and women by claiming Republicans would essentially take them back to the Jim Crow era and take away all of their contraceptives, respectively. Obama, by fiat, enacted an executive action that gave temporary, two-year work permits to illegal immigrants under 30 years of age who had come to the United States as children and met certain qualifications. Of course, this was blatant pandering for the Hispanic vote, especially when one considers Obama and Democrats did not even try to pass immigration reform even when they controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House.
And in 2008, Obama reneged on his promise and opted-out public financing and overwhelmed John McCain with hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising in the final months of the campaign.
But, according to Axelrod, the White House is not for sale.