Last night, Jim Messina, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, sent out a mass email to the millions-strong support list. The header: “We got beat.” Here’s the text:
For the first time in this campaign, we got beat in fundraising.
The Romney campaign and the Republican Party raised more than $76 million last month, compared to our $60 million.
We knew this moment would come when Romney secured the nomination.
What happens next is up to you.
I want to be clear: We’ll always have more people pitching in.
We know that only 15 percent of Romney’s May totals came from people giving less than $250, compared to 98 percent in that category for us.
We don’t have the special-interest and high-dollar donor advantage that Romney has. Barack Obama has you, and we are bound and determined to fight back on behalf of a country where everyone gets a fair shot and a fair shake.
From the beginning we’ve built this campaign together, from the bottom up. More people giving a little bit is the only way to compete with a few people giving a lot.
So let’s fight like hell and win this thing:
More coming soon,
Obama for America
P.S. — Together, our team raised more than $60 million in May — even more impressive when you hear that the average donation was about $55. Check out the rest of our numbers.
This is a bizarre email, to say the least. Obama’s greatest edge in his re-election campaign is his aura of inevitability. For months, we’ve been hearing about Obama’s phenomenal fundraising machine, his invincible on-the-ground team. And this week, that aura took a pounding. In Wisconsin, a self-proclaimed “dry run” for the Democratic National Committee and its union allies, Scott Walker pulled out a landslide victory (at least, landslide by the media’s normal standards – Walker won by the same percentage as President Obama did in 2008). And Mitt Romney did indeed outraise Obama by a significant margin.
And so the Obama campaign is playing the victim. This seems to be their comfort zone – hence all their campaign materials calling for supporters to “get Barack’s back,” as though voters are Secret Service agents and opponents are John Malkovich types looking for a clean shot. Hence Obama’s self-pitying statements about how Congress simply hasn’t cooperated with him.
Now, they’re crying poverty, despite the fact that independent union expenditures will undoubtedly shape up to hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Obama’s re-election. The notion that your $3 is all that stands between Obama and the plutocracy, represented by Mitt Romney, ignores reality.
The facts are these: Obama is an incumbent. He has significantly higher name recognition and star power than Mitt Romney. He will raise in excess of $1 billion for this campaign. His online systems are extraordinarily well-prepared. His grassroots efforts are solid. The media is firmly in his corner. For him to portray himself as a victim isn’t just false; it’s bad politics.