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Where Did The Time Go?

- April 4, 2012

Where Did The Time Go?
A Look Back At Obama’s Year Of Fundraising

One Year Ago Today, Obama Announced His Bid For Reelection. “President Obama announced his plans to seek reelection in 2012 via an e-mail and Web video sent to supporters this morning, a move designed to allow him to begin raising money for 2012 nearly 20 months before the election.” (Chris Cillizza and Emi Kolawole, “President Obama Announces His Reelection Bid,” The Washington Post, 4/4/11)

WHO HAS TIME TO GOVERN WHEN THERE ARE FUNDS TO BE RAISED?

The White House Claims “Obama Has Remained Focused On Governing,” Yet “The President’s Schedule Is Increasingly Being Taken Up By Campaign Events—Most Notably Fundraisers.” “When it comes to Election 2012, the White House professes to see no campaign, hear no campaign and speak no campaign. Eight months before Election Day, as the Republican primary has dragged on without producing a clear front-runner, Obama has remained focused on governing, aides insist. Yet despite the administration’s protestations, the president’s schedule is increasingly being taken up by campaign events — most notably fundraisers.” (David Nakamura, White House: Obama Still Not In Campaign Mode For 2012 Election, Washington Post, 3/1/12)

  • Obama Is A “Full-Fledged Campaigner.” “Friday marked another stage in president Obama’s springtime metamorphosis into full-fledged campaigner: his first daylong trip out of the capital devoted solely to fund-raising.” (Mark Landler, “Obama Parries Criticism As Fund-Raising Eats Into His Schedule,” The New York Times,3/17/12)
  • Obama’s Schedule Is “Increasingly Crowded By Fund-Raisers” So That It Becomes “Harder And Harder” To Deny That He Is In Campaign Mode. “The White House insisted this week that Mr. Obama still spends ‘the vast preponderance of his time on his official duties.’ But with his schedule increasingly crowded by fund-raisers and speeches that could easily double as campaign rallies, that case is getting harder and harder to make.” (Mark Landler, “Obama Parries Criticism As Fund-Raising Eats Into His Schedule,” The New York Times, 3/17/12)

Obama’s March Milestone: “His First Daylong Trip” Away From Washington “Devoted Solely To Fundraising.” “Friday marked another stage in president Obama’s springtime metamorphosis into full-fledged campaigner: his first daylong trip out of the capital devoted solely to fund-raising.” (Mark Landler, “Obama Parries Criticism As Fund-Raising Eats Into His Schedule,” The New York Times, 3/17/12) 

  • And Obama Had Another Day Devoted Solely To Fundraising Just A Few Weeks Later. “REPORTER: ‘Okay.  And can you tell us a little bit more about the trips tomorrow?  Are they purely fundraising trips?  Is there any public element to them?  And why is -- what's the statement that he's trying to make in going to Vermont and Maine?’ JAY CARNEY:  ‘I believe those are campaign events -- is that right?  I think those are campaign events.’ REPORTER: ‘No public component?’ CARNEY: ‘No official events. Just campaign events.’” (Jay Carney, Remarks At White House Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/29/12)

113 Fundraisers x 2 Hours Per Event = 226 Hours = 5.65 Work Weeks

$22.1 Million:

Raised By Obama 2012 Bundlers Who Work In The Financial Sector. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 4/2/12) 

$16.1 Million:

Raised By Obama 2012 Bundlers Who Work At Law Or Lobbying Firms. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 4/2/12)

$1.5 Million:

Has Been Reimbursed To Taxpayers For Obama’s Campaign Travel Costs. (Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons, “Obama's Campaign Travel Raises Money And Criticism,” Chicago Tribune, 2/17/12) 

$179,750:

Cost Of Flying Aboard Air Force One Per Flight Hour. (Alex Leary and Adam C. Smith, “President Barack Obama Back In Florida This Week For Official Events, But Also Campaigning,” Tampa Bay Times, 2/21/12)

444:

Obama Bundlers Who Have Raised At Least $74.2 Million Of For Obama’s 2012 Campaign. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 4/2/12) 

190:

Celebrities On Obama’s “Surrogate Wish-List.”  (“Obama Celebrity Surrogates: Campaign ‘Wish List’ Includes Clooney, Jay-Z, will.i.am, Alba & More,” The Huffington Post, 1/13/12)

113: 

Fundraisers Obama Has Attended Since Announcing His Bid For Reelection In April 2011. (Devin Dwyer, Obama To Draw Big Crowds On Rare Vermont, Maine Swing, ABC News, 3/30/12)

57:

Fundraisers Bush Attended For Himself Over The Course Of His Entire Reelection Campaign. (Paul Bedard, “Obama's Numbers: Vacations 16, Golf 90, Fundraisers 100,” Washington Examiner, 3/1/12)

47:

Fundraisers Obama Has Attended For His Reelection Campaign Since January 2012. (CBS’s Mark Knoller, Twitter Feed, 3/19/12; Devin Dwyer, Obama To Draw Big Crowds On Rare Vermont, Maine Swing, ABC News, 3/30/12)

28:

Golf Games Obama Has Played Since Announcing His Bid For Reelection.

21:

Vacation Days Obama Has Taken Since Announcing His Bid For Reelection. (Julie Pace, “Obama Ending Vacation, Readying For Reelection,” The Associated Press, 1/2/12; Alan Farnham, “Presidential Vacations: Cheapest And Most Lavish,” ABC News, 8/19/11)

0:

Obama’s Predecessors Who Had Attended More Reelection Fundraisers At This Point In Their Presidency. (Devin Dwyer, Obama To Draw Big Crowds On Rare Vermont, Maine Swing, ABC News, 3/30/12)

AND WHILE OBAMA MAY FEEL AT EASE IN HIS DONOR CIRCLES, HE HAS YET TO DEFINE A CAMPAIGN MESSAGE FOR THE FALL

Obama Is “Unlikely” To Decide Upon His Campaign Message Until The GOP Has A Nominee.  “Winning The Future. Greater Together. We Don’t Quit. They may not be official but those are all phrases that could in one form or another be candidates to become President Barack Obama’s re-election slogan. Advisers say a fresh slogan to replace the winning ‘Change we can believe in’ mantra of 2008, is unlikely to appear before Obama knows who his Republican opponent will be and starts big campaign travel swings, likely in the spring or summer.” (Jeff Mason, “Barack Obama Moving On From Hope And Change,” Reuters, 2/20/12)

  • “His Campaign Posters Now Say Simply, ‘Obama 2012.’” (Jeff Mason, “Barack Obama Moving On From Hope And Change,” Reuters, 2/20/12)

Obama Has “Only Sketched Out A Vague Agenda For His Next Term.” “The funny thing about all this is: Obama himself hasn’t said he’ll do any of it. In his speeches — over the first few months of his re­election campaign — the president has only sketched out a vague agenda for his next term.” (David A. Fahrenthold and Peter Wallsten, “Obama Allies, Foes Speculate On A Big –And Hypothetical – Second Term-Agenda,” The Washington Post, 3/4/12)

“Even After Three Years In Office, Obama Remains A Political Rorschach Test.” “He wants to fix the immigration system. Put his health-care law into practice. Rebuild infrastructure. Revive manufacturing. ‘And,’ he told an audience in San Francisco, in what might be called a flourish of the obvious, ‘we’re going to have to figure out how to pay for all this stuff.’ This disconnect highlights one of the most unusual factors in an unusual campaign: Even after three years in office, Obama remains a political Rorschach test.” (David A. Fahrenthold and Peter Wallsten, “Obama Allies, Foes Speculate On A Big –And Hypothetical – Second Term-Agenda,” The Washington Post, 3/4/12)

Both Obama’s Political “Friends” And “Enemies” Are “Convinced They Still Haven’t Seen The Real Obama Yet – Or The Real Obama Agenda.”  “His friends still project their brightest hopes on him. His enemies still project their deepest nightmares. Both are still convinced they haven’t seen the real Obama yet — or the real Obama agenda. And so, paradoxically, they believe the most important ideas of Obama’s reelection campaign are the ones he’s not talking about.” (David A. Fahrenthold and Peter Wallsten, “Obama Allies, Foes Speculate On A Big –And Hypothetical – Second Term-Agenda,” The Washington Post, 3/4/12)

  • “But, At Times, The Details Of Obama’s Vision Can Still Appear Fuzzy — Even To Him.” (David A. Fahrenthold and Peter Wallsten, “Obama Allies, Foes Speculate On A Big –And Hypothetical – Second Term-Agenda,” The Washington Post, 3/4/12)

 IF ONLY THE ECONOMY COULD RECOVER AT THE SAME PACE OBAMA FUNDRAISES

Obama Said If “I Don’t Have This Done In Three Years, Then There’s Going To Be A One-Term Proposition.”  OBAMA: “That's exactly right. And — and, you know, a year from now I think people — are going to see that — we're starting to make some progress. But there's still going to be some pain out there. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition.” (NBC’s “The Today Show,” 2/2/09)

Since Obama Announced His Reelection Campaign, The Debt Has Increased By $1,338,147,116,972.12. (Department Of The Treasury, “The Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” TreasuryDirect.gov, Accessed 4/3/12)  

The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above 8 Percent Each Month Since Obama Announced His Reelection Campaign. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/3/12)

When Obama Announced Reelection On April 4, 2011, The Price For A Gallon Of Regular Gasoline Was $3.684. (Energy Information Administration, Accessed 4/3/12)

Standard & Poor’s “Lowered The U.S. Credit Rating For The First Time, An Ignominious Legacy For Obama.” (George E. Condon Jr., “What A Week: Afghan Deaths, S&P, And Debt Limit Debate Challenge Obama,” National Journal, 8/6/11)

  • “The Downgrade, Hours After Markets Closed On Friday, Is A First For The United States Since It Was Granted An AAA Rating In 1917.” (Paul Wiseman, “US Downgrade Raises Anxiety, If Not Interest Rates,” The Associated Press, 8/6/11)

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