Obama 2012 raises $86 million in small donations

Pub date July 13, 2011
WriterSarah Phelan
SectionPolitics Blog

The Obama 2012 campaign files its first financial report with the Federal Election Commission on Friday July 15. In an email to Obama supporters, the campaign noted that, “the Washington chatter around the report we’re releasing has focused on one number: the sum total we’ve raised.”

That number, as it turns out,  is more than $86 million, with 98 percent of the contributions coming in at $250 or less, with the average donation being $69, according to the Obama campaign.

”But other numbers that the pundits often ignore — like how many field offices we and the DNC have open, how many one-on-one conversations we’ve had with potential supporters, and how many people have already decided to own a piece of this campaign — tell the real story of our campaign,” Jim Messina, campaign manager for Obama for America, observed in an emailed statement.

According to a video the Obama campaign released today, they’ve had 31, 000 face-to-face conversations and 290,000 phone conversations with supporters. And they have already held 650 grassroots planning meetings and signed up 1,500 full-time volunteers.

”All those numbers are in the video, and they’re the ones you should be proud of today. Watch it now,” the Obama campaign suggests.

The campaign concludes by noting that, “our opponents won’t have hundreds of thousands of people giving whatever they can afford — so they’ll be relying heavily on money from two sources to fund an unprecedented barrage.”

These two sources, the campaign claims, are “Washington lobbyists and special interests whose explicit aim is to influence the federal government in any way they can,” and, “outside groups that don’t have to disclose a word about what they’ve raised or who they’ve raised it from, like one of Karl Rove’s political organizations. His groups have set an astounding $120 million fundraising goal in their campaign to tear down President Obama.”

The specter of Rove (aka the “boy genius” or “Turd Blossom” depending on your point of view) rising from the ashes like Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort isn’t exactly comforting (unless you believe that American politics are on a parallel track to the outcome of the Harry Potter 7: Part 2 movie, which opens this Friday.)

As the Obama campaign notes, “The threat to our success from these determined groups — acting solely in their own interest, not the public interest — is real, and it’s growing. And it’s going to take serious commitment and vigilance from all of us to withstand their attacks while still building the grassroots campaign we’ll need to win.”

Now I know plenty of people who are pissed off at Obama, because, yes we did kill Osama, and yes we didn’t withdraw all the troops from Afghanistan, etc. etc. But it feels as if the moment is already here in which regular folks need to remind themselves what life under a Republican administration with Rove’s hands on the wheel  was truly like. Unless, of course, you truly believe that life under Obama is just as bad. In which case, let’s hear about the realistic alternatives…