February 07, 2012
NYC Letter: On The Fail Trail -- Little Things Add Up II
Day 1,111 of CHOPE
The One's All Ones Edition
It is getting difficult to see how Mr. Obama can fairly win re-election. Of course he might, but unless the GOP nominates Ron Paul it is hard to see how he can win fairly. There was an expectation that he would just buy himself a second term, which isn't fair if you believe elections are fought and won on the the issues and merits of the candidates. But buying an election costs money, a billion dollars or so. That kind of money comes with successes and logrolling and Mr. Obama has proved a disappointment to adulators and special interests alike.
Again, let's work our way to the present.
January 12, 2012 (The Hill) - When Obama campaign manager Jim Messina appeared in a video early Thursday morning to unveil that his team had raked in $68 million in the last part of the year for the president's reelection bid, he claimed that the fundraising was off to a "pretty good start."
But "pretty good" seemed a far cry from the billion-dollar marker some had anticipated when the reelection campaign launched last April. And it seemed even farther from the stream of money that kept flowing to Chicago in 2008, helping then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to first beat Democratic powerhouse Hillary Clinton and later catapult him to the presidency.
"Quite frankly, I expected a little more," said one Obama donor. "The president has now proven what he can do and it seemed a little disappointing. Even [Messina] seemed a little disappointed." ... "Something's missing," the donor added.
Of course what is missing is Mr. Obama's own "morning in America".
However, the $42 million raised by Obama and the $24 million hauled in by the Democratic National Committee are down from the $70 million the campaign and DNC raised in the previous quarter. The total is also just below what the Bush-Cheney team raised during the equivalent period in their reelection drive.
... Quashing the billion-dollar story, some supporters say, came after some Democrats feared that the number itself turned potential donors off and could be the cause for a donation lull of sorts.
"From the public's perspective, it really doesn't sound good on a number of levels," said Susan MacManus, a professor of political science at the University of South Florida. "And in a way it would reflect an insensitivity to the economics of this country."
Uh-huh. As we remarked at the link above:
The one billion dollar number has been in play since day one of Mr. Obama's 2012 campaign launch. Mr. Messina never walked back that number. Now that the arithmetic of the one billion dollar goal has been tested against poor results, now, well, it's all just bullshit.
And then there are those tough calls Mr. Obama has to make between paymasters and voters.
HOLLYWOOD MOGULS STOPPING
OBAMA DONATIONS BECAUSE OF
PRESIDENT’S PIRACY STAND:
"NOT GIVE A DIME ANYMORE"
January 18, 2012 (deadline.com)
When the unpopular House Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA") and the Senate’s Protect IP Act ("PIPA") stirred up public protest, Team Barry stuck its finger in the political winds and unceremoniously dumped its big Hollywood patrons.
Which brings us to this month.
February 1, 2012 (NJ) - The Obama campaign ended the year with $81.8 million cash-on hand - a very strong total. But the outside Democratic groups, especially the party's newly-created super PACs, haven't given him much in the way of reinforcements. The Democratic National Committee has $12.6 million cash-on-hand to assist. But Priorities USA banked a meager $1.5 million, receiving money from just 42 individual donors in the last six months. The party's congressional super PACs -- Majority PAC and House Majority PAC -- also didn't bank much, $1.3 million and $1.17 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign ended the year with $19.9 million in the bank, far less than the president's cash haul. But when you add in the outside groups, he's about at even strength. Romney's super PAC, Restore Our Future, banked $23.6 million at the end of the year, thanks to funding from venture capitalists aligned with Romney. American Crossroads, which is poised to play an outsized role in the presidential race, ended the year with $15.6 million cash-on-hand. And the RNC ended the year with more cash-on-hand than the DNC, banking $20 million. All told, that adds up to $79.1 million - and it doesn't include the cash-on-hand from Crossroads GPS, which doesn't file with the Federal Election Commission. But based on Crossroads' announced fundraising totals, it's logical to assume that they have around $15 million on-hand.
That brings the combined Obama and Democratic outside group totals to $98.3 million cash-on-hand, with the GOP groups tallying $94.1 million. Take out the Democratic groups strictly devoted to congressional activities, and it's a virtual financial tie. With labor and environmental groups poised to help Obama's re-election, Democrats still could hold a narrow edge. But it's hardly the cash advantage that would allow Team Obama to run negative advertising uncontested against Romney, without an aggressive response.
Money Team Barry has three quarters left in which to raise some $900M to make its disowned billion dollars. There is nothing in its earlier quarterly hauls to suggest an ability to raise an average $300M in each of the remaining quarters. The one billion number is indeed bullshit, but we suspect that Campaign Barry and Money Team Barry thought they could wish up that billion dollars, much like Team Barry wished up its recovery.
More than anything it is Mr. Obama's wished up recovery -- the recovery that never arrives, the recovery even Mr. Obama meekly admits isn't enough -- that looks to sink Mr. Obama's re-election. As James Pethokoukis of the AEI explains here, the most accurate election predictor is personal GDP growth. [Pause.] That doesn't look promising. And this won't help either.
February 2, 2012 (WaEx) - In another indication of the difficulty President Obama's reelection campaign faces, only 36 percent of likely voters grade the administration's handling of the economy at good or excellent, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
In a national survey of 1,000 likely voters January 31-February 1, a whopping 62 percent grade the president at fair to poor, with poor collecting the largest number: 45 percent.
... "We just need six more months," said a top Democratic official.
The polling data, however, shows big problems with men, middle-age and senior voters and Independents. Just consider those likely voters who grade the president poor on his handling of the economy. Majorities in the Rasmussen poll include men (53 percent), voters aged 40-49 (55 percent), seniors (53 percent), whites (50 percent), non-black minorities (57 percent).
Independents and others not affiliated with the GOP or Democratic Party are also down on the president with 45 percent giving him a poor grade on the economy.
Six months will not magically produce what three years have not. Even if Team Barry were to stop abusing John Maynard Keynes* and embrace Milton Friedman tomorrow, six months would hardly be enough time for good policy to work its way into economy and get everyone happy and fat before the election. No, in all likelihood, today's miserable economy will be the same economy pushing people to the polls come November. A-B-O.
* Mr. Keynes was a profound economist and a successful investor and speculator. Mr. Obama and the Democrats have taken all that Mr. Keynes was and boiled it down to one ersatz Keynesian tenet: SPEND MONEY.