Inside Obama’s Courtship of Dem Donors

 

With conservative heavyweights planning to spend lavishly to topple President Obama—the White House anticipates $500 million or more in outside spending—the biggest challenge facing Obama aides and the Democratic Party is amassing a campaign war chest large enough to fight back against the Koch brothers, the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove’s Crossroads groups, and so on.

The Wall Street Journal today has an in-depth look at the Obama team’s early courting of donors in cities such as Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. The “strategy briefings” by Obama aides, featuring the requisite PowerPoint presentation branded with the “Change the Matters” slogan, emphasizes the president’s “clear but narrowed support” in blue-collar, Midwestern states, but points out the stiff challenge facing Obama from deep-pocketed donors on the right. More from the WSJ:

The president’s political aides, people at the meetings said, are trying to establish stronger ties to some of these donors as they navigate what may be a difficult fund-raising environment.

Part of Mr. Messina’s presentation is to caution donors that while Mr. Obama has recovered after the trouncing his party took in the 2010 elections and is well-positioned for 2012, he will face a tough re-election fight that will require substantial donor support, according to people familiar with the presentation…

When he discussed the emerging GOP field in Miami, Mr. Messina made no mention of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, participants said, even though Mr. Pawlenty has clearly been taking steps to build a White House campaign.

But Mr. Messina did talk about what Obama aides see as likely vulnerabilities for Jon Huntsman, the president’s outgoing ambassador to China, who is leaving his post to consider a campaign against his boss. The focus on Mr. Huntsman suggests Democrats see a threat in the former Utah governor, considered a moderate among potential GOP candidates…

Mr. Messina’s pitch to donors stresses the need to build a network in states of small business owners and religious leaders, particularly among Latino and African-American voters. His overall message, according to a Florida donor, was, “We’re in good shape, and we want to reconnect with you.”

 

More Mother Jones reporting on Dark Money

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate