The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Is Obama Spending Too Much Money on Raising Money?


A belated offering from the final Morning Jolt of the week:

How is Romney Out-Raising the President Who’s Constantly Fundraising?

We’ve been hearing so much talk about Democrats’ fundraising that the idea that the Republicans could have a major cash advantage is almost hard to comprehend. But take a look:

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $76.8 million in May, outdistancing President Obama and the Democratic National Committee by a wide margin.

The RNC announced on Twitter: “The RNC and @MittRomney raised $76.8M in May.” In a press release, the Romney campaign said it has $107 million on hand.

Only a few hours earlier, the Obama camp said it had taken in over $60 million last month but did not announce how much it has in the bank.

This is the first month when we’ve had a direct, hard-dollar comparison between Obama and Romney on fundraising. After wrapping up the GOP primaries in April, Romney had the full month of May to raise money through his campaign and the RNC. And the results cast an even darker shadow on an already disappointing week for Democrats.

. . . At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey is impressed. “They already have $107 million cash on hand? That’s pretty impressive from a combined $116.8 million in fundraising since Romney shed his primary competition for good. That seems to indicate a very efficient fundraising operation, one that will present a big challenge to Team Obama. At the very least, it’s clear that Romney will compete directly with Obama on campaign funding, even apart from the super-PACs that will be engaging in this election.”

If only the president had some wealthy allies and friends! Oh, wait.

Based on an analysis of the president’s calendar and news reports, President Obama and/or First Lady Michelle Obama have held over 25 fundraisers featuring Hollywood actors, producers, or singers.

Mark Knoller reminds us the president has held 153 fundraisers since declaring as a candidate for reelection April 4, 2011.

Now, I’ve covered political fundraisers — mostly in the Washington, D.C. area — where the location, entertainment, food, decorations were first-rate, and I’ve covered ones where donors are getting stadium food or potato chips for their four-figure or more donations. I presume that if you’re bringing Hollywood’s A-list, you can’t serve the potato chips and wine from a box. So if all of these fancy-schmancy events have high costs . . . maybe the much-touted, much-hyped, very busy Obama campaign fundraising operations are spending too much money to raise money. It would be a perfect irony if overspending, poor return-on-investment, and an inability to focus on the bottom line ended up being the Obama campaign’s Achilles Heel.

Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney


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