The Campaign Spot

Obama’s Latest Fundraising Tool: The White House Chef

On the front page of the Washington Post today:

President Obama and top White House aides are waging a behind-the-scenes push to win over skeptical big-dollar donors — whose early money is needed to help fund a dramatic summertime expansion of his battleground-state machinery.

Campaign officials are working to broaden Obama’s network of “bundlers,” the well-connected rainmakers tasked with soliciting big checks from wealthy donors, while seeking to preserve the aura of a grass-roots movement by luring back the kind of small Internet donations that helped shatter fundraising records four years ago.

To do so, Obama and his aides are leveraging every asset available to a sitting president — from access to top West Wing officials to a possible food tasting with the White House chef.

Boston lawyer Noah Shaw, a national co-chairman for Gen44, said he was working to gin up creative fundraising events for the fall. The 34-year-old hopes to arrange a food tasting that would feature a number of Boston chefs. Shaw plans to ask the campaign for permission to invite White House chef Sam Kass.

I suppose once you’ve recorded videos to promote a campaign fundraiser in the White House, using a taxpayer-funded chef for political fundraisers doesn’t seem like a big deal.

I know the Hatch Act is one of those laws that is easily ignored in the Obama era, like the War Powers Act, but it is rather striking that a law that prohibits “use an official title or position while engaged in political activity” is now optional.

Could the White House counsel please give us a list of what other laws they’ve determined are optional for this administration?

I know, I’m being harsh. There is precedent for this argument:


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