Class-warfare battles have Democrats anticipating low fundraising numbers from NY

posted at 12:15 pm on July 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The wonder of this isn’t that Democrats will see low fundraising numbers from what has been a virtual ATM for the party over the last two election cycles.  Their attacks on capital and the legal processes of bankruptcy that protects investors make a sudden shyness on Wall Street for further Democratic support practically a given.  The wonder is that Democrats got their hands on this money at all in 2008:

A perfect storm of events – the recession, Wall Street anger at Washington, donors who feel ignored by the White House and interest group dissatisfaction – have Democrats bracing for a brutal fundraising period and fearful of losing dominance in longtime donor stronghold and mega-rich New York. …

While most Democrats blame the economy and anger from Wall Street for the fundraising predicament, President Obama, whose own donor model was low-dollar contributors and internet contributors over high-dollar types, has headlined just one major New York event so far this year, for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

And several fundraisers said they knew of very few major events in the Hamptons – the summer playground for the wealthy that was long worked by the Clintons, who used it for simultaneous socializing, vacationing and rainmaking for the national party committees.

Some Democrats called it the worst period for fundraising they’ve experienced in the New York area since 1994, the infamous midterm cycle after Bill Clinton was elected president but quickly became a lightning rod for Republicans and a disappointment to some of his own backers.

This is a good lesson to remember.  While many of us argue for more market-based approaches to public-policy issues, the people with capital like to pursue a more influenced-based outcome.  While the Obama administration makes Bill Clinton look like Calvin Coolidge by comparison, the truth is that both Democrats campaigned on hostility towards capital, especially in 1992 for Clinton.  Both of them were redistributionists; Bill Clinton was just smart enough to wise up after the 1994 midterms and tack back towards the center.

Yet the people who would benefit most — albeit equitably — from market-based policies continued their funding of people who expressed open class warfare and populism.  Hillary Clinton designed the prototypical ObamaCare system, after all, only that version was a bit worse than the one passed this year, as it more explicitly nationalized health insurance.  Both Hillary and Obama adopted John Edwards’ populism on the campaign trail, doing everything but donning John Dillinger masks in demonizing bankers and investors.

So why did the very people demonized by the Democrats keep putting cash in their pockets?  They wanted to curry favor individually, hoping that the class warriors would end up on the doorsteps of their competitors rather than their own.  Only belatedly have they discovered that class warfare brings economic disaster to everyone’s doorstep.

When people talk about having to save capitalism from the capitalists, this is what they mean.  Perhaps they’re wising up this year, and that would be good, but what they really need is a road-to-Damascus moment — and I’m not sure they’ve had it yet.

Update: John Hinderaker wonders at Power Line whether this will create a donor-generated effort to get Hillary Clinton onto the 2012 ticket — in either slot.

Update II: Commenter MayBee points out the fallacy in the Politico’s statement about the nature of Obama’s donors:

Lost in the attention given to Obama’s Internet surge is that only a quarter of the $600 million he has raised has come from donors who made contributions of $200 or less, according to a review of his FEC reports. That is actually slightly less, as a percentage, than President Bush raised in small donations during his 2004 race, although Obama has pulled from a far larger number of donors. In 2004, the Bush campaign claimed more than 2 million donors, while the Obama campaign claims to have collected its total from more than 3.1 million individuals.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Thomas A. Daschle, the former Senate leader who is a top Obama adviser. “I don’t know that anybody could have anticipated that the numbers would be this good.”

Don’t expect a repeat in 2012, however.


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considering the financial bill will devastate New York city, well duh!

rob verdi on July 5, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Sometimes I wish buisness was as organized in its defense as left wing talking points dictate.

rob verdi on July 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

You will see it doesn’t matter with the amazing slush fund network they’ve established with your money, America.

Beto Ochoa on July 5, 2010 at 12:20 PM

If class-warfare is going to keep contributions down, then anticipate a double dose of the race card. Hate generated by class envy and the race card are their most viable options to motivate their base. Expect very ingenious ways they will use racist rhetoric to detract from the obvious damage to the country.

volsense on July 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Wall Street needs a “tea party” moment of their own. They need to realize that cronyism with the government is ultimately bad for business.

PackerBronco on July 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM

President Obama, whose own donor model was low-dollar contributors and internet contributors over high-dollar types,

Isn’t that untrue?
He highlighted the low-dollar contributors, but he got most of his money from high-dollar types, no?

MayBee on July 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Here:

Lost in the attention given to Obama’s Internet surge is that only a quarter of the $600 million he has raised has come from donors who made contributions of $200 or less, according to a review of his FEC reports. That is actually slightly less, as a percentage, than President Bush raised in small donations during his 2004 race…

The best-known of those committees, the Obama Victory Fund, has catered to party regulars who attended one of dozens of gala events around the country, including VIP gatherings for those able to donate $28,500. The Committee for Change has quietly accepted millions more, in checks ranging from $5,000 to $66,900, from celebrities, corporate titans, Native American tribes and several of Obama’s most ardent bundlers.

They include entertainment mogul David Geffen, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, actress Annette Bening, the California-based Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and members of Chicago’s Crown family.

MayBee on July 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Maybe Obama needs a new fundraising czar, who can go around with a small crew of stocky SEIU members, who’ll be able to emphasize how important it is to give generously.

RBMN on July 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Living in New York and being surrounded by knee-jerk liberal professionals who donated to the Obama campaign, I can say that I’ve observed the phenomenon. They were expecting second-term Bill Clinton. They got Leon Trotsky instead. There is a palpable sense of disillusionment among them, primarily because his policies are hurting them on both a macro- and micro- level.

On a macro-level, his tax and spend policies and his predilection for regulation are killing the financial services industry. Because of all the upset from Europe, the capital markets are pretty much shut down for the summer. In the long-term, his punishing taxes on the investing class and uncertainty about future fiscal policy have really kept investors on the sidelines.

On a micro-level, a lot of folks here are “HENRY” (i.e., High-Earning, Not Rich Yet), and so letting the Bush tax cuts expire and saying he’s going to raise taxes (including ending the mortgage interest deduction) every time someone mentions the deficit really hurt on a personal level, particularly those who have taken out large mortgages (spurred on by the first-time homebuyer credit that was supposed to stimulate home-buying).

Doodad Pro on July 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM

For years the donations have protected Wall Street from the wrath of the leftists, and generated strange but favorable regulations and eventual repeal of the Glass-Stegal Act. But in the 2008 election cycle it finally bit them in the arse. And now they can see the full effects of democrat policies.

Hopefully this will be a long term lesson…

phreshone on July 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Hoping to br eaten by the alligator last

skanter on July 5, 2010 at 12:43 PM

So why did the very people demonized by the Democrats keep putting cash in their pockets?

Feeding the crocodile in hopes it will eat them last.

petefrt on July 5, 2010 at 12:43 PM

skanter on July 5, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Holy moley, that vibe was strong.

petefrt on July 5, 2010 at 12:44 PM

These clowns had better not be looking to Illinois as their next fundraising piggy bank.

The state is on the verge of following California in being on the brink of financial disaster….thanks, of course, to the Democrats!

pilamaye on July 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Say, all you Upper West Siders: when he promised to raise taxes on you he was not lying to you.

Stop thinking that Democrats are lying when they talk about tax hikes… they aren’t.

Stop thinking that when Democrats say they want to regulate things that it won’t mean you… it does.

When you contribute to them you are trying to assuage liberal guilt… and they will take you to the cleaners, leave you destitute and beholden to the government. They tell you this openly, it is time to believe them.

If you make money via work you have a target on you by the Democratic Party, and they will first soak the rich, then the middle class and then even the poor as we will all be poor by then and they will have no one else left to tax for YOUR liberal guilt.

ajacksonian on July 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Wall Street needs a “tea party” moment of their own. They need to realize that cronyism with the government is ultimately bad for business.

PackerBronco on July 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM

There already is one… it’s called Small Business. But it’s not as lucrative for politicians, so they will ignore it.

beatcanvas on July 5, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Personally, I hope they take a bath in “the Hamptons”. They wanted this bastard, they got him. Live with it.

GarandFan on July 5, 2010 at 12:57 PM

The stupidity of the political contributions made by the financial industry in 2008 is absolutely of a piece with the stupidity of the decisions made that precipitated the financial markets crisis — an utter failure to look at the substantive details of what one was investing in.

Chuckles3 on July 5, 2010 at 12:58 PM

What I worry about is the potential Californication of the entire country where Americans want the world given to them but don’t want to pay for it and the political tide swings like a pendulum.

Narrative, message, very very very important.

Speakup on July 5, 2010 at 12:58 PM

RBMN on July 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM

By all means I need to fertilize some of my trees.

chemman on July 5, 2010 at 1:00 PM

MayBee on July 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Thank you. I knew that to be true as well, but it doesn’t hurt to periodically trot out the facts to shatter yet another dishonest lefty meme. And as far as the “small donations” actually go, anyone who watches “Breaking bad” knows you can funnel massive amounts of money into a website and make it appear as small donations.

Kataklysmic on July 5, 2010 at 1:01 PM

pilamaye on July 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

I know this will be hard to swallow but Illinois is actually in worse shape than California.

chemman on July 5, 2010 at 1:02 PM

phreshone on July 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM

The croc decided they had been fattened up enough.

chemman on July 5, 2010 at 1:04 PM

President Obama, whose own donor model was low-dollar contributors and internet contributors over high-dollar types, has headlined just one major New York event so far this year, for

Don’t make me laugh. If those ‘books’ were ever scrutinized, that prick would be in prison along with Axelrod, Plouffe, et al.
Low dollar donations my ass!

Lanceman on July 5, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Can’t they just get more money from the rank and file SEIU members?

Just asking…

Khun Joe on July 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Perhaps the WH will ask Bubba to go up to NYC and raise money for the Dems, since he appears to be more popular than Obowma.

Bubba can always remind them of the permanent bailouts in Dodd-Frank when they ask “What have you done for use lately?”.

Wethal on July 5, 2010 at 1:07 PM

So now I’m being moderated?

Lanceman on July 5, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Low fundraising numbers from wealthy Noo York? Most of those rich ba$t@rd$ have relocated to Florida and Texas!

cartooner on July 5, 2010 at 1:24 PM

A perfect storm of events – the recession, Wall Street anger at Washington, donors who feel ignored by the White House and interest group dissatisfaction – have Democrats bracing for a brutal fundraising period and fearful of losing dominance in longtime donor stronghold and mega-rich New York. …

Maybe a storm of imperfect stupidity is a more appropriate description….or maybe an imperfect storm of inappropriate stupidness….or maybe…

percysunshine on July 5, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Who knew that the number of RAAAAAAAACISTS! in New York would be on the uptick; especially in the Hamptons?

RocketmanBob on July 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Thomas A. Daschle, the former Senate leader who is a top Obama adviser. “I don’t know that anybody could have anticipated that the numbers would be this good.”

Actually this is entirely due to race. It is comparable to the huge numbers black athletes who star in traditionally white sports; hockey, golf, tennis,etc. receive as it is a prime opportunity for companies to show they are diverse. This is such good pr that even 2 companies who are outright competitors will pay the same athlete. They don’t really care how effective sales are as a result, and usually they aren’t just look at Tiger with golf equipment, as they got the thing they wanted which was the buzz for being diverse. It was the same with Obama in 2008. Many who would clearly be hurt by Democratic policies gave anyway just to say they did it. I think they also figured Obama would be as benign as a Tiger Woods was. But like Tiger and the Williams Sisters Obama has come back to bite them in the end.

Rocks on July 5, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Since Obama’s online money machine didn’t check IDs, never bothered to trace donations to their source, and accepted “prepaid” cash cards, we cannot say WHO gave him money with any certainty. Once he won, there was no chance of an investigation. I suspect foreign sources and Soros-backed illegal contributions.
`
`
There is no reason to believe they won’t run the same scam in 2012.

Adjoran on July 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Obama’s “low donor” model in 2008 was just part of his PR offensive. Fat cats were always welcomed and always important. It was just that web based $10 donations were PR gold.

Fred 2 on July 5, 2010 at 3:29 PM

“Fool me once…”

Schadenfreude on July 5, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Update: John Hinderaker wonders at Power Line whether this will create a donor-generated effort to get Hillary Clinton onto the 2012 ticket — in either slot.

It astounds me that anyone from either side of the political spectrum actually considers Hillary Clinton to still be a viable presidential or vice presidential candidate…at all.

Hillary may have found her niche being Secretary of State. But that doesn’t change her character regarding other positions of power, and the utter disaster she would be in any other political mode.

Add to that Bill’s past performance anywhere near the White House. Granted that he seems to have redeemed himself in the eyes of many on the Left, given his philanthropic endeavors of the past couple of years. Yet an examination of his public speaking, especially any extemporaneous comments, proves that he actually resents the social mores that propelled him into these activities despite reveling in the public adoration that has resulted from the same.

Anyone at all on the Left who still considers Hillary Clinton a viable political candidate for any level of government office other than, say, for a local mayoral or city council position, is so utterly delusional that they belong in a straight jacket!

KendraWilder on July 5, 2010 at 6:15 PM

The Democrats can use the Charles Rangel fundraising tatic: ignore congressional rules and send out letters on congressional stationary asking for money. Or they could always get Chuck Shumer to start a “run” on a bank (ala Indymac) and cause a panic…

TN Mom on July 5, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Wonder how many of the Dem party’s big-spending Hollywood pals will be keeping their checkbooks closed?

And, looking down the road, what of Obama’s fundraising potential? Didn’t he raise a lot of his money from foreign donors of questionable authenticity?

The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been and may still be accepting credit-card and prepaid-card contributions from overseas. It has done so in a way that may very likely prevent it from refunding the contributions to “donors,” many of whom may have had their credit cards used without their consent. It’s virtually impossible that the system for accepting card contributions was inadvertently set up without adequate controls, and almost certain that existing controls were instead deliberately disabled to create untraceability. Finally, it is likely that the total dollar amounts involved run in millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars.

Never let a crisis go to waste.

Paul_in_NJ on July 5, 2010 at 10:12 PM