March job creation might be down, but Barack Obama’s fundraising numbers are up. The incumbent president hauled in $1.5 million in three hours at a pair of lavish fundraisers last night.
At the first of the Obama two fundraisers, twenty donors paid $40,000 a piece for an intimate closed-press meeting with the president. Shortly thereafter, the president crossed town for a larger fundraiser where some 250 people chipped in $2,500 a piece. In total, the president raised around $1.425 million for a joint fundraising committee fun by his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The president raised some $45 million in February, $29.1 million in January, and $68 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The amounts have enabled the president to rapidly deploy his reelection team; according to Federal Election Commission reports, Obama has already spent more than $135 million on his campaign, $3 million more than the entire Republican field combined.
Obama justified his flip-flop on Super PACs by saying he couldn’t afford to “unilaterally disarm” in the face of frightening GOP funds (actually, his campaign manager said that for him, but you understand). Not exactly sure what he was worried about — his campaign has been and remains ahead of Mitt Romney’s in fundraising — but the important point is, he still professes to object to campaigns and elections dominated by dollars. How does he justify spending $3 million more than the entire Republican field combined before the general election even begins, then? He already enjoys increased visibility as president and the chance to campaign on the taxpayers’ dime. (Remember him shilling for the American Jobs Act, anyone? How about his recent speech attacking Paul Ryan?) The president’s hypocrisy on campaign finance becomes more blatant with every over-the-top fundraiser that gives access only to superrich donors. Not even the savvy optics of his grassroots fundraising efforts can disguise that this is a president who knows he can’t run on his record and plans to rely instead on a well-funded, well-organized campaign to razzle dazzle voters. How will we hear the truth above the roar?
Unfortunately for Obama, the Republican National Committee is ready to remove the sequins from voters’ eyes. Truth will out.