NYT notices Obama campaign’s increasing desperation for contributions

posted at 12:26 pm on August 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Politicians use their e-mail lists to continually hit their base with requests for donations.  Everyone who puts their name on a political list expects to see those e-mails on a constant basis, usually tied to the news cycle.  Michele Bachmann’s campaign is particularly adept at this, with missives that start by saying something like this completely hypothetical opening sentence: “Senate Democrats passed a tax increase on job creators last week, so it’s more important than ever to have me in the House fighting for our economic health.”  That kind of moment-to-moment marketing approach both uses potential flash points to encourage donations, and sends a more subtle message that the politician is focused like a laser on his or her job.

Barack Obama’s campaign contribution e-mails send a less-subtle subtext message, the New York Times’ Michael Shear reports — desperation:

The dire hand-wringing is partly tactical for a campaign that is likely to have more than enough money to execute its strategy. By appearing desperate, Mr. Obama’s campaign hopes it can persuade more of its supporters to donate now, rather than later. …

Regardless of the real impact on Mr. Obama’s campaign operations, there’s an image problem to worry about.

The appeals for donations occasionally recall the “Everything 80 percent off! Going out of Business” sales that try to entice customers into the store. And yet, Mr. Obama’s campaign team has clearly calculated that it is willing to risk leaving that kind of impression if it means raising more money.

One of the many e-mails sent by the Obama campaign to supporters on Monday had the subject line: Romney defeats Obama?

Some of the desperation is marketing strategy, but most of it is real, Shear notes.  Team Romney/RNC outraised Team Obama/DNC in both May (by $17 million) and June (by $37 million).  There is no indication that July will be any different.  Obama’s campaign apparently never figured that they could be outraised one-on-one by a Republican candidate, although most people figured that the GOP would gain an edge with outside-group spending.  Now it looks like Obama will get buried — and his 3:1 spending lead of the last three months has failed to slow Romney’s momentum.  Hence, the panic that has flooded into their campaign missives.

The problem with that kind of marketing strategy is that it presupposes Obama to be a loser.  Americans love underdogs — in sports.  Remember Morrissey’s Axiom: In love and politics, desperation is not an aphrodisiac.  We have a strong tendency to jump on bandwagons when the direction of an election becomes clear, buying into what the perceived final outcome will be.  By showering their e-mail base with messages of desperation and panic, Team Obama is more likely to demoralize and disincentivize their base, especially given their utter failure to demonize Mitt Romney with the Bain attacks.

On the other hand, we can’t be too critical of this strategy.  In a campaign that keeps trying to sell Romney as a scary vampire capitalist who eats jobs and may even be a felon!!1!11!, the desperation strategy may be the most honest approach Team Obama has tried over the last three months.


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I found a perfect way to pizz off Democrat fundraisers. Every time an envelope arrives, I stuff a check for 1 cent in it. Now, they face a choice of either throwing the check away (while paying 45 cents to Post Office), or cashing it (while paying 45 cents to Post Office and about half-dollar to the bank). With enough contributions like mine, we can bankrupt them fairly quickly.

Archivarix on August 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Most transparent president ever, the goon.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Cody1991 at 12:54PM
Jeezus man, what a frighful image.
I’ve seen some awful outfits in my time but damn!
She’ll never get her law license back with that sort of kitch in her wardrobe. I mean really.

Missilengr on August 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

About your cite: OMG.

The SCOTUS has a question of what constitutes a bribe in the fundraising/election context before it.

IlikedAUH2O on August 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

NYT notices Obama campaign’s increasing desperation for contributions

…so how long before JugEars dresses up in only a raincoat and lets his adoring disiples sneak-a-peek for only 3 bucks?

KOOLAID2 on August 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

In thinking about this a little further, I think this administration needs a new fundraising tactic.

One comfortably borrowed from the aptly-named ‘Jackass’.

They can call it ‘Jackass in the White House’.

For a thousand dollar contribution he’ll set off a stun grenade between his legs while sitting in the Oval Office, and so on.

JEM on August 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I’m thinking dunk tank. Wouldn’t even you pay twenty or fifty bucks for a throw at a target with Moochie in the dunk seat?

Gibbs and Carney? The WHPC would be all over that.

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM

We’re in uncharted territory here, folks. Never in modern political history has the press been so blatantly in the tank for an incumbent with such a lousy record. I think all these polls are worthless.

The 2010 midterm results, Scott Walker’s recall win, and the lines around the block at Chick Fil-a appreciation day tell me that the silent majority is gonna rise up big time in November.

ardenenoch on August 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM

As for spending, the Obama campaign maintained its torrid pace in June. It spent $58 million last month, which amounts to a burn rate of $1.93 million per day.

The only way the Obama campaign can sustain this is to run red, so to speak. How long he can do this depends on how many years the DNC wants to spend paying off his campaign debt, how many years Obama wants to spend postponing or downsizing his library while funds go to pay off his campaign debt, and, critically, how long vendors and employees will be willing to provide campaign services on credit. Once it’s apparent that Romney is swamping Obama in the fall, we might well see Obama’s campaign implode for lack of money as much as for lack of a decent candidate.

Watch for the FEC campaign reports to be filed on August 20th, a week before the conventions begin, to see how disastrous a summer it’s really been for the Obama campaign.

de rigueur on August 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Either your sisters are twins or your parents were really good at scheduling stuff!

Happy Nomad on August 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

They are 11 years apart. Total coincidence. I was born two weeks later than the due date or it could have been three of us.

Night Owl on August 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I found a perfect way to pizz off Democrat fundraisers. Every time an envelope arrives, I stuff a check for 1 cent in it. Now, they face a choice of either throwing the check away (while paying 45 cents to Post Office), or cashing it (while paying 45 cents to Post Office and about half-dollar to the bank). With enough contributions like mine, we can bankrupt them fairly quickly.

Archivarix on August 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Not sure, but don’t they have to send you a receipt, perhaps? And of course, report it as a contribution?

Just thinking out loud….

ProfShadow on August 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

So O and company are burning through $$$. Seems he and Michelle were $50,000 in debt, personally, before he won the election. MSM didn’t tell us that.

BUT, and I mean WATCH IT – this money does not include the union money, which will be substantial. IF the unions, particularly public sector unions, cough up even $250,000,000 (and I’ve heard up to $400,000,000) it won’t be a cakewalk for Romney.

As an aside, the photo of the wife of POTUS – sad, sad, sad. Who lets her dress like that? It’s just not becoming of her position.

MN J on August 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

So O and company are burning through $$$. Seems he and Michelle were $50,000 in debt, personally, before he won the election. MSM didn’t tell us that.

BUT, and I mean WATCH IT – this money does not include the union money, which will be substantial. IF the unions, particularly public sector unions, cough up even $250,000,000 (and I’ve heard up to $400,000,000) it won’t be a cakewalk for Romney.

As an aside, the photo of the wife of POTUS – sad, sad, sad. Who lets her dress like that? It’s just not becoming of her position.

MN J on August 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The democratics’ favorite Nazi stooge George Soros can write a check for that much any day of the week. There will be no shortage of money on the proggie side.

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Is this kinda like a chick-fil-a and egg moment? The guy who exists to give away other people’s money is asking for people to give him money?
Romney was on fire over seas making Reagan-like speeches; Obummer on a commercial demonstrating how to donate to his campaign. What a contrast.

one free individual on August 1, 2012 at 7:52 PM

So what’s next, a liberal celebrity laced telethon to raise campaign cash broadcast exclusively on MSNBC?

pilamaye on August 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Yeah. With conservatives sending Romney and downticket money every time one said something stupid or lied.

Hmmmm. That may not be a bad idea.

kim roy on August 1, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Barky’s next shameless begging ad ~

“Send me all your dog food money, NOW,
or I’m gonna eat this puppy!”

TheClearRiver on August 1, 2012 at 8:33 PM

“I think all these polls are worthless.

The 2010 midterm results, Scott Walker’s recall win, and the lines around the block at Chick Fil-a appreciation day tell me that the silent majority is gonna rise up big time in November.”

All the polls had Walker winning (by different margins). The polls are far from worthless. If they all show Romney losing the battlegrounds, he’s going to lose the battlegrounds.

gumbyandpokey on August 1, 2012 at 9:30 PM

the desperation strategy may be the most honest approach Team Obama has tried over the last three months.

Obama has corruption in the coop, hate on the hoof, taqiyya on the tongue, desperation in the dispatches and bats in the belfry — that’s his campaign strategy

VorDaj on August 1, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I could believe the desperation was a fundraising tactic – one of the key factors in successful political fundraising is creating the urgency to motivate the donor to do it NOW.

EXCEPT that the desperation has been apparent for some time. It didn’t take long for Obama to turn from bragging about the billion $ he would raise to raffling off dinner with him and Biden for $3 a chance (the “winners” of which will typically owe over $1000 in federal income taxes for the value of the airfare and accommodations received). And they’ve been spending money hard and early, viciously and falsely attacking Romney so early that these attacks will sound old and hollow by the time the home stretch comes around.

Why do you think so many Democratic members of and candidates for Congress have opted out of attending their convention? It isn’t because their popular President is going to be reelected, it’s because being associated with the lying Marxist traitor is toxic to their own electoral chances.

Adjoran on August 2, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Come on! This has got to be photoshopped. Is one of her assistants designated the paint-on-my-pants guy/gal? Seriously?

Well, 14th Street runs into PA Avenue. Maybe she needs to take in extra income.

Portia46 on August 2, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Obama will have unlimited funds, to believe otherwise is naive.

Redford on August 2, 2012 at 4:39 PM

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