Yesterday may have been tough on Republicans in general and conservatives opposed to big expansions of federal power, but the news wasn’t all bad. Thanks to outrage over the Supreme Court decision to keep ObamaCare in place, Mitt Romney and the RNC enjoyed an unplanned money bomb for the campaign. Over 47,000 donors sent $4.6 million into campaign coffers in less than a day:
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has raised $4.3 million since the Supreme Court ruled President Obama’s healthcare law is constitutional.
Romney started raising funds immediately after the decision, and in a message to supporters Friday morning his campaign spokeswoman said he had raised $4.3 million from 43,000 donations.
“As of this morning, we have raised $4.3 million with 43,000 donations online. ” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. …
Romney’s campaign had raised $2.5 million by 1:33 p.m. Thursday.
The RNC said yesterday that the fundraising numbers represented joint efforts by Team Romney and the RNC, not just the Romney campaign alone. The campaign confirmed that with me earlier, also updating the numbers at The Hill from $4.3 million to $4.6 million from 47,000 donors. Either way, it’s an impressive response, one that shows the danger for Obama of having this as a major issue over a big political summer — just as it was in 2010.
On that same note, Roll Call reports that the Tea Party is back — and not just back, but prepared. Despite frequent media reports of the Tea Party’s demise, the movement has spent the last two years becoming more professional and influential, not just on the ground but in Washington DC. Now that the Supreme Court has allowed ObamaCare to pass into law, they’re ready — and newly energized:
In upholding most of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Supreme Court handed the tea party a new lease on life.
While activists spouted made-for-TV rancor through megaphones outside the court Thursday, the behind-the-scenes strategists who helped Republicans take the House in 2010 prepared for a flood of donations they said will fuel even greater gains this November. …
The movement, born in 2009 from the opposition to the health care overhaul, has developed a professionalism that few expected, attracting seasoned operatives and winning allies in Congress. Vitriolic protests have taken a back seat to well-executed fundraising campaigns. Groups such as the Tea Party Express have raised tens of millions of dollars on the promise of derailing the health care law.
And, in many ways, Thursday’s ruling is exactly what they had been training for.
We will have to see whether the Tea Party can overcome its Romney-skepticism to put their strength to use on his behalf. Right now, though, the only option for getting rid of ObamaCare is, as Bob McDonnell said earlier today, Mitt Romney. Their last non-Romney option died at the Supreme Court yesterday. Even if the Tea Party still harbors skepticism over Romney’s commitment to repeal, they simply have no other path to repeal, and no time to waste. After another four years with Obama in the White House consolidating his signature health-care reform into massive amounts of regulation, it will be impossible to repeal it cleanly, or probably at all.
That goes both ways in this election, I believe. Even if they don’t align together perfectly, both Romney and the Tea Party need each other too much now to go their own ways any longer.