You know, nothing says classy in a presidential campaign like having to bleep out a word from the national campaign manager in a prepared video. The Daily Caller catches Obama 2012 chief Jim Messina calling the billion-dollar expectations of their fundraising “bull****” at the 2:50 mark, and arguing that their fundraising relies on $3-$5 donations from all you ordinary ****-kickers out there, or something:
“People have speculated this is a billion-dollar campaign,” said Messina. “That’s bullshit. We don’t take PAC money unlike our opponents. We fund this campaign in contributions of three dollars or five dollars or whatever you can do to help us expand the map, to put more people on the ground, to build a real grassroots campaign that is going to be the difference between winning and losing.”
Messina might have a point, albeit with a potty-mouthed presentation. The billion-dollar campaign theme started with this Wall Street Journal article, where Democratic Party leaders (unnamed) speculated that the 2012 presidential election would cost each party one billion dollars — not necessarily the campaigns alone. That’s due in large part to Obama himself, however, who refused to participate in the federal election fund and its spending limitations in 2008 after promised earlier to comply, and then doing nothing to fix the system he claimed was “broken” for the three years he’s been in office. Obama raised $600 million on his own in 2008 after bailing out of the system, and he didn’t do that in increments of $3, either.
Nor has he done so in this cycle. Messina conveniently neglects to mention that the Obama campaign has a few bundlers raising big money for the campaign. Did I say “a few”? More like three hundred and fifty-seven of them, including Obama’s personal envoy to Wall Street, MF Global CEO Jon Corzine, a magician whose firm made $1.2 billion in customer funds disappear. That figure includes 78 from law firms, 62 from the investment community, 31 from “business services,” and 15 from the entertainment industry.
While you watch the video, though, notice the top scenarios that Messina outlines as their path to 270 electoral votes. They’re basing it on the 2004 election, not Obama’s own win in 2008, which should tell you something about how they see the 2012 environment … since John Kerry lost that race. I’d presume that even though Messina says that they see 40 different paths to 270 from the 2004 baseline that he’s presenting what he sees as their best scenarios. In all of these, Messina assumes that they’ve lost Indiana and that they’ll keep Wisconsin and Michigan, which went all red in 2010. They also assume they’ll carry Iowa and New Hampshire in most of these paths, which doesn’t sound like a good assumption to make at this point. Arizona is a pipe dream; the GOP turns out more heavily than do Democrats in that state. If these are their best arguments to get to 270, at least at the moment, that should be heartening for Republicans.