It’s been clear since not long after the 2010 election that President Obama’s top priority for the remainder of his first term would be ensuring his own re-election. From backing away from a meaningful deficit reduction deal, to his single-minded focus on dividing Americans along class lines, he has consistently put his own political interests ahead of working with Congress to solve America’s most pressing problems. But a new book makes shockingly clear just how focused Obama has been on his political future. Via Toby Harnden at the Daily Mail (emphasis added):
Barack Obama has already held more re-election fundraising events than every elected president since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book.
Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office.
The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.
Doherty, who has compiled statistics about presidential travel and fundraising going back to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, found that Obama had held 104 fundraisers by March 6th this year, compared to 94 held by Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.
If these figures are accurate, and apparently they are, I don’t know what is more contemptible: that the most ethical President ever has spent more time raising money than his 5 predecessors combined, or that virtually no one within the mainstream media has seen fit to track and report this. I don’t know, might this possibly have some connection to the fact that President Obama has no legislative accomplishments to speak of over the past year? Just spit-balling here, but this seems like a story angle the media probably would have shown an interest in from say 2001-2008. After all, they seemed pretty interested in tracking the number of rounds of golf President Bush played. But I guess even this is no longer considered newsworthy since, with 93 rounds of his own, President Obama has already exceeded his predecessors total over two full terms by almost a 4 to 1 ratio.
The President seems to be staking his re-election on his campaign’s ability to portray Mitt Romney as someone who is unable to relate to the concerns of the average working American. But I can’t imagine that the average American will look very favorably on a President who has spent such an inordinate amount of time on the links, and jetting around the country looking after his own future. With millions of Americans still struggling to find work, and millions more having all but given up hope, this has to be more than just a little disconcerting. Expect the GOP to shine a light on this early and often.