By Jack Minor
President Obama’s campaign is pleading for funds, marking a sharp contrast to his fundraising during the 2008 election.
“The Romney campaign raises more than we do, and the math isn’t hard to understand: Through the primaries, we raised almost three-quarters of our money from donors giving less than $1,000, while Mitt Romney’s campaign raised more than three-quarters of its money from individuals giving $1,000 or more,” he said. “We can be outspent and still win – but we can’t be outspent 10 to 1 and still win.”
By contrast, the 2008 campaign rejected federal matching funds and shattered fundraising records raising nearly $750 million. John McCain was limited to a mere $84 million as a condition of his acceptance of the matching funds.
This time around, things appear to be vastly different, with the president having to resort to new and creative methods in an attempt to solicit much-needed cash.
Obama became the first sitting president to raffle off meetings with himself and Michelle for those who donate $3 or more to the campaign. The campaign has changed up the specifics of the raffle, and recently it even gave donors a chance to choose a celebrity to join them with the president if they won.
As WND reported, the campaign has even begun soliciting wedding, birthday and anniversary gifts.
The campaign started an “Obama event registry” asking people to forgo birthday, wedding and anniversary gifts and instead ask family and friends to give the money spent on presents to him instead.
“Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?” the site asks. “Let your friends know how important this election is to you – register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift.”
“It’s a great way to support the president on your big day,” it continues. “Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate – and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.”
The Democratic National Committee also appears to be having fundraising woes of its own. In May, the DNC raised $60 million, compared to $76.8 million by the RNC.
The AP reported that several Democratic strategists have expressed alarm over the lack of fundraising by the campaign and party.
Debbie Dingell, a DNC committee member and wife of Michigan Rep. John Dingell, said, “We’ve all got to get in the same boat and start paddling in the same direction, or we’re going to have some problems.”
The campaign has sent other signals that it having difficulties with its finances. Recently Obama made a campaign stop in Durham, N.H. However, the campaign refused to pay the town for the costs associated with the visit, expecting the town to pay its expenses.
Local officials said they had no problem paying for official presidential visits, but they felt Obama’s campaign should reimburse them for the estimated $20,000 to $30,000 in expenses for police and fire services. Officials said the city simply didn’t have the money for the president’s campaign stop budgeted for the cost of the services.
Town Administrator Todd Selig said, “Community leaders have taken the position that the campaign, regardless of party affiliation, should absorb the added local public safety costs rather than local taxpayers.”
The campaign initially said it would pay for the cost of the stop, saying it was the responsibility of local governments to pick up the tab for security, traffic control and other expenses whenever the president made a campaign visit.
However, Ann Marie Habershaw, chief operating officer for Obama for America, wrote in a letter sent to Selig: “As a private organization, OFA does not participate in security or traffic control planning. All such decisions, including their impact on costs incurred by federal, state or local governments, are exclusively within the control of the appropriate government officials.”