President Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, who served as White House deputy chief of staff for operations before assuming 2012 re-election duties, announced the super PAC super-flip-flop in a mass e-mail to supporters and a blog post published on the left-wing Huffington Post website. In a related conference call to major campaign finance bundlers, Messina encouraged these high-dollar donors to start funding Priorities USA Action. That's the Democratic super PAC founded by former White House staffers Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney.
Super PACs and campaigns are barred from coordinating with each other. Nevertheless, Messina said that "senior campaign officials as well as some White House and Cabinet officials will attend and speak at Priorities USA fundraising events." Of course, they "won't be soliciting contributions." Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
This brazen about-face for Team Obama is a goldmine of campaign lies, contortions and epic hypocrisy. Let us count the ways.
-- A bundle of contradictions. "Bundling" is the rustling up of aggregate contributions from friends, business associates and employees, a practice to circumvent individual donation limits that Obama has long condemned. When he announced his presidential intentions in 2007, candidate Obama decried "the cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play." He indignantly singled out "the best bundlers" who get the "greatest access" to power.
Last week, Obama acknowledged raising at least $74 million through his team of big-time bundlers who have been showered with access, tax dollars and plum patronage positions. This elite group of Hollywood celebrities (such as open-borders actress Eva Longoria), political cronies (such as Chicago bagman Louis "The Vacuum" Susman) and politically correct businessmen (such as bankrupt Solyndra investor George Kaiser) now totals a whopping 445 gold-card members.
-- The roar of the revolving door. In his Monday announcement, Messina bragged about how the White House has enacted "sweeping" reforms to "close the revolving door between government and lobbyists." In truth, the administration has widened the carousel and removed the brakes. The Obama-cheerleading Fishwrap of Record (The New York Times) itself identified at least 15 bundlers "involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies."