The all-consuming hunt for donors has led President Barack Obama’s campaign to England. And France. And China.
Obama is tapping the network of American citizens living outside the 50 states more than any other presidential campaign has before, with more than a dozen bundlers who have pledged to raise as much as $4.5 million.
The president’s overseas power centers include London, where high powered execs like Warner Bros. Josh Berger and Anthony Gardner of Palamon Capital Partners have promised to deliver as much as $500,000 each to the campaign, and Shanghai, where businessman and Technology for Obama co-chair Robert Roche has committed to bringing in more than $500,000.
It’s all legal - the donors are American citizens who pay U.S. taxes - and the net income to the campaigns is paltry compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars raised stateside. But while presidential campaigns have long taken in campaign donations from expats and people living in U.S. territories, Obama’s campaign is focusing on it more than ever before.
To be fair, this isn’t exactly a novel campaign strategy. And, as noted in the article, Mitt Romney has already attended fundraisers in London and plans to do so again later this summer. But the fact Team O is tapping the American expat community network “more than any other presidential campaign” in history should raise some eyebrows. Then again, The One has good reason to be soliciting funds overseas; in fact, he needs every penny he can get. According to Townhall.com’s Poll Tracker, for example, the president is polling below 50 percent in every single battleground state except New Hampshire and Arizona. Yikes. Three and a half years of dismal job growth, soaring deficits, and chronic unemployment is not a recipe for re-election. Oh, and by the way, now that the “campaigner-in-chief” is spending more money than he’s taking in, don’t expect him to do anything else besides fundraise.