” This isn’t about me or the outcome of one election.” (Obama Campaign email #1)
I am so excited!! I was checking my inbox for important information regarding a bachelor’s program I will be starting this fall, and instead I found my very first email from the Obama campaign. Actually, I was slightly disappointed that it took 2 entire days from my signing the online birthday card to receiving an email. Here is what it says and my observation afterwards:
I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far.
I’m not just talking about the super PACs and anonymous outside groups — I’m talking about the Romney campaign and the Republicans themselves. Those outside groups just add even more to the underlying problem.
The Romney campaign and the Republicans have recently raised more than us, 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.
And, again, that’s not including the massive outside spending by super PACs and front groups funneling up to an additional billion dollars into ads trashing me, you, and everything we believe in.
We can be outspent and still win — but we can’t be outspent 10 to 1 and still win.
So thanks for getting onboard for this election — now, join the 2.2 million Americans who have already chipped in to build our campaign.
Today, I’m asking you to help us close the gap. Donate now.
This isn’t about me or the outcome of one election.
This election will be a test of the model that got us here. We’ll learn whether it’s still true that a grassroots campaign can elect a president — whether ordinary Americans are in control of our democracy in the face of massive spending.
I believe we can do this. When all of us chip in what we can, when we can, we are the most powerful force in politics.
The intended audience is clear. Notice the informal language: “trashing me,” “getting onboard,” “chipped in.” All of these colloquialisms are intended to make the email seem more personal and less political, as if Obama is appealing directly to average Americans. Then notice the propaganda: (repetition and bandwagon) “anonymous outside groups,” “those outside groups,” “massive outside spending,” “everything we believe in…join the 2.2 million Americans...we can do this…we are…ordinary Americans” The author of this message, probably some low paid intern, works very hard to make the reader believe that the Obama wrote and sent this email himself concluding with a very personal closing by using his first name. Finally there is the implication that all of Romney’s donations come from those evil wealthy people, “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.”
Notice how the email fails to mention Obama’s big supporters such as celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Ricky Martin, and George Clooney, and the GLBT community (which stepped up after Obama announced his position on gay marriage). Nor does it outline his fundraising schedule. The George Clooney fundraiser hauled in 15 million and was attended mostly by Hollywood celebrities and executives who paid a measly $40,000 a plate. As a matter of fact, Obama has been very busy attending fundraisers including those with high price tags. A June 13 news article states, “Obama is in the middle of a busy fundraising week in his race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. He held six events on Tuesday in Baltimore and Philadelphia and has two more in New York on Thursday, including an event with actress Sarah Jessica Parker” (4). He is busy again in July as this week he heads to Texas for multiple events. “In Austin, the event will be organized, in part, by the LGBT Leadership Council and feature musician Jerry Jeff Walker. The event is open to supporters who pay $250 for general admission seating or $1,000 for preferred seating…” (5). Individuals who pay $5,000 will gain access to a photo reception with Obama, although it is discounted to $7,500 for couples. One must admit that $250 is quite a bit for the average American to spend on one ticket, more than an average concert or Broadway musical. (want to buy a ticket?) The Austin event will be followed by a more intimate affair where “…sources close to the event said guests will pay $25,000 per couple to attend the function at the former computer executive’s [Tom Meredith ] residence at the Four Seasons downtown” (6). The list of past and future events goes on and on. It seems that the president has been spending more time at fundraisers than in Washington.
The email is quick to villainize PACs but fails to mention Obama’s super PAC, Priorities USA Action, and other large donor support. Interestingly, part of that may be because it would put him a similar bracket with Romney. The message neglects to mention the financial support Obama received in his 2008 campaign, which was backed more by large donations that have dropped off. While Romeny does have the support of Wall Street and large banks, “…Obama’s top five contributor groups include individuals and PACs affiliated with high technology giants Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., and the global law firms DLA Piper and Sidley Austin, and do not include those associated with banks. In 2008, financial institutions backed him generously”(1). I guess those rich people weren’t so evil in 2008 when they were cutting checks to Obama’s campaign? And I guess PACs are only bad as long as they donate to the Republicans and Romney’s campaign.
Finally, this email leads the reader to believe that there is some large “gap” in the amount of money Obama has raised as opposed to Romney. However, according to reports filed with the FEC, this simply is not the case. As a matter of fact, by the end of March, Obama was actually leading.
Barack Obama- $260,926,200
Mr. Obama ended March with 10 times the cash on hand as Mr. Romney. (2)
Mitt Romney- $122,024,185
1st of 9 Republican Candidates* as of May 31, 2012
The presumptive nominee, Mr. Romney ended March with $10 million in cash. (2)
My main point here is not that I am against President Obama fundraising for his campaign. Presidential elections are expensive (although if they cut the negative ads, they could save a bundle- which is a different discussion.) I am simply tired of the misleading and loaded rhetoric. I am tired of the hypocrisy that the Obama Administration and campaign espouses. For example, the email states,
“This isn’t about me or the outcome of one election.”
REALLY? It isn’t? Then why aren’t you asking for donations to other democrats or the DNC? Why is there such urgency?
“We’ll learn whether it’s still true that a grassroots campaign can elect a president.”
There aren’t any Grassroots organizations supporting Romney? (Why Romney, Mitt Romney Radio, Mittfitts, Vote Mitt Romney 2012, Women for Romney 2012 and more). There isn’t any massive spending behind your campaign? Maybe in your world it isn’t massive if it comes from celebrities as opposed to businesses.
I am tired of the manipulative messages and tactics- see my previous post. Most importantly, I am disgusted by the fact that these messages are obviously (look at the word choice) geared towards Americans who are probably already struggling in their daily lives just to pay the bills. I am one of those Americans. Fortunately, I am also educated and not as easily prone to persuasion as someone in a different situation might be. With unemployment still above 8%, and in reality much higher, college grads struggling to find jobs, and many Americans having to rely on food stamps and other assistance, this tactic is deplorable. In my opinion, it isn’t much better than many of the email scams that have swindled honest, hard-working people. I believe in my heart that this campaign could care less where the money comes from (unless it is a big donor of course), and they will do everything they can (every trick conceivable) to suck every last penny out of individual Americans.
(1) Donors tied to banking desert Obama for Romney
(2) The 2012 Money Race: Compare the Candidates
– See how much Obama and Romney have raised- and comparisons to previous elections
(3) Gay marriage: Clooney fundraiser a hint of coming Obama money boom (+video)
(4) Obama Fundraiser Nets $40,000 A Ticket In Washington D.C.
(5) Obama Sets Sights on Big Fundraising Day in Texas
(6) Obama could break his fundraising record in Texas next week
Mitt Romney Announces Support Of Arizona Grassroots Leaders
Obama for America and Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers (1st quarter)
http://www.barackobama.com/pages/volunteer-fundraisers-Q2/ (2nd quarter)
http://www.barackobama.com/pages/volunteer-fundraisers-Q3/ (3rd quarter)
http://www.barackobama.com/pages/volunteer-fundraisers-Q4/ (4th quarter)
– a list of bundlers (people who gather checks) and supporters with donations greater than $50,000
Obama’s high-dollar donations lagging
– insight into why there is such a push for small donations
Obama Super PAC Shunned By Big Donors Citing Range Of Reasons
-Is Obama really against “those outside groups”?
Large Donors Reduce Their Support for the Obama Campaign
-An article from Spain about fundraising troubles
Obama Fundraising Plea: President Asks Donors For More Money
Obama Fundraiser Nets $40,000 A Ticket In Washington D.C.
FACT CHECK: Romney Fundraising Disadvantage?
Romney’s fundraising potential far from tapped: federal disclosures