The limousine ride from the White House took five minutes, delivering President Obama to the hotel at 5:49 p.m. Waiting for him were about two dozen donors who had paid a minimum of $60,000 each for a private "roundtable" that included presidential comments followed by a Q&A.
By 6:48 p.m., Obama was back at the White House, headed toward the Oval Office. The estimated haul: at least $1.5 million, to be divided among his reelection campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state parties. Not a bad rate of return for an hour, especially considering who paid for his time and the limo ride.
Campaign officials will not discuss specific figures, but presidential schedules, statements and published reports show that Obama has raised at least $20 million this year by venturing no farther than 1.4 miles from the White House. Most of the forays have been to caucus with deep-pocketed contributors at nearby hotels.
Expand that radius by just a few miles and there's millions more in the form of similarly brief but profitable visits -- to private homes. On Jan. 31, after a fundraiser with about 50 donors at $35,800 per person; (estimated take: at least $1.8 million), Obama headed to after-dinner remarks and questions from about 70 guests. Obama took in an estimated $2.5 million.
At the home of gay activists, he secured about $1.4 million. Former DNC chairman and likely 2013 Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe hosted Obama at his McLean residence in April, with Bill Clinton as a featured guest. About 500 people paid $1,000 each for the reception. Eighty dinner guests wrote checks for at least $20,000. Sounds like the One Percent to me! What does OWS think about that?
Like Romney's fundraising events, most of Obama's interactions with the big donors are not open to the news media. Attendees at the Obama sessions say they usually begin with the president blaming Bush and reviewing key issues, expressing particular concern about those over which he has limited control, such as gas prices, European finances and the Middle East. He also warns of the prodigious fundraising on the Republican side.
"He was very candid about what he was up against," said a architect and developer who specializes in affordable housing. Questions from donors covered a variety of issues, including taxes and the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Exchanges can occasionally get edgy or awkward.
"You had your turn -- now it's my turn," Obama said, cutting off a donor at the Jefferson this year, according to one attendee. Oh, my! A temper?
Contributors said the president's remarks rarely surprise. In a world of iPhones and tweets, the risks of going off-message are too high. Obama probably learned that the hard way in 2008, when he revealed his true feelings said at a closed San Francisco fundraiser that small-town Pennsylvania voters "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them" to deal with their anger over the economy. The comments found their way into the media. Now, on at least some occasions, donors are asked to surrender their phones before meeting the president.
With the flood of independent money in the race, the president has invested unprecedented energy in the cash chase. A study by U.S. Naval Academy political science professor found that through July 18, Obama held 183 fundraisers for his reelection committee and the DNC. That's more than George W. Bush's and Clinton's combined during the last two years of their first terms. Lies, I tell you. LIES!!!
Obama campaign officials disputed Doherty's calculus, saying that Bush and Republicans counted multiple events at a single site as a single fundraiser. Everybody knows Democrats count better!
Waiting for him were about two dozen donors who had paid a minimum of $60,000 each...
The 1 Percenters. OWS was nothing more then the Red Guard to keep party members in line. Not that the Ministry of Truth (aka MSM) will ever acknowledge such hypocrisy and base political play of their Inner Party.
[Ma'an] President Barack Obama How's it going, Sunshine?... will sign a bill to strengthen US-Israeli military cooperation on Friday on the eve of a visit to Israel by his Republican presidential challenger, Willard Mitt Romney ...former governor of Massachussetts, currently the presumptive Publican nominee for president. He is the son of the former governor of Michigan, George Romney, who himself ran for president after saving American Motors from failure, though not permanently. Romney's charisma is best defined as soporific, which is probably why he is leading the Publican field. On the plus side, he isn't President B.O... Obama will seek to stress his commitment to Israel's security for American Jewish voters at a White House ceremony that appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining US-Israeli ties.
Congress passed the legislation, the US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, with broad support from Obama's Democrats and Republicans last week.
Most Americans like Israel, and the smart politicians know it.
"The bill deepens our security cooperation with Israel by expanding our military assistance and providing Israel with access to additional equipment," White House front man Tommy Vietor said Thursday.
Obama, criticized by some of Israel's US supporters for being too tough on a close ally, wants to shore up his support among Jewish voters, who could prove critical in battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania in the Nov. 6 election.
Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in the 2008 election, but a nationwide Gallup poll in June showed him down to 64 percent backing versus Romney's 29 percent.
Romney hopes his trip to Israel will resonate with Jewish voters at home. He will arrive there from London on Saturday and plans to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a strained relationship with Obama.
Obama angered many Israelis and their US supporters last year when he insisted any negotiations on the borders of a future Paleostinian state begin on the basis of lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank and Gazoo Strip in a 1967 war.
Obama visited Israel as a candidate in the 2008 campaign but has not done so as president. He has insisted security ties with Israel have never been stronger, though he has pressed Netanyahu to hold off on any attack on Iran's nuclear sites to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work.
There's a wonderful photo at the link of the two national leaders sitting together with the exact same expression of strongly suppressed dislike on their faces.
Romney has accused Obama of being too hard on Israel and not strong enough with Iran.
It was that pressure in Israel to leave Iran in peace that gave it away, I suspect.
The new bill calls for enhanced cooperation with Israel - the staunchest US ally in the Middle East and a major beneficiary of military aid - on missile defense and intelligence, and increased access to advanced weapons.
And it was a bipartisan Congressional initiative, not a presidential one. That's another clue.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.