‘Colossally costly’ are the words being used to characterize the upcoming 2012 presidential contest.
Democrats have been outwardly boasting that Obama will have ONE BILLION dollars in his reelection war chest. Chances are slim that Obama will have to spend money in a primary challenge, so the bulk of the money he raises will be dedicated toward defeating his GOP challenger. As former Federal Election Commissioner Michael Toner told The Financial Times, “Any Republican who wishes to run in 2012 must seriously weigh whether he or she is capable of raising the $700 million or more that will be needed to compete with Obama.”
It’s no wonder that Mitt Romney is proceeding to build a fund-raising advantage:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has quietly launched a 15-city push to secure financial commitments from big-money “bundlers,” hoping to reveal a fund-raising network that would establish him as the prohibitive frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president.
Mr. Romney and top aides will meet Thursday in New York with nearly 100 donors—many from Wall Street— at the Harvard Club. Attendees are being asked to raise between $25,000 and $50,000 for Mr. Romney within 90 days, in an effort to post large fund-raising totals quickly, one person familiar with events said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Romney met with fund-raisers in downtown Washington, where he also gave his view of the early nominating caucuses and primaries.
Finance meetings are also scheduled for March 30 in Los Angeles, as well as in Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, people familiar with plans said. Romney fund-raisers are set to converge on Las Vegas on May 16 for a final push ahead of the first financial filing deadline. The Las Vegas meeting will include a marathon phone-a-thon to reach donors, according to one fund-raiser involved in the plan.
“When the day is done and we’re in the thick of a presidential race, money will not be an obstacle for Gov. Romney,” said Lewis Eisenberg, a prominent hedge fund manager who will attend Thursday’s event.
“By early summer, the world will know what we’ve done,” another prominent fundraiser said.
More than 90 people are expected to attend the New York meeting Thursday, Among those expected: Mr. Eisenberg; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, Manhattan real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, and Emil Henry, a former top Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration.
The list shows Mr. Romney making inroads in courting fund-raisers who worked for Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the 2008 Republican nominee. McCain’s two national finance chairmen—Mr. Eisenberg and Washington lobbyist Wayne Berman—are now with Mr. Romney. Mr. Johnson, led the fund-raising effort for the Republican National Convention in 2008, was also with Mr. McCain that year.
At the meeting in Washington, Governor Romney also spoke about the Massachusetts insurance plan. Don’t miss reading the entire article.
The money marathon is on…
Earlier this month, officials of Mr. Obama’s fledgling re-election campaign told about 450 donors to raise $350,000 each before the end of the year, a total of more than $157 million that, if reached, would start the president off on what many expect to be a billion-dollar re-election effort.
While outwardly proclaiming being able to raise a billion dollars in funds to reelect Obama, behind closed doors it’s another story. The President’s handlers are sounding the alarm bell to boost donations. Jim Messina, who will become Obama’s campaign manager next month, has begun presenting a reelection strategy across the country. It consists of a 10-page slide show entitled ‘Change that Matters’ designed to inspire liberal donors. It also details potential weaknesses of likely opponents.
The president’s political aides, people at the meetings said, are trying to establish stronger ties to some of these donors as they navigate what may be a difficult fund-raising environment.
[...]Part of Mr. Messina’s presentation is to caution donors that while Mr. Obama has recovered after the trouncing his party took in the 2010 elections and is well-positioned for 2012, he will face a tough re-election fight that will require substantial donor support[...].
It’s important to remember that Obama raised $779 million from almost 4 million donors during the 2008 campaign. That’s more than the combined totals raised by both Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and President George Bush during the 2004 presidential race. From CQ MoneyLine:
…Should he crack the $1 billion mark, Obama in one cycle will have raised roughly as much as the top Democratic and Republican candidates from the 2000 and 2004 cycles combined.
Romney’s impressive conservative credentials and values, life experience, and sharp intellect uniquely qualify him to lead our nation. It’s going to be a high-stakes 2012 presidential race and the GOP is facing a determined, union-backed, incumbent President.
Romney’s got the right message. Now, he’s getting the money.
If you care about who gets elected in 2012, you’d better be prepared to open your wallet. Donate to Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC here.
UPDATE (3/24/11): Governor Romney sat down with donors today in New York City’s Harvard Club:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Romney has met with big donors in big cities across the country in recent days, including 100-donor meeting at New York City’s Harvard Club today. Romney is urging his backers to raise “to raise between $25,000 and $50,000″ in the next 90 days. That will give Romney a nice financial foundation to launch a campaign from.
Read more here.
► Jayde Wyatt