By now, you have probably heard that Mr. Obama has attended more re-election fundraisers than than all five previous presidents combined! As of April 29th, Mr. Obama attended 124 fundraisers compared to a TOTAL of 94 by Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. And Obama is still adding to them! (I hate to think of how much of our tax dollars are being blown away with all the Air Force One flights supported by an army of Secret Service and logistics — Yikes!)
And guess what? Obama is going to lose the fundraising effort. Worse, he is going to lose the campaign management cash efficiency competition. Think about it: Obama, the non-leader, with no hands on executive experience, up against Mitt Romney who has been an executive leader since his twenties! Obama should just forfeit now. Last month Obama thought he nailed it at $60 million raised — until he found out that Romney raised $76 million.
What happens when someone like Obama, who never ran even a small business enterprise, receives huge amounts of money? Inexperienced business owners will hire lots of people. That is exactly what Obama has done and will continue to do.
Karl Rove covered this in his Journal editorial yesterday:
The Democrats’ official fundraising numbers, released on Wednesday, showed that the $95 million cash-on-hand advantage Obama and the DNC had over the Republicans at the end of April had been cut by two-thirds at the end of May to $33 million. This is in part because the Obama campaign is burning through its war chest so fast and in part because of the impressive $107 million that the Romney campaign and the RNC announced they had on hand at May’s end.
This is significant because in 2008, Mr. Obama won partly because he outspent Sen. John McCain by $325 million between June and November ($850 million to $525 million). This was especially important in historically Republican states like Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, where Mr. Obama outspent Mr. McCain on television by ratios of up to 7 to 1.
But the dawning awareness that Mr. Obama may have little or no cash advantage in the campaign’s last five months is not the end of the bad news for the president.
On May 7, his campaign announced a $25 million ad buy in nine battleground states. That made strategic sense: Use the Obama campaign’s mountain of cash to frame the election after an expensive primary exhausted Mr. Romney’s war chest.
What Mr. Obama didn’t count on is the ongoing aggressive policy debate with third-party groups highlighting the shortcomings of his policies. For example, Crossroads GPS (a group I helped organize) had $22 million of ads in May and June challenging the president’s agenda while urging grass-roots support for its conservative “New Majority Agenda.”
Mr. Obama is quickly getting boxed into a corner. All around, we are seeing signs of panic and desperation.
With his political problems mounting, the president needs to buy his way to re-election. But his schedule is increasingly filled with less productive events. For example, he recently attended six fundraisers in Maryland and Pennsylvania that yielded a little over half-a-million dollars per event. The president is learning the hard way that there is a finite number of million dollar-plus fundraisers that any candidate can have, and he has chewed up most of his opportunities.
The president’s team was hoping for a repeat of 2008, when financial muscle made it possible to spread out the battlefield and make a (successful) play for more states. That won’t happen this time. The Obama campaign is spending its money too fast. And Mr. Romney is successfully marshaling resources so his campaign can make the fall campaign competitive in every battleground state. Mr. Obama is in a precarious position as the campaign enters the summer.