In one day, Obama is $5 mn dollar man

Last Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 16:55

Atlanta: US President Barack Obama, juggling dual roles as fundraiser extraordinaire and commander-in-chief, piled up a cool USD five million in a lucrative single-day campaign blitz.
In no other country is a leader expected to tend to a deteriorating war he is leading in Afghanistan on the same day as conducting the business of stuffing millions into his war chest to bankroll his own political career.
But such is the cost of running for president in America, where campaign teams play on a vast and complex political map, building expensive grass roots get-out-of the vote networks and multi-million dollar advertising blasts.

Obama started yesterday in Washington, in the early hours, trying to talk to President Hamid Karzai after a fresh broadside at America`s war strategy, as he fumes after a US soldier launched a rampage killing 16 civilians.

Later, Obama was aboard as Air Force One nosed into the murky skies over Washington, heading to a five-event, two city, 1700 mile odyssey of events in a vast hotel ballroom, huge film studio and intimate living room setting.

Going home to Chicago for four hours, Obama amassed USD 2.1 million, first giving a pep talk to 600 loyal supporters in a ballroom under glistening chandeliers, who paid least USD 2,500 a head.

Then, Obama retreated to more exclusive company a roundtable for 60 well-heeled supporters who were each paying at least USD 10,000 for some face time with the local boy made good.

Obama has already raised more than USD 140 million for his re-election bid and experts believe he is well on the way to trumping the more than USD 700 million he piled up in his 2008 run for the White House.

He will likely fall short though of the staggering USD one billion figure some campaign watchers fully expected him to haul in.

Money may be even more important to Obama this year than in 2008.

Thanks to a much debated Supreme Court decision individual rich donors and corporations are now free to throw unlimited millions of dollars into so-called Super PAC committees to support a candidate and savage his opponents.

Obama yesterday took his total to 110 fundraisers since he launched his bid for the second term that all presidents crave.

They range from big rallies to small affairs where the richest donors pay up to USD 35,800 to break bread with the president, ask him questions away from the prying eyes of the press, and get to bend his ear on a pet cause.

According to campaign figures, the minimum take from yesterday`s events was USD 4.8 million, but the true figure was likely over USD five million.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 16:39

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