Obama Hanging Congressional Democrats Out To Dry?

The Obama campaign is telling Congressional and Senate Democrats not to expect any money this election cycle:

President Barack Obama has a bleak message for House and Senate Democrats this year when it comes to campaign cash: You’re on your own.

Democratic congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have privately sought as much as $30 million combined from Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee — a replay of the financial help they received from Obama in 2008 and 2010.

But that’s not going to happen, top Obama aides Jim Messina and David Plouffe told Reid and Pelosi in back-to-back meetings on Capitol Hill on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the high-level talks. It was a stark admission from a presidential campaign once expected to rake in as much as $1 billion of just how closely it is watching its own bottom line.

Messina and Plouffe told the two Hill leaders that there would be no cash transfers to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from OFA or the DNC, at least not before Election Day, the sources said.

And don’t expect the President to be showing up at fundraisers for House and Senate candidates, or the respective party campaign funds, either:

Hill Democrats won’t be seeing much of Obama at their own fundraisers this year, either. Obama has offered to do one money event each for the DCCC and DSCC. OFA officials suggested Vice President Joe Biden do two fundraisers for each campaign committee. Obama will instead send out an email and fundraising letter solicitations for both committees.

Nor, for that matter, have Obama or Biden committed to do events for individual Democratic lawmakers. That’s true even though 23 Democrat-held Senate seats are up for grabs in a competitive battle for control of that chamber. And no fundraisers have been scheduled yet for House and Senate Democrats with Cabinet officials, usually a staple of an election-year calendar for incumbent presidents looking to boost their party’s prospects.

The main reason for the tightfistedness, of course, is the fact that Mitt Romney has proven to be a far more adept fundraiser than I think many Democrats expected him to be, and he’s certainly done a far better job of it than John McCain did back in 2008. One reason for that seems to be that Republicans are more united than they were four years ago, and more eager to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to defeating Barack Obama. At the same time, the Obama campaign’s fundraising, while nothing to sneeze at, has been off pace from 2008 levels in many months and it is now clear that the campaign will not reach the $1,000,000,000 mark that many had forecast for this election cycle.

This leaves Senate Democrats especially in a tight bind in many cases given the fact that many Republican SuperPACs have already begun pouring money into states with close races. Of course, there’s the possibility that much of the Obama advertising that runs in these states with close races will inure to the benefit of the Senate candidates, but it will have to do so without mentioning their name. On the House side, the lack of significant financial help from OFA and the DNC makes the prospect of significant Democratic gains in the lower chamber, already in doubt given the state of the Generic Ballot and the generally pro-GOP impact of redistricting, far less likely.

H/T: Polipundit

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Congress, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Stan25 says:

    Obama does not have the cash to spare. Like the United States, he has spent all of his money and is deep in the red. Then there is the deal, where all of the big money contributors are not donating to him, because of all the constant bashing they have received in the last 3+ years. Why donate to a person who will bash you for being rich and then kiss your butt to get donations when election time comes around?

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I can’t see how this at all would be surprising. Team Obama if they’re going to hang on will need every last penny. Plus even if they were overflowing with cash they’re too smart and too ruthless to throw good money after bad.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    IT is humorous to read that the Obama campaign is worried about Romney’s war chest where there are about 250 electorial votes that the Democrats will get without spending a dollar.

    Does the Obama campaign really need to spend all of its money in Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina?

  4. Argon says:

    Perhaps a more neutral title than Doug’s ‘Obama f***s other Democrats’ would be, ‘Multi-millionaires giving unprecedented amounts to win over a small number of undecided voters for Romney. Impact on Democratic elections.’

  5. JKB says:

    @Stan25: Why donate to a person who will bash you for being rich and then kiss your butt to get donations when election time comes around?

    I think the Obama camp was counting on Obama’s pettiness and vindictiveness to keep the money flowing. Those who chose not to pay up this election can expect sudden DOJ and IRS investigations if Obama wins. The ones who’ve withheld donations placed a heavy bet that Obama will be out and investigations into the corruption of the political appointees and senior civil service employees will get underway. The corrupt always seem to forget, you can quash an investigation but the file just sits in a drawer until the climate changes.

  6. @Stan25, @JKB:

    Flip side, you are comfortable with government by the billionaires, for the billionaires.

    God help us if anyone criticizes any of their motives. Why, they’ll just pull up funding and find an empty suit to …

  7. Jay_Dubbs says:

    This story is recycled every 4 years. The Congressional wing always seeks help from the White House and the WH helps, but never enough to satisfy.

    BTW – The DSCC has raised $10 million more than the NRSC, and the DCCC has raised $6 million more than the NRCC. There will be plenty of money.

  8. stonetools says:

    Thanks to the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott,those who want to elect Romney can tap untold billions in secret corporate contributions. Not surprisingly, the White House needs to hold own to every dollar it can raise.

    The main reason for the tightfistedness, of course, is the fact that Mitt Romney has proven to be a far more adept fundraiser

    Wow, said with no sense of irony.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    Seeing as how Romney is out-fundraising Obama, I fail to see how Obama can assist those Congressional Democrats. So, I can’t see how Obama is hanging those guys out to dry – whether intentional or not. My guess is that most Congressional Democrats are aware of the situation.

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    This election, along with previous elections in California and Conn., should clearly demonstrate the insignificant impact that spending has on an election. Is there a single election this year where money will be the clear deciding factor?

    When Romney loses in a rout will all of the progressives admit that third party spending has no effect on politics and all of the proposals to limit spending are just veiled attempts to make the U.S. a single party state faster it will occur otherwise.

  11. @superdestroyer:

    This election, along with previous elections in California and Conn., should clearly demonstrate the insignificant impact that spending has on an election. Is there a single election this year where money will be the clear deciding factor?

    That would be a good time to throw a link, for some study of Presidential elections.

    I know James tries to reassure us that spending can’t buy elections, but then we hear about Romney winning primaries with massive ad buys, right?

    It will be interesting. I imagine the real play will be Romney vs Romney. That is, how much can you deluge a tv market without people getting sick to death of you?

  12. An Interested Party says:

    Those who chose not to pay up this election can expect sudden DOJ and IRS investigations if Obama wins.

    The black helicopters…don’t forget the black helicopters…

  13. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    Have you already forgotten who Romney was running against in the primaries. None of Romney’s opponents were fit to be elected dog catcher let alone anything else. Romney would have won spending a lot less money.

  14. Nikki says:

    The main reason for the tightfistedness, of course, is the fact that Mitt Romney has proven to be a far more adept fundraiser than I think many Democrats expected him to be, and he’s certainly done a far better job of it than John McCain did back in 2008.

    Fundraising is easy when you have 17 billionaires willing to toss you hundreds of millions of dollars.