The Fundraising Zone

Separating people from their money is no easy task, which is why the Wise Leaders of Yesteryear dreamed up payroll deductions and everyone’s favorite government agency, the Internal Revenue Service. These workhorses of government take the stress out of fleecing people by making sure the people never see the money they rightfully earned in the first place. It has worked so well for the last century that our dear leaders have upped the ante with a variety of sneaky new taxes disguised as Necessary Healthcare Reform. Whatever the name, the rose still leaves the air thick with the cologne-and-tobacco aroma of a the successful conman.

Unfortunately for our elected officials, the money they swipe has to be used for massive Ponzi Schemes, providing guns to Mexican Narco-terrorists,  Official Business conducted in Las Vegas hotel suites, and 26 dollar a gallon Battle Fuel, which leaves precious little for things like protecting the border, reducing the debt, and getting re-elected. With the use of force out of the question,  our politicians, who are so hard at work at all these other big projects, also have to find time to scrounge up campaign cash, the all-important lifeblood of the Washington Professional. Cash is such an indispensable part of life on the Campaign Trail that politicians often do their best work while obtaining it. Perhaps it’s the thrill of convincing reasonable people to do something unreasonable, such as giving money to a person who has already demonstrated beyond any doubt that he is utterly incompetent, so that he can go on an extended job interview for the very position he’s already shown he can’t do. This goes for the lady politicians as well.

Fundraising must put these people in the Zone, where things like principles, values, and statements recorded just the other afternoon fall by the wayside, and the world becomes shrouded in a green haze. With every cell in their bodies working in unison, focused like a prehistoric hunter on the life-giving gazelles grazing peacefully nearby, they flex their fundraising muscles, brandish their stone-tipped fundraising spears, and let fly.

The President of the United States is just such a prehistoric hunter. Watch closely as he circles in for the kill:


Michael —
Today is one of the most important fundraising deadlines of this campaign so far.
We might not outraise Mitt Romney.
But I am determined to keep the margin close enough that we can win this election the right way.
To do that I need your help today.
Please donate $3 or more before tonight’s deadline:
The stakes in this election are real. Thanks for all your support so far.
Good week.


Obama must have bagged many Loot Gazelles with that one. He obviously put a lot of thought and effort into crafting that mighty spear of Fundraising, and because of that, we can learn a lot about him by examining it closely. First of all, he calls me by my first name. Apparently, the President and I are on a first-name basis, because he also signs the email with only his first name. I guess he and I go way back. Barack! Yo, B! my Choom-Chum! How’s it going, you old snake-in-the-grass? How’s that Hope and Change working out? That’s right; the President and I are on such informal terms that last names and titles derived from respect of the office aren’t even necessary. It’s all about me and B.O. My Homie.

Out of the Fundraising Zone, the relationship between the President and the people is just a little different, however.

In a surprising breach of etiquette, President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden remarks on Friday were interrupted by heckling from reporter Neil Munro of the website Daily Caller, whose editor-in-chief is conservative commentator Tucker Carlson.

Apparently, Mr. Munro didn’t get the same email I did, because the President called him “Sir,” and asking a question became a “surprising breach of etiquette”.

“In answer to your question, sir — and the next time I’d prefer you’d let me finish my statement before you ask that question — is this is the right thing to do for the American people,” Obama told Munro

If the first-name basis is the tip of the spear (or perhaps the shaft?) then the sharp, lethal edge of the spear, painstakingly chipped off one flake at a time, is the looming spectre of Mitt Romeny’s own Fundraising Spear, which the President believes may be sharper and larger than his own. With a bigger Fundraising Spear, Mitt Romney could assail the President from a distance, never getting too close to expose himself to danger. According to the President, this amounts to cheating, because he intends to keep the margin close so he can win in the “Right Way.”

The “Right Way” is spelled out in another fundraising email, this one from fellow money-hunter Jim Messina:

   –Of the various reasons listed for supporting this campaign, there was a clear standout: This election should be decided by everyday Americans, not by special-interest and PAC spending. (And we agree.)


So there you have it. The “Right Way” is to have everyday Americans fork over whatever hard-earned cash they have left after the government is done raking them over the coals, and use that money to put the President back in office. Mitt Romney is also trying to get people to fork over their money, and judging from the President’s email, is making some good progress. But he is going about it the Wrong Way.

Let’s see the Right Way in action:

The intimate dinner banked about $2 million, with 50 people paying $40,000 each. …Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation’s future.“You’re the tie-breaker,” he said. “You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.”


The President was in the Fundraising Zone, so we ought to excuse him for not checking with Mr. Messina (usually I call him Jimmy, or Jimbo, or J-Mess, but that’s more of a personal thing between him and me) about winning the election the Right Way. I know that the Private Sector is Doing Fine, but that doesn’t mean that the average Americans can afford the $40,000 necessary to join the ranks of Sarah Jessica Parker and George Clooney and become Ultimate Arbiters.

In fairness to the President, he has more than one Fundraising Spear in the arsenal. Consider this email, sent on his behalf by his adoring wife:

Michael —
Our family has spent more than a few days on the campaign trail.
We’ve had lots of card games, laughs, and fun family moments on that campaign bus.
Barack is hitting the road again next week, and he’s saving two seats on the bus for a supporter and their guest. We’ll pick the lucky winner in just a few hours.
So make a donation before the big fundraising deadline tonight, and you’ll be automatically entered to join Barack on the road.
The girls and I miss Barack when we’re not on the road with him. But I know he’s looking forward to hanging out with you — so I’ll let you take my seat this time.
Pitch in what you can before tonight’s critical fundraising deadline to be automatically entered to spend some time with Barack on the road:
Thanks, and good luck.

This is the Right Way in action. Give the regular people a chance to pretend they’re Ultimate Arbiters for a few minutes, in exchange for a small donation. Let’s say a person donates 3 bucks (the suggested donation for the “Dinner with Barack” promotion) for a chance to try out one of those Ultimate Arbiter hats. Unfortunately, he is not Sarah Jessica Parker, and the odds are stacked against him. He probably won’t get a chance to ride around on the President’s bus. It could be because there are only so many seats on the bus, and so many people who want to ride there, that someone will have to get left out. Or it could be that Mrs. Broderick outspent  the poor guy by a margin of $13,333 to $1.

So I suppose that even if  you do it the Right Way, the way Jim Messina wants to do it,  access still costs money.

I’d tell the President that myself, but I can’t seem to scrounge up three bucks.