Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | July 01, 2003

Bush's fundraising "effortless"

It might be infuriating, but it's reality. Bush can raise money like no one else. Ever. Take a gander:

President Bush, however, has turned it into an art form. This week he kicks off a fund-raising binge during which he aims to collect $20m in just two weeks - only slightly less than all the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls managed to raise in three months combined.

The following fortnight will see the president attend seven fundraisers, vice president Dick Cheney four, and first lady Laura Bush three. Bush-Cheney 04 Inc, the election committee they established less than a month ago, is hoping to set records in fundraising that both convince the Republican party base of his invincibility and intimidate the Democrats before they have even started.

Tomorrow he will be the guest of honour at a $2,000 a head reception at the Washington Hilton. After that he will head to Georgia, New York, and California, while his wife, Laura, and Mr Cheney concentrate primarily on swing states such as Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

During the last elections Mr Bush broke the mould of presidential fundraising, forgoing public financing and the limits that come with it, and collecting more than $100m. For the next election, standing as an incumbent with audiences looking back on September 11 and ahead to the fruits of his tax cuts, he is looking to double his money. Nobody, in either party, doubts his ability to do so.

This is no surprise to any of us. The GOP will outspend the Democratic Party, by at least 2-1, maybe 3-1.

The GOP needs all that money. They know darn well they couldn't compete with Democrats on a fair playing field. Our message beats their message any day of the week. So they are the New York Yankees of the political world -- heaping piles of cash in order to win, and succeeding a great deal of the time.

The Dean campaign has shown the power of the Netroots to raise money. Having people like you and me fund a candidacy like Dean's frees it from whoring itself to corporate interests. The results are intoxicating. And whether you love or hate Dean, you have to admit that this (the fundraising model, that is) is a future for the Democratic Party around which we can all rally.

We need to carry forth that same model over to the DNC. The party has a lot of work to do, but we can all help drive that process forward. I know the DNC is considering getting involved with Meetup, and that'll be critical to rallying people around the party and its candidates. It'll also help the grass- and netroots choose candidates that are not afraid to be Democrats. The potential makes my head spin!

There's also the issue of money. We complaint that the DNC is too beholden to corporate interests. Well, who do you think "owns" Dean? It's not WorldCom, or Arthur Andersen, or any other mega corporation (heck, Ben and Jerry have thrown their lot in with Kucinich). It's his supporters.

We need a party that will also be owned by the people, for the people. We need to start showing that power by donating. A mere $10,000 got McAuliffe to stand and take notice. The donations have continued to trickle in, and as of 10 p.m. PST, the dKos community has collectively raised $15,362 from 317 different people. Over the course of a year, assuming all the sustaining donors stick with the program, we'll tally up about $53,000.

Of course, the level of donations have slowed after the initial excitement. Everyone is now focused on the candidates' own numbers. And I just begged for money to help pay for the new dKos server. So I know it can seem like everyone is trying to divorce you from your hard-earned money.

But we will have a nominee. And for all of those who say "I'll support the nominee, no matter who he is", what better way to show you mean it than by donating to the ePatriots fund? After the primaries are done, our nominee will emerge broke and bloodied, only to face $200 million in GOP attack ads. The money you donate will be used by the DNC to counter those ads. This effort will be crucial to the ultimate success of our candidate.

Bush must be defeated.

(Incidentally, I still haven't sent them that memo I promised McAuliffe. I'll get to it soon, I promise, and then post it on the site.)

Posted July 01, 2003 03:52 AM | Comments (85)


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