The number of Massachusetts supporters contributing the maximum to President Obama’s campaign fund has plunged nearly 50 percent compared with his 2008 fledgling run, reflecting a sharp drop in enthusiasm since the president took office.
The decline has forced Democrats to make up the difference with bigger contributions from fewer donors. Cash from an elite corps of Massachusetts backers has gushed into the Democratic National Committee, which has much higher contribution limits than the Obama campaign.
The net effect is the Bay State’s reputation as an ATM for national Democrats remains robust - even as financial supporters have adjusted to backing a White House incumbent whose first term diminished the raw exuberance of four years ago.
Boston advertising magnate Jack Connors, who held a $17,900-a-head dinner at his Brookline home last May that jointly raised more than $2 million for Obama and the DNC, said he is planning a smaller event for the president when he is in Boston next month that Connors is confident will bring in another couple of million....
Related: The Billion-Dollar President
Top bundlers described a far different atmosphere than four years ago. In the 2008 campaign, every single week for the better part of two years, more than 100 Massachusetts fund-raisers converged in a conference room of the Boston law firm Foley Hoag. There were not enough chairs, not enough coffee. They crowded into doorways, dialed in by speaker phone - eager to be a part of the breathless frenzy that some likened to a revival....
Connors, like several other Obama fund-raisers, is also raising money for Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign - a heated race that Massachusetts Democrats appear more engaged in at this time because of the importance of retaining the Senate majority.
“Elizabeth Warren has sucked a lot of air out of the room,’’ said a 2008 Obama fund-raiser who asked not to be identified out of deference to the campaign. “She has supplanted Barack Obama as this year’s phenom.’’
Former Massachusetts governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis said, “It’s the Warren candidacy that we’re all concerned about.’’
See: Liz Warren Can't Win Either Way
Many Bay State Democratic fund-raisers have also been energized by Joseph Kennedy’s congressional campaign, and some incumbent House Democrats, such as William Keating, Niki Tsongas, and John Tierney, are also fighting to hang on to their seats.
“If you’re raising money for Obama, all of this hurts,’’ said Phil Johnston, former chairman of the state Democratic Party. “The economy is bad and it’s a much more competitive environment in Massachusetts for fund-raising. How many times can I call my friends looking for money? There’s only so much money to go around.’’
How about sending some my way for once?
Tom Lesser, a Northampton attorney and Obama bundler, said he has not found the excitement around Warren’s and Kennedy’s campaigns to have eroded Obama’s support....
The current challenge is to reeducate and excite nontraditional donors - the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who provided a new group of high-dollar fund-raisers in 2008 as well as the slew of first-time givers who plunked down $100 online - about why this election is just as important, said Larry Rasky, a Boston-based public relations strategist and Obama bundler.
I'm sorry, but we hear this $ame $hit every four f***ing years!
I would suggest you SAVE YOUR MONEY, Americans. You will be NEEDING IT!
“There were a lot of hopes and dreams attached to 2008 and governing takes the luster off that excitement, so there’s definitely this lack of magic this time,’’ said Rasky, who served as communications director for Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bids in 1987 and 2007.’’
Obama has lo$t his magic in Massachusetts?