There’s a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida. We’re talking of course about campaign spending, and this year’s elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America. Much of that money will come from superPACs and other outside groups free to spend as much as they want, mostly on Obama and Romney ads. Pro-Republican groups are way ahead of pro-Democratic ones in raising that money, thanks in part to wealthy donors. According to New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, that has been President Obama’s Achilles’ heel — his aversion to cultivating wealthy donors for his campaign.
Mayer tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that Obama’s stance goes back to right after he was elected. “During the inauguration, there were already grumbles from big donors who were complaining about the sorts of seats they got,” Mayer says. She says similar complaints were heard at Obama’s first holiday parties, when the president didn’t pose for pictures with big donors. Mayer says that sense of entitlement from big donors comes partly from Bill Clinton’s presidency. Clinton, she says, “absolutely coddled big donors,” with alleged perks like sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House. “Obama is just not like that,” she says. “These are not his best friends, and he just doesn’t do business the same way.”
Despite this aversion to cozying up to the super rich, Mayer says Obama is also a pragmatist, and reminds us that his 2008 presidential bid was funded entirely through private donations of mostly small and medium donors. “He’s been able to do that because of the unusual career he’s had,” she says. “He rose so fast to national prominence that he never really had to cultivate a donor network.”
Full Article: Who Benefits In Money Game, Democracy Or Donors? : NPR.