President Obama, according to the New York Daily News, isn't quite the fundraiser as he used to be. An anonymous source told the paper that Obama's "not a cash cow" anymore, since he's already given out his appointments and ambassadorships. But former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton didn't have trouble fundraising in their second terms. Either Obama's unique, or the Daily News is using one fundraiser example and an anonymous source to draw a big conclusion.
The Daily News explains that on Tuesday, Obama will hold a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Tickets are $5,000. The paper cites a similar fundraiser at the Waldorf-Astoria in 2011 that cost $10,000 to attend and get a photo with the president. So, Obama-attended fundraisers are now "bargains."
The thinking among many deep-pocketed donors, according to the source, is: “Why would I give money to Obama?”
“He’s clearly not a cash cow [anymore],” the source said. “He’s made his appointments overseas, the secretary positions. That’s what it is. Those high echelon jobs are gone.”
Because he can't offer anyone an ambassadorship anymore, Obama can't raise as much money. Bush and Clinton didn't have that problem, however.
In 2005, Bush was still the "chief GOP fundraiser" despite his abysmal approval ratings. The Washington Post reported in June 2005:
Despite weak poll numbers and the lack of progress in Congress for his priorities, Bush and Vice President Cheney remain star attractions on the GOP fundraising circuit. Bush made an appearance at a March dinner that raised $8 million for the party's congressional campaign committee. Earlier this month, he starred at a Republican National Committee gala that raised more than $15 million.
Clinton had similar fundraising success in his second term, despite the fact that people wanted to impeach him. The day after the House Judiciary Committee released thousands of documents regarding Clinton's impeachment case, he attended a $10,000-a-couple DNC fundraiser in Santa Fe. Washington Dateline reported in October 1998:
President Clinton's fund raising for fellow Democrats continued unabated Monday, even as the Republican-led Congress weighed whether to begin an impeachment proceeding against him.
Clinton tried to appear above the fray, staging a show of Democratic unity with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt at three events that brought in $ 1.2 million for the Democratic National Committee and its two campaign committees.
If bad poll numbers and an impeachment threat didn't stop Bush and Clinton from successfully second-term fundraising, it seems unlikely that Obama's being hindered by the fact that he's run out of high-profile appointments.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.