The RNC Chases Away Its Own Donors

The Politico's Ben Smith obtained an internal RNC fundraising document that lays out its strategy for 2010 and, in doing so, insults the intelligence of its core donors. There's plenty one can say about the imagery and scare lines that are supposed to be used to raise against President Obama -- that he's a socialist, et al. -- but what's more interesting is that time honored strategy of using fear to get donations has been admitted and acknowledged...and shows, in a way, the contempt that the party has for its donors.

Democrats used quite nasty language in their fundraising solicitations against Bush, although none, I think, quite as egregious as this. Massaging egos and trigger points and using psychological techniques like peer-to-peer pressure -- that's Fundraising 101. But you're not supposed to tell the donors -- or anyone -- that they're being manipulated. The RNC has sent its members and donors a prophylactic e-mail disassociating itself and chairman Michael Steele from this episode.

It could hurt them in the wallet if donors get angry -- a distinct possibility. Also, the RNC won't be able to use the "socialism" tack in its pitches from now on...given that it's associated with this particular PowerPoint.

How does the RNC get over this incident? Probably, they'll have to can their finance director, Rob Bickhart, who authored the PowerPoint.