Unemployment is up, Obama’s poll numbers are down, and now one of the keys to his re-election may be drifting away.
When Sen. Barack Obama began running for president in 2007, a small handful of determined, inspired supporters found a new political calling. A new group of professionals — from a San Juan jewelry store owner to a West Coast biotech executive — raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each for him and their “bundling” was crucial in helping Obama offset Hillary Clinton’s profound financial and institutional advantages.
Four years later, many of those new bundlers say they won’t be coming back. For reasons ranging from disillusion and dissatisfaction to an overriding sense that the once idealistic Obama crusade has become yet another soulless political behemoth, that inspired cadre of early Obama supporters has largely been replaced by professional Democratic Party operatives.
In 2008 Barack Obama was sold as a product: a post-partisan who would bring people together. Many wealthy Americans were gullible enough to buy that product despite his strongly partisan record, and became bundlers — key fundraisers. A product oversold creates more disillusion that one accurately marketed.
“It’s a political machine now,” said Pete Garcia, the chief financial officer of a Washington State biotech company who fell for Obama early and hard in 2008, and raised more than $200,0000 in his first dive into political fundraising.
“I wasn’t doing it to be an ambassador or anything like that. I was doing it because I strongly believed in his message. I just thought that he would be a little more different than he is,” said Garcia, who said he expects to vote for Obama but won’t be involved in the campaign.
It’s amazing how naive some successful people are. Obama’s campaign always was a political machine, and probably the most cynical political machine we’ve seen in our lifetimes. It was a recycle of the Deval Patrick run in Massachusetts, so it wasn’t even original in its rhetoric. Nothing in Obama’s record suggested he was capable of bringing people together, and nothing suggested he would make a capable leader. Nothing suggested he knew anything about free enterprise, other than how to attack it and exploit people who fear it.
It’s good to see some of his bundlers catching on. The story says the campaign is replacing many of them with new ones, but losing so many from the first time around is a strong sign that disillusion is reaching his core supporters.
It looks like the polls are catching up to him too. PPP, the same outfit that had Obama ahead of Rick Perry in Texas the other day (yeah, right) says that he’s on the verge of losing it all.
A Democratic polling firm said President Obama’s already weak job-approval numbers are “worse than they appear” and he likely would lose the election if it were held today.
For the first time in a year, Mr. Obama does not lead former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Public Policy Polling’s monthly national poll on the 2012 presidential race. They are tied at 45 percent, and Mr. Obama is losing among independent voters by a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent.
Worse for Mr. Obama, PPP said, the “vast majority” of undecideds disapprove of the president’s performance. The survey of registered voters was conducted July 15-17.