The "Toxic Wingman"

Dana Milbank notes that the Democrats have a problem, eerily familiar to Republicans who remember 2006. They need Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom’s fundraising prowess, but his presence is toxic:

After weeks of complaining to the White House, Democrats said last week that Obama had committed to doing at least 18 fundraisers this year: six each for House Democrats, Senate Democrats and other party committees.

That came as a relief to Democrats, but it’s still a modest commitment. In 2006, when George W. Bush was even less popular than Obama and Republicans feared a loss of the House, Bush did 74 fundraising events, according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, a meticulous presidential statistician. The Republican National Committee put the tally at 80 .

Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told me that the 18 events are those Obama has promised “thus far.” Democrats had better hope there are many more. Although individual Democratic committees have done reasonably well raising money, the Democratic National Committee is deeply in debt. At the end of the year it had $4.7 million in cash but $15.6 million in debt. The RNC had no debt and $9.2 million in cash.

What’s the read on this? I doubt the Professor has lost any of his ability to empty donors’ wallets — it comes with the office. And these things can be done on the QT, sort of. But 18, even “thus far” does seem like an awfully small number of fundraisers before November.

It’s enough to make you wonder if the President’s attitude is now “I got mine.”