Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 12/29/2011

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina dismisses idea of billion-dollar re-election cost with profanity (bleeped)


Obama Campaign manager Jim Messina (JOHN GRESS - Reuters)

Here’s what President Obama’s campaign manager has to say to the notion that the re-election effort will cost $1 billion: “That’s bulls---.”

Jim Messina, no stranger to locker room vocabulary, made those comments in a Web video distributed via e-mail Thursday morning to Obama supporters. The “s---“ part was bleeped.

In his three-minute presentation, Messina laid out five pathways to winning 270 Electoral College votes, such as winning the Mountain West or Florida or Virginia and North Carolina.

But, he added, whether the campaign can compete in all those places depends on resources.

“People have speculated this is a billion-dollar campaign,” Messina said. “That’s bulls---. We don’t take PAC money unlike our opponents. We fund this campaign in contributions of $3 or $5 or whatever you can do to help us expand the map, to put more people on the ground, to build a real grassroots campaign.”

Messina didn’t exactly show why the notion of a billion-dollar campaign was off base. He didn’t, for instance, mention Obama’s big-dollar bundlers, who are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece, or the donors who are paying thousands to attend Democratic Party fundraisers with the president.

But his point is clear, that Obama’s campaign also relies on small donors and is always looking for ways to motivate them. And, particularly given the economic strain being felt by many Americans, the president likely wants his campaign associated with those smaller donors -- not the imagery of high rollers and a campaign pricetag measured in billions.

“As I lay out in more detail in the video, we’ve plotted out an aggressive strategy that includes opening up more offices in states like Florida -- which could almost single-handedly decide this election -- and Arizona, a longer shot but one that could help us get to 270 if we play our cards right,” Messina writes in the e-mail. “November may feel like a long way off, but take it from me: The organization we need to build to implement this strategy isn’t something we can wait until the summer or fall to put together.”

Whether or not a foul-mouth serves as the motivator the campaign needs will now be put to the test.

Here’s the video, complete with bleeped profanity:

By  |  10:42 AM ET, 12/29/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company