The Washington Post

Obama and the super PAC: What the media is missing

The headline news that the Obama campaign is going to openly support the super PAC Priorities USA Action misses the lead. The main point isn't that the White House and the campaign support the “independent” effort as an unfortunate but necessary counter to the Republican efforts. That has been obvious to every donor with half a brain and any remnant of a wallet since two of Obama's top aides left the White House to set it up some six months ago.

Nor is it news that the campaign wants to funnel money there — a donor has to be remarkably dense to confuse Obama’s philosophical opposition to the system wrought by the Citizens United case with a desire to unilaterally cede the fundraising advantage to Karl Rove, et al. 

The real news is, why hasn't the PAC raised more money to date. And how much of a difference will appearances by top campaign officials make in increasing the tally? Reluctant fundraisers always have an excuse not to give, and they will still have one when it comes to the Obama super PAC. The president, the announcement carefully noted, will not sully himself with fundraising appeals for this important extension of his campaign. Thus, some big donors can claim to feel snubbed by the presence of a mere campaign manager and not the big man himself.

The president's stance is rather silly and potentially quite harmful to his reelection. Mitt Romney is already aggressively fueling both his campaign and its supporting PACs.  Obama will get no credit for his principles, and the cost of his reluctance could be quite high. The president needs every dollar and every vote he can find.


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