Jim Messina, Campaign Manager of Obama for America, sent out an email today (which is direct copy from his blog on the President’s re-election website). He points out that Iowa showed there is no clear member of the GOP candidates for President in the lead. He speaks of “unprecedented spending” on the part of both candidates and superPACs. He decries these corporations and anonymous donors.
He says the Iowa event was a “circus” and that there are two known concerns that came out of the event.
“1) The extremist Tea Party agenda won a clear victory. No matter who the Republicans nominate, we’ll be running against someone who has embraced that agenda in order to win — vowing to let Wall Street write its own rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the troops in Iraq indefinitely, restrict a woman’s right to choose, and gut Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.
2) We’ll be facing an onslaught of unprecedented spending from outside groups funded by corporations and anonymous donors. In Iowa alone, so-called “super PACs” spent $12.9 million on almost exclusively negative ads. These groups will turn their fire even more directly on us in the weeks ahead to prove that their candidate is the most anti-Obama.”
However, there are a few issues to take and some SPIN to refute from this email.
First, Jim Messina was the Deputy Chief of Operations for the White House under President Obama until January 26, 2011. At which time, he became the campaign manager for President Obama’s campaign for re-election. This means that he and the President have been vying for re-election since January of 2011, long before the GOP candidates have been running for the Republican nomination. Since there is NO Democratic opponent to the President’s bid for office in 2012, ALL the money spent has been to build opposition to the GOP nominee (i.e. – an anti-GOP campaign), whoever that may be.
It has been recently reported by the Obama campaign that he had $61,400,710.55 on hand as of September of 2011. The financial statements of all the candidates as of October, show the President at over $88 million. This amount is much more than the GOP candidates. Combined. The comments on “unprecedented spending” seems to pale in this light. And it should be kept in mind that the President had raised over $750 MILLION dollars during the 2008 run for office.
SuperPACs are an unfortunate reality of the current electoral process. They are not a good reality, but they are a reality. A superPAC is a political action committee that is not directly connected, nor can they have any connection, with a political candidate or candidate’s party. They can, however, raise lots of money and direct it to the political candidates election (or re-election) bid.
Messina’s calls on superPACs that attack seems a bit insincere, considering superPACs such as Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama group which made Romney attack ads. Also, the President enjoys the support of other groups with corporate and “anonymous donors.” Groups such as MoveOn.org, which still operates despite political flack for its questionable behaviors.
On the only positive side of things, 1911 United is a superPAC created by the college fraternities Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi that has been vocal. Many supporters on both sides could learn from the responsible efforts of these young Americans.
Then there are the spuerPACs that are NOT superPACs, such the ObamaSuperPAC, which states that they are NOT a superPAC. “We are not a Political Action Committee but rather a Presidential Advertising Committee working hard to communicate President Obama’s vision. If you believe in the American Dream, help us help the President Reunite America.” Interestingly enough, ObamaSuperPAC is linked with ObamAmerica.org. (The term “ObamAmerica” has been used in both a derogatory and effusive manner.) But Harry George Webber (an advertising icon) of Smart Communications in Los Angeles took over the domain and made it a pro-Obama ad source. Trying to track down the people and resources behind ANY superPAC is like sifting through yarn tangled around a thorn bush, no matter their political affiliation. (Checking with centralops.net/co I was able to find the previous domain owner as Rackspace Hosting of TX, which is a server farm and may not have necessarily been the “owner” of the site.)
The over-simplification of the “Tea Party” opposition is, as with any media directed political effort, disingenuous to say the least. However, Messina’s statements that whoever the GOP nominee is, their agenda will be “vowing to let Wall Street write its own rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the troops in Iraq indefinitely, restrict a woman’s right to choose, and gut Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and corporations” borders on the extremist view itself. The truth, for both parties, on what they wish to accomplish usually arrives somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.