President Obama in 2011 has attended more than twice as many presidential campaign fundraisers as George W. Bush had by this time in 2003 – the year before his reelection in 2004 – but has raised less money than Bush for his campaign.
Obama has been electioneering and fundraising at a torrid pace in recent weeks. White House officials say he is making up for time lost during the deficit negotiations with Republicans this summer, when some events had to be cancelled.
Nevertheless, the time away from from work seems extensive given that Election Day is more than a year in the future.
Obama was out of the office three days this week and three the week before. His excursion out West this week, from which he returned Wednesday afternoon, included six fundraisers in Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The president last week took a three-day bus tour through the key battleground states of North Carolina and Virginia. While supposedly a trip to promote his jobs plan, many saw the barnstorming as an obvious de facto campaign swing.
According CBS Radio News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, Obama has staged 60 campaign fundraisers this year compared to only 28 by Bush by this time in 2003.
And yet, Obama in the first two quarters of his campaign – the second and third quarters of the year – has raised $86.2 million for his campaign compared to $104.2 million for Bush in inflation-adjusted dollars. Bush’s nominal total was $84.5 million.
But Obama also has raised millions more for the DNC, which can use the money to help his presidential campaign.
Obama launched his presidential campaign April 4, while Bush kicked his off in May 2003.
Hat tip to Karl Rove for his piece today in the Wall Street Journal, where I first saw the number of fundraisers held.