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Carney: My President has No Set Price!

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today was carefully dodging questions about WHETHER THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS FOR SALE, denying that there is a “set price” for meetings with the president.

So what does that mean, exactly – no set price – that the price is negotiable?

Not that the questions were very pointed or the dodging and obfuscation very difficult. Take a look:

I love the way Carney emphasizes that lobbyists can’t contribute, as if that makes the whole thing Kosher for freaking Passover. And note how he doesn’t deny that money can buy access to the president, just recites some attorney-written garbage about there being no “price.”

Organizing for Action is the revamped Obama campaign organization that will serve as a mass group backing Obama’s initiatives.

At the top, it’s little more than the private sector version of the White House, stocked with former White House aides who, since they are not technically working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, can solicit all the money they want from any jerk they like, unless that jerk is also a lobbyist. That is, until they decide to start soliciting from lobbyists. Ex-senior White House officials like David Plouffe, Jim Messina, and Jon Carson are all involved.

And what’s more, if said jerk can come up with enough money, as a New York Times piece made clear last month, he – or she, lets be fair, I don’t want to deny anyone their chance to be a jerk – gets to meet with OBAMA. Yes, that OBAMA, the one who is trying to get all the dirty money out of politics and purify Washington.

The Times describes how this works:

Contributions will also translate into access, according to donors courted by the president’s aides. Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a “founders summit” at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, and Mr. Carson, who previously led the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House. Moreover, the new cash demands on Mr. Obama’s top donors and bundlers come as many of them are angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships.

“It just smells,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, which advocates tighter regulation of campaign money. “The president is setting a very bad model setting up this organization.”

Mr. Obama’s new organization has drawn rebukes in recent days from watchdog groups, which view it as another step away from the tighter campaign regulation Mr. Obama once championed.

OFA “will rely heavily on a small number of deep-pocketed donors,” the Times writes. Imagine, just imagine, if a Republican did this.

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15 Responses to Carney: My President has No Set Price!

  1. Big deal. Call it campaign donations, speaker’s fees, or OfA donations; you want a politician to do something, you pay. I give Obama credit for honesty. Although…

    If _I_ were married to Evita, I’d follow Menendez’ lead and demand payment in hookers.

  2. Again, nothing this White House does surprises me. What disappoints me is that the general public doesn’t seem to care that much if the President is for sale, or if his ideas are recycled Euro-stupidity, or that’s he’s already mortgaged our grandkids future productivity for our subsidized present. I mean, really, if the sheeple electorate don’t care, then, what does it really matter (from a political, not a moral standpoint)? As Hillary summed up the entire Obama presidency “what difference does it make.” Apparently, none, to the average American citizen.

  3. “We have established what you are, madam. We are now merely haggling over the price.” Winston Churchill (or GeorgeBernardShaw)

    This famous quote could be addressed to just about any of our elected officials, but the OFA has already set the price.

  4. Because that’s where OFA made the mistake — assigning a set price. Everything else — kosher. What a joke this organization is and of course, they are selling access. Once again, the WH press corpse does not disappoint with its hard hitting persistent questioning.

  5. OFA is a non-profit. They don’t have to make the names of high dollar donors public if they don’t want to. Who’s to say he isn’t getting money from lobbyists or even Saudi Arabian royalty for that matter? Don’t have to be a lawyer to see that any non-profit organization that promises access to the president of the United States or any elected official in return for money is not only illegal, it is immoral and unethical.

    Watched the first episode of the miniseries “The Bible” on the History Channel last night. Excellent adaptation in my opinion. Now I know why Washington, D.C. first came to my mind when watching God’s punishment of Sodom.

  6. Interesting fact that most people aren’t aware of. Obama can’t keep his campaign funds after he is out of office, unless he plans to run for another office, but he can keep the interest those funds earn. The more money in the fund, the more interest it earns and thus the more money he gets. He stands to get millions in interest from the campaign fund and the new version of it. He raised hundreds of millions for his first campaign, and more for the second. The interest would be incredible. The interest on the first campaign fund would run about $22 million or more. Nice little nest egg, isn’t it?