In an email to me titled “Thank You,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina let me know that the campaign had racked up more than 475,000 contributors in its first quarter of its existence – the second quarter of 2011. No word yet on the money, which is expected to exceed the $60 million goal.
The are a couple of things to say about this.
First of all, I’m the wrong person to thank, though I do appreciate it.
Second, the campaign set a goal of 450,000 contributors. Usually, when a campaign sets a goal, they make it artificially way low and then come in way above it and exclaim, “Oh my goodness, who could have known??” So, they didn’t eclipse their “goal” by too much.
That said, it’s seems like an impressive number to me. It’s more than donated to the Obama campaign during all of 2007, as Obama Fever began to take hold.
But it is also the result of a relentless grass roots campaign and a tacky raffle of dinner with the president that featured an illegal – as far as I’m concerned, though I’m not a lawyer – pitch from the White House Map Room, which is clearly a place where official work is done. Whether Obama can maintain and increase such enthusiasm before the general election moves into full swing is not clear.
I assume the number would have been a bit higher had Obama not suddenly included Biden in the dinner, which probably drove a significant number of potential raffle participants away. Biden is tough to listen to and seems like the type that might start eating off your plate.
BTW, Obama raised more than $1.2 million at two fundraisers in Philadelphia Thursday night just before the midnight deadline for the quarter.