President Obama is staging fundraisers at a torrid pace, holding nearly three times as many this year as George W. Bush had by the same date during his 2004 reelection bid.
Obama has done 86 fundraising events in 2012, including one he will hold this morning at a private residence in Los Angeles. Once today’s event is complete, he will already have done 14 fundraisers in June alone, an average of two per day.
By this time in 2004, Bush had only done 31 fundraisers. Since filing for reelection, Bush had done a total of 79 fundraisers by June 7, 2004, just over half the 153 fundraising events Obama has done since filing as a candidate in April 2011.
Obama’s packed fundraising schedule raises the question about how much fundraising is too much: At what point do the demands on the president’s time and the costs to taxpayers of jetting him to far-flung money events become unacceptably high?
Obama this year has already made multiple trips to California to collect from his avid supporters in Hollywood and Northern California. And he has also hopscotched up to New York City several times to scoop up money from the many wealthy liberal inhabitants of Manhattan Island.
The election is still five months away, and the June fundraising blitz suggests the Obama effort is only going to expand. The Obama campaign is trailing its own fundraising expectations, so Obama operatives will likely want to make greater and greater use of their chief money attracting asset, the president.
What’s more, Obama has not even started staging regular campaign rallies, though many of his “official” presidential events certainly have a campaign feel to them.
* A hat tip to CBS News White House reporter Mark Knoller for the statistics used in this piece. Knoller, the widely accepted expert on presidential data, can be found on Twitter at @markknoller and on the CBS News Political Hotsheet.