Speaking at his 18th fundraiser of the year, President Obama Wednesday evening declared without apparent irony that governing the nation is his sole priority.
“Now, I’ve run my last campaign — and Michelle is very happy about that,” Obama said to laughter from well-heeled donors who had assembled at the Miami Beach residence of philanthropist Joseph Blount. “And so what that means is I think you can have confidence that all I care about right now is governing.”
But Obama’s actions would appear to say otherwise.
With the three fundraisers he attended Wednesday – one in Boston for the Senate campaign of Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and two in Miami Beach for the Democratic National Committee – Obama’s total for 2013 already tops the number George W. Bush did for the entire year in 2005.
According to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who tracks presidential political activity, Bush did 15 events in 2005, three less than Obama has already done. Obama has hosted eight fundraisers – more than half Bush’s 2005 total – in just the past two weeks.
The two years are comparable because Bush was also in the first year of his second term and raising money ahead of the following year’s midterm elections.
Obama has been widely accused of failing to put in the hours needed to build relationships with Republicans in Congress while choosing instead to bash them on the campaign trail and try to flip the House to Democratic control.
“It’d be a lot easier if I had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate,” Obama himself said during his other Miami fundraiser, held at the home of Tom Sullivan, the founder of Lumber Liquidators.
The event at Sullivan’s home included about 50 donors, while the one at Blount’s residence accommodated 175. Donations at the two fundraisers ranged from $1,000 to $32,400, according to a DNC official.
The event for Markey was larger, packing 1,000 people into Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center, though ticket prices were much lower than at the exclusive Miami Beach gatherings.