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Tag Archives: Jim Messina

Video || Messina on the Spot About Selling Access to Obama

This is from Friday’ CBS This Morning Show, during which Organizing for Action chief Jim Messina was questioned about OFA’s policy of putting contributors who give $500,000 on an “advisory board” that meets quarterly with Obama.

Actually, the questioning was so lousy that he wasn’t exactly asked about that. Host Norah O’Donnell cites a $50,000 ticket to meet with Obama, but all that gets you is . . . Messina.

Nevertheless, I thought Messina’s effort at obfuscation was still sufficiently interesting that you would want to take a look.

Messina: Ryan Pick “Carries Real Danger” for Obama

Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina sent out an email list night warning supporters that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan represents “real danger” to Obama’s reelection prospects, begging for donations of “$5 or more” to combat the peril.

The note, sent to supporters who had not yet contributed to the campaign, was designed to leverage fear over Ryan’s ties to big ticket conservative donors into more cash for Obama.

Here’s a section of the email, which features a hint of the foul language for which Obama aides are legendary:

Congressman Paul Ryan is the poster boy for the extreme Republican leadership in a Congress whose overall approval rating is 12 percent. His plan to dismantle Medicare is deeply unpopular with the general public, and especially undecided voters.

You might be wondering why the hell Romney picked this guy. But this is a strategic pick that carries real danger for us.

Here’s the calculation: Mitt Romney doesn’t need or expect Paul Ryan to convince even one undecided voter to cast their ballot for him. That’s not what he’s on the ticket for. He’s there to reassure and inspire ultraconservative ideologues and corporate interests that they will have one of their own a heartbeat from the presidency.

That means tens or even hundreds of millions more dollars for the Romney campaign and the array of outside groups supporting him — and if current trends hold, more than 90 percent of that money will be spent on TV ads — lying, distorting and trashing Barack Obama. Those ads will have more impact on undecided voters than anything Paul Ryan himself does or says.

Mitt Romney is convinced that picking Paul Ryan is a great investment for him.

If you sense of note of frustration in the missive, remember that the Obama campaign is badly trailing Mitt Romney’s operation in fundraising, and its allied SuperPacs are being swamped by rivals on the right.

The Obama campaign appears to have done away with the demands for $3, upping its minimum request by two bucks.

Ryan indeed is one of the best fundraisers in the House, and his donations include money from ideologically motivated conservative donors like the Koch brothers. But the notion that Ryan could bring in “hundreds of millions more dollars” than Romney and his allies would otherwise have collected is probably fiction.

And the email is a sure sign that the Obama campaign will open a new avenue in its attacks on Ryan, seeking to tie him to “sinister” wealthy conservatives.

Obama Prepared to Attack Ryan

The Obama campaign today announced that it is primed to begin taking apart Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who was named by Mitt Romney today to be his vice presidential running mate.

In an email to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina indicated the Obama campaign will immediately go negative in an attempt to define Paul Ryan before Ryan gets to define himself for the nation.

Over the next few days, Romney’s campaign and its allies will tell a very different story about Paul Ryan.

Our job is to make sure Americans know the truth about what Romney’s choice says about him as a candidate and leader.

Messina offered up a flavor of what’s to come, attacking the House Republican budget authored by Ryan as a “radical” document aimed at assisting the rich.

Congressman Paul Ryan is best known as the author of a budget so radical The New York Times called it “the most extreme budget plan passed by a House of Congress in modern times.” With Mitt Romney’s support, Ryan would end Medicare as we know it and slash the investments we need to keep our economy growing — all while cutting taxes for those at the very top.

The Obama campaign has spent weeks lodging similar attacks – some far more personal in nature – against Romney himself.

Messina: We Got Beat by Mean Rich People

The Obama Campaign today admitted that the Mitt Romney outraised President Obama by some $17 million last month.

In an email to supporters with the subject line “We got beat,” Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina acknowledged the obvious and asked for more money. And of course, he showed all the usual graciousness of the Obama crowd.

We don’t have the special-interest and high-dollar donor advantage that Romney has. Barack Obama has you, and we are bound and determined to fight back on behalf of a country where everyone gets a fair shot and a fair shake.

AWWW,  you’re breaking my heart.

What Messina leaves out is that the Obama campaign got beat at the very same game it won in 2008. Messina wants people to think that Romney’s fundraising is somehow related to the unlimited donations given to PACs, but it’s just the same equal playing field of limited candidate and Party donations on which Obama destroyed McCain four years ago.

The problem for the Obama campaign is not, in this case, that there’s more fat cats in the game than in 2008. It’s that there’s more enthusiasm on the Republican side.

Wrote Messina:

We know that only 15 percent of Romney’s May totals came from people giving less than $250, compared to 98 percent in that category for us.

This is actually very dishonest, even for politics.

The sentence above clearly suggests that 98 percent of the money received by Obama came from people giving less than $250, which is untrue. Actually, 98 percent of the donations made were for $250 or less, which is what you get when you are constantly auctioning off a meal with the president for $3. Plenty of Obama’s money still came from evil rich people.

By comparison, 93 percent of Romney’s donations were for $250 or less.

It’s true that about 15 percent of Romney’s total take was from people making more than $250. But the correct comparison is between 98 percent and 93 percent, not 98 percent and 15 percent. I haven’t seen any info from the Obama campaign on what percentage of its total haul was from those making more than $250

From the beginning we’ve built this campaign together, from the bottom up. More people giving a little bit is the only way to compete with a few people giving a lot.

That’s also untrue, as Messina well knows. Ninety three percent of Romney donors giving less than $250 is not anywhere close to just “a few people giving a lot.”

By touting what it claims is its army of poor people, the Obama campaign is trying to make sweet Riesling out of its sour grapes. In reality, it desperately wants more money from the wealthy, but it’s not getting what it had hoped.

Perhaps if Obama had succeeded in improving the economy, those who work their asses off and make a lot of money would give him more of what they’ve earned. Maybe even if he’d just stop vilifying the rich and dissing the conduct of capitalism he get more from the well heeled, even in the Obama economy.

Obama Campaign Chief Sneers at GOP Voters

Obama 2012 Campaign Manager Jim Messina derided at millions of Republican voters Wednesday, using the condescending phase “far-right Tea Party types” to describe those who back the mainstream conservative movement.

That the chief of Obama’s reelection effort, also a former close White House adviser to the president, holds contempt for millions of U.S. citizens is likely an indicator of how others in the Obama camp, and perhaps the president himself, view conservative voters.

The Tea Party is hardly some fringe group. According to a recent CNN poll, half of Republicans either back or consider themselves members of the Tea Party. That would mean tens of millions of voters are “Tea Party types.”

Messina’s nasty aside was included in an email to Obama backers in which he raised the specter of Tea Party donations to Mitt Romney and urged Obama’s minions to counter by sending their own money to the Obama campaign.

Here’s part of the email:

It’s also clear that there’s lots of money to be raised from far-right Tea Party types appealing to a very personal dislike of Barack Obama. When Romney tells a reporter that we need a president “who believes in American principles” or that President Obama will be just a “footnote in history,” that’s who he’s talking to.

While it is not rare for political campaigns to attack each other’s candidates, the example of a campaign chief, particularly one close to the president, insulting large swaths of the populace is something unusual.

In the email, Messina announced the launch of a fundraising drive called the “Two-Term Fund,” intended to counter a Romney effort labeled the “One-Term Fund.”

Both titles presumably refer to Obama, not Romney!

Messina Scolds Slack Obama Donors

Obama Campaign Chairman Jim Messina gave President Obama’s supporters a bit of his mind this morning, scolding them in video and email messages for failing to pony up enough cash for Obama’s reelection effort.

“We have a challenge I want to talk to you about . . . that keeps coming up,” a perturbed looking Messina said in the video, which you can see below. “Too many Obama supporters think we don’t need their money, or we don’t need their money now,” Messina grumbled. “I totally get why people think that, but they’re completely wrong.”

Messina accused his own supporters for having a sense of complacency.

“Some people think we have a magic formula to win this campaign,” he said. “The only way this thing works is if each of you take a piece of this campaign and help build the best grassroots campaign in modern political history. That means giving now.”

Messina announced in the video that the Obama campaign had raised $68 million fourth quarter of 2011, a decline from the third quarter.

Messina struck up a similar theme in the email.

The biggest difference between 2008 and 2012 from a fundraising perspective is that some supporters have begun to think that somehow other people are going to take care of things and it will be fine.

But there’s no secret strategy that we can count on. There is no cavalry. There’s only you.

Now, instead of asking for $3 as Messina and his deputies have done repeatedly in the past, the email concludes with a request to “chip in $25 or more.”

Obama Ditches Mao Suit, Dons Epaulets

In 2008, America elected Comrade Obama. He promised to spread the wealth around, to raise taxes on the Kulaks, to usher in hope and change and to improve the condition of the common man. He’d create universal health care and save the environment.

Forget all that. The economy is not doing well. The environment for polar bears may be getting better, but the environment for doing business is not. Obama has even failed to raise the landed gentry’s taxes. And it turns out you don’t want universal health, you ungrateful masses.

Bin Laden underwater
Yes we can!

So in 2012, you’ll be asked to vote not for Comrade Obama, but Commander Obama.

Though he’s short circuiting his success by bringing the troops home too soon, the president’s surge in Afghanistan has produced some positive results. And of course, he’s killed Bin Laden, with some help from military and espionage capabilities developed by George W. Bush.

And now, you’re going to hear about it.

“We pummeled al Qaeda. We took out bin Laden,” Obama announced at one fundraiser in New York City last night.

“We brought the Iraq War to an end, and we’ll have all of our troops out by the end of this year,” he declared at another.

Well, in Iraq, he’s basking in a a successful surge there by Bush that he opposed, but hey, the man was on a roll.

Yesterday, the president’s chief White House political adviser, David Plouffe, used the new White House email list I signed up for to let me know that Vice President Biden also had some things to say about operations in Afghanistan. Wrote Plouffe, the 2008 campaign chairman:

Good morning,

In December 2009, President Obama promised the American people that we would begin the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan in July 2011, and last night he announced his plan to make good on that promise. By the end of this year 10,000 troops will return home and that number will reach 33,000 troops by next summer.

To put this important decision in a larger context, Vice President Joe Biden took a few minutes to share his thoughts about the promises this Administration has made – and kept – when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and our commitment to defeat al Qaeda:

And at 1:23 am this morning, 2012 Obama campaign chairman Jim Messina was nice enough to get in touch to remind me of Obama’s martial success.

Keith —

If you missed it last night, you should take a few minutes to watch President Obama’s address to the nation about our policy in Afghanistan:

The President’s address marks a major turning point in a nearly decade-long conflict. He announced his plan to start withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan next month, fulfilling a promise he made a year and a half ago to begin the drawdown this summer.

To put it simply: when this president took office, there were 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, the combat mission in Iraq has ended, Afghanistan will be fully responsible for its own security by 2014, and there will be fewer than 100,000 American troops in the two countries by the end of this year.

As President Obama decisively concludes two long-running wars, he is refocusing our foreign policy to more effectively address the threats we face and strengthen America’s leadership in the world as we do.

Quite an irony. The community organizer will be running in part as Dwight Eisenhower. If he finally kills Qaddafi, lookout!

White House Admits Messina Called Romanoff

The White House acknowledged this morning that political guru and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina called Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff to see if he was interested in a job with administration instead of running in the Democratic primary against Sen. Michael Bennet. In a a statement, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says Messina… Continue Reading

We Can Make Your Life Very Comfortable

The Denver Post reports that White House Deputy Chief of Staff and political guru Jim Messina tried to effectively bribe Andrew Romanoff into not challenging Colo. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a primary contest by offering Romanoff a job in the administration. White House denies “offering” a job, which is meaningless, since well, that all… Continue Reading