Obama's '08 Fundraisers Flee 'Machine'

Democratic veterans take over fundraising process
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2011 8:26 AM CDT
Many of the big donation organizers for the first presidential campaign for Barack Obama, shown speaking in the White House on Tuesday, say they will not be raising money this time.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Many of the core grassroots supporters who raised big money for Barack Obama's presidential run in 2007 and 2008 are gone now, disillusioned and dissatisfied by his presidency, replaced by professional Democratic Party operatives, reports Politico. “It’s a political machine now,” says a Washington State biotech exec who raised more than $200,000 for Obama in 2008. "I was doing it because I strongly believed in his message. I just thought that he would be a little more different than he is.”

And there is another reason Obama has lost many of his top earners—about half of those who raised more than $500,000 for his campaign were rewarded with political appointments. Those working on Obama's re-election campaign, however, emphasize that the campaign is still enormously successful and grassroots-driven, with $86 million raised last quarter, 98% of which was less than $250 per person. But some former fundraisers are being forced out, and they're not happy: “Now we’re getting bumped by the old Clinton folks," says one. "This is what they do for a living. They’re animals and they’re political whores and they want the access and the credit."

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