Obama Is Fundraiser in Chief
He's held more events than the last five guys
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2011 9:22 AM CDT
President Barack Obama is surrounded by camera phones as he shakes hands with the audience at a fundraiser on the eve of his 50th birthday, Aug. 3, 2011, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

(Newser) – Barack Obama has held more fundraising events in his first term than any of the last five presidents—and it’s not terribly close. According to new research reported by USA Today, Obama has held a whopping 127 fundraising events so far, outpacing George W. Bush (88), Bill Clinton (76), and their predecessors. Of those, 37 were for his own campaign, with the rest benefiting congressional Democrats; by contrast, Bush had only held 11 events for himself at this stage.

The figures were compiled by an assistant professor of political science at the US Naval Academy, who makes no secret of his disapproval. “When the president spends so much time fundraising, he's necessarily not doing other things that are important,” he said. But a spokesman for the Obama campaign insists the events aren’t a distraction, and says the president needs a “robust fundraising operation” to counter the vast corporate cash backing Republicans in the wake of the Citizens United decision.