Democrats saw the way Mitt Romney's super PAC destroyed Newt Gingrich in Iowa, and it terrified them, because President Obama's super PAC—or as Politico terms it, "not-so-super PAC"—doesn't have the muscle for anything like that. "It's like when China got the bomb," says one Democrat close to the PAC, "We thought we were the ones with cash supremacy. That's clearly not the case." Obama's Priorities USA Action has just $5 million in the bank, less than half Romney's $12 million.
Democratic donors seem to disdain super PACs, as does Obama. "I don’t think the president is just ambivalent about his super PAC. He’s flat-out opposed to it," says a member of Obama's national finance committee. "That's a problem. … We can't unilaterally disarm." Obama and his aides have pledged not to raise money for the PAC, but sources say they've now begun allowing bundlers to do so, and they recently had Joe Biden speak at a donor event just hours after a Priorities USA pitch.