Fundraising Looms Large on Obama's Schedule

President spends more time chasing donations thanks to McCain-Feingold

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 26, 2009 11:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – In between massive federal bailouts and health reform, President Obama has spent a lot of time rustling up cash for Democrats this year, with tonight marking his 26th fundraiser. George W. Bush, by contrast, headlined only six fundraisers in his first year. But that was before McCain-Feingold capped how much “soft money” big donors could hand out. In those six fundraisers, Bush scared up $48 million; in his first 20 appearances, Obama managed only $21 million.

“Basically, the president has done just about anything we've asked him to do,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Robert Menendez tells the Wall Street Journal. “Very clearly the president knows history as well as I do, and the history of midterms means the president's party loses seats.” But a GOP counterpart says Obama’s risking his reputation as a “change” candidate by supporting old guard figures like Chris Dodd and Harry Reid.

President Barack Obama takes his leave after speaking at a fundraiser for Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., left, in Stamford, Conn., Friday, Oct. 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraiser for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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