Obama pens first fundraising appeal
April 28th, 2011
05:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama pens first fundraising appeal

Washington (CNN) – In his first written re-election fundraising appeal, President Obama Thursday asked supporters to pony up.

Emphasizing some of the administration's victories – from helping to push the economic recovery to Wall Street reform to the health care overhaul – he said in an email that "You also know we have not yet done everything we set out to do – not nearly. But that's a reason to work harder, not to let up. That's why we're building this campaign now. And you have to take ownership of it."

He asked his donors to "step up and make a donation of $5 to get us started."

The email solicitation mirrors the message he has been delivering at a string of fundraisers the past few weeks, including several Wednesday night in New York City.

He is trying to rally his supporters with a message that balances his touring of his first term's accomplishments but also notes the disappointment and the frustration many of those who voted for him in 2008 are feeling.

"As I've spoken with supporters who are helping get this campaign started, I've met folks who are frustrated by the pace of change. I understand that. But we knew this wouldn't be easy. The kind of change we're working for never comes easily."

This fundraising effort seems aimed more at the small donor base that was such a key part of his 2008 election campaign.

The re-election fundraising will concentrate on both bringing in money from smaller donors as well as the network of more established high dollar contributors as it tries to reach an unprecedented goal of $1 billion.

Now that the President's campaign headquarters is open and fundraising is underway, the re-election machinery is gearing up. Campaign officials say there will be field offices and staff across the country. A campaign spokeswoman would not say when to expect the first of its offices to open.

While the President has no primary opponent, his record will soon come under attack as the Republican primary fight heats up, and Obama officials want to make sure any attacks on the President are quickly addressed and his accomplishments are emphasized.

A key part of the strategy is to recruit and energize volunteer activists throughout the country. The re-election team has launched the "I'm In" campaign to sign up grassroots supporters at the local level and then they will be encouraged to speak to neighbors, colleagues, friends and those on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

While its 2008 election grassroots operation was much lauded, campaign officials believe a key part of victory will be mounting an even better one this time around.

"We have to assume every single day that we have to build something new, better, faster and sleeker," Jim Messina, the re-election campaign manager, said in a video emailed to supporters earlier this week. "This campaign is only going to be as strong as the grassroots."

"In 2012 we have the opportunity to make 2008 look prehistoric,' said Messina as he said that "grassroots will run this campaign." He laid out several steps beyond the "I'm In" initiative, including local planning sessions, house meetings and neighborhood teams – all aimed at finding the most persuasive and creative ways of spreading the re-election message.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We've got your back Mr. President.

    April 28, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    The president is running for re-election on "his victories". The only problem I see with that is the "victories" are detrimental to the United States of America and her citizens. Spending us into oblivion and and striving to remake the nation into a third world country isn't a positive for the former greatest nation on earth.

    April 28, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Albo58

    I'll donate $1 to this panderbear if he chooses to step down!

    April 28, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. the real ib

    With all the problems this country is facing Mr. President your re-election campaign is the last thing I want to read and hear about. Work on getting something done on jobs and the high gas prices for starters then we will talk about re-electing you but not now. Please go to work and get off the stupid campaign trail.

    April 28, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Republican Robber Baron

    Already sent you $100 before you even asked. Just hope Obama sticks with the basics that got him the impossible upset over Clinton – by going after the corrupt lobbyists that have made D.C. dysfunctional for the past 100 years. Also let's not sugarcoat there are a few crooks in the Democratic Party as well that need to be shown the door. Good riddance Senator Bayh... enjoy your new career as a lobbyist. The Dem's need to dump the deadbeats like Bayh and finish draining the swamp.

    April 28, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. BeverlyNC

    Go for it President Obama! We the People support you and reject the racist Republicans. They can get all the corrupt corporate money there is for their campaigns but they cannot buy our votes.
    People who want Medicare, Social Security. more jobs, a restored economy, no more tax cuts for the wealthy or corporations, no subsidies for oil companies, sensible budget cuts to the Defense budget, and investments in education for our children, college educations, modern transportation like Europe has had for decades, more American manufacturing, and a successful respected America – they will vote for President Obama.
    Ignorant racists who want to lose their rights – voting rights, worker rights, women's rights and want to have no jobs, a continued failing economy, your money going to the wealthy and corporations, and lying non-leader with no solutions for any issue will vote for hate and fear-mongering Republicans. Republicans are great liars but are not capable of leadership.

    April 28, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. phoenix86

    In the first two years of Obama's administration:

    Unemployment has increased 28%
    The annual budget has increased 50%
    The federal debt has increased 16%
    The number of wars the US is involved in has increased 33%
    Federal employment has increased 6%
    Regulations have increased 28%
    Gasoline prices have increased 103%

    Enjoyed the first 2 years? I don't want Obama to work harder. I want Obama unemployed.

    April 28, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. Debby

    Obama is a legend in his own mind. Right below this is Americans have economic growing pains. LOL

    April 28, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Patrick from Minnesota

    Where are you Republicans? I hope you realize (actually I don't) that there's 99% of America outside Iowa and New Hampshire.

    April 28, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    Beginning November, 2011, I will donate $20 a month until a month before Election Day!! I can afford that and it will NOT break me. I do not believe in donating EARLY and/or any campaign starting EARLY because it gets worn out!!!

    April 28, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |