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Obama lags far behind Bill Clinton in fundraising

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Political Buzz,Magazine

President Obama may seem like he's at a breakneck fundraising pace, racing to help his party ahead of the midterm elections, but he's far behind Bill Clinton's second-term money roundup.

Obama's recent fundraising tour de force is attracting a slew of headlines and negative press, especially because his recent Texas fundraising trip didn't include a visit to the border, where thousands of minors from Central America are crossing into the U.S.

But the second-term presidential money chase isn't unprecedented.

While Obama has far outpaced predecessor George W. Bush in the number of fundraisers he has headlined in his second term, Clinton far eclipses Obama. By July 16 in each president's second year of his second term, Clinton had participated in 127 fundraisers, compared with Obama's 72 and Bush's 45.

“A story with the theme 'Obama is outpacing Bush' doesn't tell the full story, since both lag behind Clinton's pace in 1997 and 1998,” said Brendan Doherty, a political science professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of the book, The Rise of the President's Permanent Campaign.

While Doherty doesn't track fundraising hauls, he says Clinton had a few reasons to hustle. He was trying to help the Democratic National Committee retire debt from his 1996 re-election and help Democrats win back control of the House and Senate from the Republicans.

Obama also has much at stake — namely, his second-term agenda. Republicans control the House and need just six more seats in the Senate to win a majority there.

A year of mishaps and scandals have taken a toll on Obama's approval ratings, making him a liability for vulnerable Democrats in conservative-leaning states such as Arkansas, North Carolina and Louisiana.

Bush, during the last half of his second term, took a beating for the deteriorating situation in Iraq, which began to turn around with the 2007 surge. Democrats won control of the House and Senate in 2006, making life even more difficult for Bush in his final years in office.

 

HILLARY CLINTON: I'M BOOSTING THE ECONOMY

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joked that her apparent political ambitions and the tour to support her new memoir, Hard Choices, have boosted the economy and kept Americans employed.

She added that if she ended the media buzz surrounding her possible presidential run, it would increase the national unemployment rate.

“I think a lot of people would lose their jobs if it all stopped,” she said during an interview with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show."

“It would stop for you,” Stewart said. “They'd move on to [Republican New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie or whoever else.”

“They might,” the former first lady said. “But I've been amazed at what a cottage industry it is. And so I kind of expect it would continue.”

Clinton declined to answer whether she will run in 2016.

 

JOE BIDEN TARGETS HIS 'OLD FRIEND' SARAH PALIN

Vice President Joe Biden is on the hunt again for “my old friend” Sarah Palin, his 2008 vice presidential foil.

In a fundraising letter to supporters, Biden is blasting Palin for fundraising, presumably via her recent demand that the GOP impeach President Obama.

“The other side sure is making a lot of noise lately. They're up in arms about Obamacare, John Boehner is trying to sue the president of the United States, and my old friend Sarah Palin is back in the news,” Biden said.

“You and I both know that there's one thing they're not worried about: Fundraising. Right-wing special interest groups are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence close races throughout the country, trying to keep Democrats from realizing change in Congress. We're not talking about the usual thing, either — we're talking about more money than I've ever seen in politics,” he added.

Then came his pitch: “We've got to make some noise of our own. We can beat them, but it's going to take everything we've got. Chip in $10 or whatever you can today to support Democrats in this fight. Let's get this done, Joe.”

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