ABC News' Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports:
$TRAIGHT FACE: Seven days before the first major FEC filing deadline for the 2012 campaign, the Obama campaign hasn’t given as much as a hint of its haul during the 2nd quarter. When will the numbers come, and will they exceed the campaign’s $60 million goal?
“There will be no previewing or speculation from our camp,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in an email this week.
One number they haven’t been bashful about sharing is the total number of contributors to the campaign: more than 495,000 so far, verses 180,000 during the same period four years ago. “We are measuring this campaign’s strength in people not dollars,” the campaign tweeted last week.
Soon enough we’ll learn how their “grassroots” givers translate into dollars and cents. Will it be a record-setting quarter for Obama, who raised $33.1 million in the same period in 2007? (The most raised by any candidate the year prior to the election was George W. Bush in Q3 2003, with $50.1 million.)
We’re also eager to see, given the number of contributors, how many were “small” (giving $200 or less) and how many were “big” (giving $201 or more). Don’t forget that nearly half the campaign’s $746 million in 2008 came from donors of $1,000 or more.
GOING LOCAL: Obama returned to the local news circuit today, giving interviews to four local network affiliates in WI, PA, WA and NC. The interview with the ABC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham marks the third interview for Obama in the Tar Heel state in four months (h/t Karen Travers) – yet another sign the O campaign is eager to keep the battleground blue in 2012.
— TO APPEAR IN-TOUCH: “What is absolutely true is that we are not producing enough jobs fast enough to fill the enormous hole that was left from the recession,” the president told WISN-TV of Milwaukee, Wisc. “We have got to ramp up hiring… I am less worried about the politics of what Republican politicians say, I am more worried about the American people are feeling right now, which [is that] they are anxious to get to work, and they’d like to see businesses invest more.”
PISSED PROGRESSIVES: More than 155,000 self-identified progressive activists and members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (a liberal PAC) have signed a pledge vowing not to support Obama in 2012 if he allows cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits as part of a deficit deal. Organizers say those members gave more than $8.4 million and 1.4 million volunteer hours to Obama’s campaign in 2008. “The White House is absolutely watching the progress of this pledge,” the group said in an email to supporters.
PLOUFFE PUFFS: The day before a dismal economic report – an uptick in the national unemployment rate to 9.2% reported Friday — senior White House adviser David Plouffe told Bloomberg he believes statistics themselves won’t sway voters in 2012.
“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” he said. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation?
— ROMNEY POUNCES: “If David Plouffe were working for me, I would fire him and then he could experience firsthand the pain of unemployment,” GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney said in a statement.
— CLINTON COUCHES: “It’s hard to fix things that people messed up over a long period of time,” former President Bill Clinton said of Obama’s economy at a meeting of young progressives in Washington earlier this week. “Even Albert Einstein couldn’t fill a $3 trillion hole with $800 billion dollars. The stimulus was designed to put a floor in that hole, and it worked.”
JEWISH SUPPORT: Despite the high-profile public tension between the Obama administration and Israel this spring, the president remains strongly popular among American Jews, a Gallup poll found this week. Sixty percent of U.S. Jews said they approved of Obama’s performance in June – a level consistent with previous months, and at an average 14 percentage points above the general public writ large.
FACE-TWEET SCORECARD: The first-ever presidential Twitter town hall this week generated more than 169,395 tweets with the tag #AskObama — a drop in the bucket considering 140 million tweets are sent every day on average, according to the company.
The hottest topics? Jobs, the budget, taxes and education – no surprise there. But an analysis of 25,000 questions tweeted in the hours before the 2 p.m. kick-off found a “high” number querying the president on marijuana (0.85%) — twice as many asked on health care, gay marriage, immigration, Iraq, Social Security , abortion, or the budget deficit.
Obama ended the week with more than 9 million Twitter followers — a new record for any politician on the social networking service, and up more than 100,000 from last week.
QUOTED & NOTED: Think recent warnings from labor union leaders about their waning support for some Democrats has the Obama administration concerned? Think again. “By the way, [if] any of you guys vote Republican,” Vice President Joe Biden told a convention of International Teamsters this week, “Let me put it this way: Don't come to me if you do! You're on your own, Jack!”