ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports: President Obama is tapping into a pool of campaign cash from wealthy Americans abroad with help from a single foreign-based bundler who lives in London.
Diana Shaw Clark, who records show is a self-employed writer, raised at least $50,000 for Obama and the Democratic National Committee during the second quarter, according to a report of the top volunteer fundraisers provided by the Obama campaign.
Two hundred forty-four bundlers together raked in at least $35 million for the Obama Victory Fund in April, May and June. Clark is the only one living overseas.
“If you live in London and are part of the large expat community, you can hit up your friends who are U.S. citizens just as you could in New York or Los Angeles,” said Michael Beckel of the Center for Responsive Politics.
“Candidates are going to reach out to whomever they can, wherever they can, even if that means reaching out to communities of U.S. citizens in other countries,” he said.
During the 2008 campaign, Obama flew to London for a star-studded fundraiser at the Notting Hill home of Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, where he reportedly collected more than $400,000 from expat supporters.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently made a trip across the pond to raise cash, appealing to supporters at the Dartmouth House in central London.
“There is a lot of interest in this election among Americans living abroad who, like everyone else, are worried about what the weak economy and lack of jobs means for our status in the world,” the Romney campaign told ABC News.
While candidates are forbidden by federal law from accepting campaign contributions from foreign citizens, governments or corporations, the estimated 300,000 Americans living in the United Kingdom can give freely – and vote.
Clark, who has played a key role in mobilizing expat Democrats, is the only one of three foreign-based bundlers for Obama from 2008 who has returned to help with fundraising for 2012.
UK Warner Bros. executive Josh Berger, who bundled between $200,000 and $500,000, and Switzerland-based lawyer Charles Adams, who netted between $50,000 and $100,000, are not on the 2011 list.
Clark bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
British news reports describe Clark as Obama’s principal “emissary” in London and UK-coordinator of the group Americans Abroad for Obama.
“The challenge for me is that I am representing the most articulate candidate we have had in generations,” she said in an interview with The Independent in February 2008. “It is hard to do that adequately.”
She could not be reached for an interview.