President Obama made his first, personal contribution to his 2012 campaign on Monday with a $5,000 online donation, the campaign said today.
Obama referenced the gift in an email appeal to supporters ahead of the midnight fundraising deadline for July.
“Friend — Yesterday, I made my first donation to support this campaign,” Obama wrote.
“On its own, what I gave won’t be enough to surmount the unprecedented fundraising we’ve seen on the other side, both from our opponent’s campaign and from the outside groups and special interests supporting him. But we have always believed that there’s nothing we can’t do when we all pitch in. That includes me,” he said.
The Obama campaign later released a web video of the president seated at an Apple laptop, logging into his campaign website and making the payment via credit card.
“I want to make sure folks know I’m not just talking the talk—I’m walking the walk,” Obama says to camera.
“I have cleared this with Michelle,” he adds, appearing to enter his credit card number.
Obama’s message and gift were aimed at inspiring more contributions from grassroots supporters, whose funds have played an increasingly critical role in the president’s campaign.
Roughly 40 percent of all the money Obama has raised in his bid for a second term has come from donors of $200 or less in aggregate, according to the Campaign Finance Institute. By contrast, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has raised just 15 percent of his fundraising total from small-dollar donors.
Obama’s $5,000 donation represents the legal maximum an individual can donate to a candidate’s presidential campaign committee. Individuals can also give up $30,800 per year to a political party under federal election guidelines; but so far Obama has not cut a check for the DNC.
In May, Mitt and Ann Romney each donated $75,000 to his joint fundraising account — the Romney Victory Fund — maxing out contributions to his campaign, the Republican Party, and affiliated groups as allowed by law.
This post has been updated.