President Obama will today attend what has been billed as his “final finance event” of the 2012 campaign, closing out a record-shattering run both in total number of events and sums raised.
With an evening fundraiser at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, Fla., Obama will top 222 re-election fundraisers since announcing his bid for a second term in April 2011. He has spent more time fundraising than any incumbent president — more than double the time spent by his predecessor President George W. Bush, who held 86 re-election fundraisers during his first term.
“I can’t believe I am sending this email. The final finance event with President Obama is here,” Obama’s national finance committee wrote supporters in an email obtained by Politico and confirmed by ABC News. “‘Estamos Unido| We are One: An Evening with President Barack Obama.’ This event is the last opportunity for your friends, family and colleagues to hear from our president directly and join our cause. We need your help to make sure it is a truly national event and a culminating moment of unity that celebrates our incredible work.”
The gala will feature a performance by rock percussionist Sheila E. and be emceed by actress Eva Longoria, according to the Obama campaign. It’s expected to raise north of $350,000 for the Obama Victory Fund through ticket sales to roughly 700 supporters.
The contributions will give a lift to the already cash-flush campaign as it heads into the final weeks before Election Day. Last month, Obama and Democrats reported raising $181 million, just shy of the all-time monthly fundraising record of $193 million set by Obama and Democrats in 2008. Their campaign is on pace to top $1 billion raised for the election cycle, a new record.
Presidential historians and political scientists attribute the fundraising spike to the rising costs of campaigns; contribution limits that are low relative to those costs; and the abandonment of the public financing system. Obama is the first incumbent to reject public financing for a general election campaign.
Experts also point out that Obama has been under pressure to compete against pro-GOP outside groups that had pledged and raised hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat him.
Obama will now turn his focus entirely to campaigning in the swing states, aides say, wasting no time on private fundraisers that have sometimes filled his schedule over the past few weeks. This does not mean Democrats will stop raising cash, however. Their online contribution system, which has already proven highly lucrative, will continue to operate 24/7.