For the first time since he officially blessed his super PAC, President Obama personally offered a defense for using the non-campaign organization, Priorities USA Action, to raise and spend unlimited funds to get him reelected:
“The challenge is we’ve got some of these super PACs that have pledged to spend up to half a billion dollars to try to buy this election and what I’ve said consistently is, we’re not going to just unilaterally disarm,” Obama said in an interview with Charlotte’s CBS affiliate, WBTV.
Meanwhile, the president has many big fundraising events on the horizon as he seeks to grow his campaign war chest. First stop, Hollywood, where backlash over the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA caused many to speculate that the president could lose out on donations from the entertainment industry, typically among his biggest supports.
When President Obama arrives in Hollywood on Wednesday evening for a pair of fundraisers, he’ll be greeted by 1,000 supporters at the home of a soap opera producer. Foo Fighters will play a live performance. Later, at the same residence, actors Will Ferrell and Jack Black will be among the 80 guests joining the president for a $35,800-per-plate dinner.
If Obama is suffering any lingering Hollywood blowback after his administration failed to get behind a pair of high-profile Internet piracy bills championed by the entertainment industry, it probably won’t be apparent.
Obama will then head up to Silicon Valley for more fundraisers. In early March, he’ll make his first fundraising trip of the year to New York, where Wall Street is equally miffed by the president’s increasingly populist tone. He’ll do a fundraiser blitz, with four events on one night:
Hosts of the fundraiser, including Ralph Schlosstein, chief executive officer at Evercore Partners Inc., and his wife, Jane Hartley, co-founder of the economic and political advisory firm Observatory Group LLC, were assured last week by Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, that the president would not demonize Wall Street in his re-election.
The $35,800-per-person dinner at ABC Kitchen, the first of the evening’s four fund-raising events, is being hosted by many of Obama’s top Wall Street donors, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Sounds like a pretty tricky balancing act to us.