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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Senate Majority Leader Reid Makes Personal Plea To Obama For Money, Obama Says No

U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid made a personal plea to Barack Obama for financial help to grow the Democrats majority in the Senate. Obama's campaign, having opted out of public financing for the general election, refused Reid's request.

The Politico reports Barack Obama, to date, has sent two e-mail and two direct-mail donation pitches on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and allowed Democrats to use his name, his wife's name and his vice president's name in email and online fundraising pitches but there is no joint events with Senate or House Democrats scheduled.

Barack Obama collected $66 million for the month of August leaving him with $77 million in the bank for his general election campaign added to the amounts he can collect up until the general election.

John McCain did not opt out of public financing, so he has an automatic $84 million to use for the general election.

More importantly, McCain will get substantial help from the Republican National Committee — which has dramatically outraised its Democratic counterpart — and the Republican Party’s state and local committees.

Reid and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer had hoped at one point to get as much as $10 million from the Obama campaign. With 23 GOP seats up for grabs this year — versus only a dozen Democratic seats — Senate Democrats see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pad their majority with as many as four to seven new seats.

But to do that, they’ll need money, and lots of it. While the DSCC still has a huge financial advantage over its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the geographic overlap between competitive Senate seats and the tight presidential race means the McCain campaign and the RNC will be dumping tens of millions of dollars into battleground states with competitive Senate races. This will likely help down-ballot GOP candidates and incumbents.

An official in the know of the "intraparty dispute over money" says the emails and direct mails "are helpful, but we really don’t care about that. We need more help than that.”

Democrats on the Capitol have been complaining for months about how difficult it has been to schedule events which include Democratic incumbents or challengers in joint appearances with Obama to help their chances. They also assert the events that do take place only come after "very heavy lifting.”

While John McCain and Sarah Palin can spend their time campaigning and helping the Republican National Committee collect funds to help them and the Republican Senate and House members in the November election, Barack Obama has to spend time collecting money for his own campaign while out on the campaign trail because of the long drawn out primary with Hillary Clinton which cut into the time Obama could have used to build up his general election campaign.

Refusing the direct appeal from Reid, lets us know that the Obama campaign is tight for money despite having $77 million in the bank because of the cost os advertising in the states they are trying to compete in.

Pulling his advertising out of Red battleground states recently, such as Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Florida and Virginia raising eyebrows when the news was released, showing the Obama campaign having to make tough decisions on what states were worth fighting for and what states are like fighting a losing battle.

Eight days ago the New York Times reported tension in the Obama campaign and financial worries about Obama's decision to opt out of public financing and a concentrated effort to raise more funds. The times reported Obama's campaign was "straining" to reach their money goals.

Perhaps Obama should have kept his word about using public financing, but since he did not, his being cash strapped right now, is no ones fault but his own.