President Obama held a fundraiser in Los Angeles last night hosted by George Clooney and attended by various A-listers that brought in a record-breaking $15 million in one day from 150 guests. The previous record of $11 million was set by Obama in ’08.
This year, he said, fundraising should prove even harder “because I’m older and grayer and your ‘Hope’ posters are dog-eared.”
But the president had a trump card this week, something to fire up the base: Marriage equality.
It was a brilliant move on either Obama’s part, or the part of one of his strategists, that his ultimate trump card is not having killed bin Laden. Most politicians would keep cashing that check all the way to November. But as a politician, Obama’s brand has always been about the future. Bin Laden is the past. What Obama’s fundraisers and supporters need to get excited about with this election is that they can once again invest in a vision for the future—for how Obama’s progressive vision of the future differs from its present.
And from a tactical standpoint that was where he outmaneuvered Romney on marriage equality: Romney’s vision for the future, as it pertains to marriage, is just like the present, to say nothing of the past. And things staying just as they are is never a sexy political sell.
Which might help explain why, as Gawker points out, Obama’s $15 million take yesterday is more than Mitt Romney has raised “in any month since he jumped into the race.”
Obama contrasted himself with Romney last night, utilizing the marriage equality endorsement:
Obviously yesterday we made some news but the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be. It grew directly out of this difference in visions. Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly and is that going to make us stronger? Are we welcoming to immigrants? Are we welcoming to people who aren’t like us — does that make us stronger? I believe it does. So that’s what’s at stake.
The endorsement was Obama at his best: at the intersection of principle, no doubt well-researched public opinion, and tactical strategy. And it shows why, even though the economy still sucks, he is going to be hard to beat in November.