I Get Letters

Well, more specifically, junk mail. David Axelrod sent me this yesterday:

Carin —-
We’re about to get hit with an avalanche of negative ads.

Romney-allied outside groups have already lined up more than $23 million in television spending for this week alone.

That’s been the other side’s strategy from the beginning: slamming the airwaves with ads trashing the President and his record.

Carin, I’ll be blunt: They are trying to buy this election, and we’re the only ones who are standing in their way. Don’t wait any longer to take ownership of this campaign.

Can you chip in $5 or more right now to help?

We’ve worked too hard to slow down now. We need to bear down these last 29 days, because Governor Romney and his allies aren’t going to play fair or take it easy on us. Take it from their own adviser: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

We need to keep fighting and get the back of the guy who’s got ours — will you chip in today?


Thanks. Let’s keep this up.


Romney’s trying to “buy” this election? That’s all very interesting, given a couple of stories that have come out in the last few days. Item.

It appears that “obama.com” routed a great many foreign visitors to Obama’s donation pages. There is also evidence that the Obama campaign went out of their way to avoid using web-standard verification to confirm donations.

I think many are making too big a deal out of the CCV requirement, the real issue is the Address Verification System (AVS) which appears to have been set to an absurdly weak “match” setting on Obama’s own campaign website. This should be what people are focusing on. The AVS system can be set to extremely strict settings, like say no typos. Or it can be very set to a very, ahem, liberal match setting, which appears to be the case here. The AVS system is also very tough on fraud because you actually have to match real address, not just punch some numbers in for “Mickey Mouse”.

Oh, but there’s more.

But it isn’t just foreign donations that are a concern. So are fraudulent donations. In the age of digital contributions, fraudsters can deploy so-called robo-donations, computer programs that use false names to spew hundreds of donations a day in small increments, in order to evade reporting requirements.

All those grassroots contributions.

We also focused on the Obama campaign because it is far more successful than Romney when it comes to small donors—which the Internet greatly helps to facilitate. In September the Obama campaign brought in its biggest fundraising haul—$181 million. Nearly all of that amount (98 percent) came from small donations, through 1.8 million transactions.

Which leads me to the second story which cries bullshit on Rod’s crying about Romney buying the election. Obama’s non-stop fundraising is paying off:

The campaign said that just over 1.8 million people made donations to the campaign last month. According to the campaign, over 500k of these were brand-new donors, having neither given in 2008 nor 2012. 98% of contributions were under the reporting threshold of $250. Of these, the average contribution was $53.

Its really a tale of two worlds. 35k people gave an average of $2,600, while just over 1.7 million people gave an average of $53. Half the campaign’s haul came from people giving around the maximum amount and half from people who don’t have to be disclosed. Seems a bit odd.

So, weird, right? Oh, don’t you worry, because campaigns self-police.

But, back to Axelrod’s concerns – that Romney is going to buy the election. Memo to Obama and friends: we’re just not that into you.

There was then:

Democrats were pumped up and eager for action after eight years of Bush, and having a completely untested candidate allowed them to project onto Obama whatever they wished to see there. If you bought into that hype (as Cillizza evidently did), then it was easy to imagine Obama the Light-Bringer riding to glory astride a flying unicorn, eating Magic Peace Flakes for breakfast and farting rainbows all day long.

And then there’s now. Reality. High unemployment. Stagnant GDP growth. Debt. Foreign policy disasters. Meanwhile, Obama flies around the country, working 24/7 to get us back on track keep his job.

Via McCain we get this, in which a liberal dares to think the unimaginable – Is Obama Overrated?

Of course, the author is still a true believer. His flaws? He’s a bad “faker” (@@) and can’t pretend to be happy doing things when he’s not. Like, for example, debating Romney the other night. I’m sure it was MUCH less fun than cavorting with basketball stars and Hollywood types. And second:

Second, Obama is, at heart, a political pragmatist who relies much more on analysis and caution than gut instinct. He stuck with a prose-over-poetry convention speech when it became clear that the fundamentals of the race were moving in his favor. And, even as Romney repeatedly bashed him during the debate, Obama avoided going deeply negative against the Republican with attacks on his “47 percent” comments or his time spent at Bain Capital. (Even Obama’s most daring decision — to run for president after just two years in the Senate — was born of careful calculation, not willy-nilly cavalierness.)

Yea, well, Chris Cillizza is still a bit entwined in the Obama-myth. He seems to be only conceding that he isn’t -actually – the Lightbringer.

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