Obama asks for money on internets!

Yea, this may seem like a "Dog Bites Man" story, but . . . just yesterday Matt Stoller tried to argue that Obama "is building an old school campaign where the internet is an afterthought." He titled the post, "Opportunity versus the Good Ole Boys."

His evidence for that "afterthought" claim and the "versus" was a bit hard (call me slow if you like) to extract from Matt's post which juxtaposed the cool video someone outside the campaign did of Hillary as the Orwellian figure in the Macintosh commercial with the fact that the Obama campaign hired a tradional campaign consultant.

When I and others asked in the comments why the two approaches, netrots/grassroots and traditional media and fundraising , were mutually exclusive and what his evidence was of the "afterthought" part, Matt's primary reply was that Obama had not asked for anything. He hadn't asked for money. No e-mails.

True enough. And I agreed that Obama (and others) should follow the excellent advice of Zach Exley here and here.

Well, ask and you shall receive. Today Obama did and he will, no doubt.

In the extended entry is the Obama e-mail ask. The coolest part is the matching function. Once you donate, you are taken to a note from the person matching your donation. From there, one is asked to be a matcher, not just a matchee (those are close enough to words, no?). Then you can write a note to whomever you end up matching. People can encourage one another, thank one another. Even at a distance, it's movement building while fundraising.

Seems well thought out. Not an afterthought after all?

Dear XXXX,

Become a first time donor.The special-interest industry in Washington has only grown since the last election, and it will spend more money than ever this time to try to own our political process and dictate our policies in Washington.

We're not going to play that game. We're not taking any contributions from Washington lobbyists or political action committees.

We're going to transform the political process by bringing together hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans to build a campaign responsible to no one but the people -- people like you.

So here's something different. Right now someone is waiting to match your first online donation to our campaign, doubling your impact.

If you make your first online donation now, you'll be able to read a note from the person who matched your amount, and you'll be able to write to them about why you gave.

Thousands of people who've already donated to the campaign have committed to give again -- but only if someone like you decides to make their first online donation.

Will your make your donation now?

http://action.barackobama.com/match

We need to dramatically multiply the number of people who own a piece of this historic campaign, because the only way we can win is by making this campaign belong to as many people as possible.

It may sound strange for a presidential candidate to launch a fundraising drive that isn't about dollars.

But this campaign isn't just about money. And our democracy shouldn't be either.

It should be about people.

People's demands are simple. An end to the war in Iraq and the restoration of American leadership in the world; equal opportunity for themselves and their children at home; and the hope that their voice matters in a political process that too often leaves the people out.

You can take ownership of our democracy -- make a donation now:

http://action.barackobama.com/match

I'm deeply honored that so many people have put their hope and faith in our campaign.

And if we succeed, it will be because you made history and took control of our campaign's destiny.

I know we can do this.

Thank you,

Barack Obama

P.S. -- If you'd like to make a donation without being part of the new donor drive, you can do so here: https:/donate.barackobama.com

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, president (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Obama asks for money! Breaking!

What's the big deal about not asking for money? Everyone needs money to run for office unless you are wealthy enough to finance your own campaign. If Hillary is raising more money then good for her. You have to play the hand you are dealt and play it well. And raising money is a necessity. I won't hold that against Obama either if he did raise a lot of money as long as it's legal.

by meliou2 2007-03-06 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money! Breaking!

Not sure to whom your question is directed. No one I have ever read has suggested candidates should not raise money.

This little diary is about Stoller's claim that Obama underemphasizes his grassroots.

I think Obama and all candidates have a way to go (see the Exley links). But to argue that Obama overemphasizes the "good ole boys" just because he employs some is a stretch.

by demondeac 2007-03-06 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!

Howard Dean's done matching funds to raise money for the DNC. I put up $50 for matching money and then got notes from two people who gave $25 each.

And I do think it's an excellent way of raising money in that supporters who were strangers are introduced and linked.

Whether it raises more money, I don't know. I participated for the DNC maybe 6 months ago, and that sort of fund-raiser hasn't been repeated.

by joyful alternative 2007-03-06 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!

Do you feel there is much organisation in the Obama campaign? I mean like on the ground, campaign building organisation. I get the sense from the website that there isn't, but just wondering what people felt.

There seems to be lots of excitement, but is it being channeled?

by okamichan13 2007-03-06 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!

Hard to tell. There's a bit of damned if they do, damned if they don't about it.

Obama says he wants something organic. He has said it is "scary" but that a new politics needs to let the movement supporters lead, not just follow.

He would be criticized, rightfully so, if he erected a grassroots Potemkin village that was really run by the campaign insiders.

On the other hand, organizing is important. There are tools on the website, groups in facebook and myspace. But how are people being educated, led even, to use them.

My be simply too early to tell. Obama, unlike Edwards, Clinton, and others did not spend the last two or more years planning to run. I have heard that he has hired some very capable and experienced internet staff. He is building the ground organization. We'll see.

The problem you point to is one most any politician would love to have: support overtaking the capacity to organize and channel it!

by demondeac 2007-03-06 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!

I really hope the excitement is being used well.  Here in San Francisco, there was an organizing meeting last week that was initiated through the my.barackobama site.  There were about 60 people there, and the people who organized it were not officially affiliated with the campaign.

It was very well-organized (almost everyone there was a campaign veteran of some sort) and there have already been follow-up emails about distributing bumper stickers/pins and about tabling plans, including literature packets, voter registration forms, etc.

I was pretty impressed.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2007-03-06 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!
I got one of the emails.  they are doing matching funds.  No big deal.  The person with the big amts in April are the ones the big donors will back and alot of endorsements.  He must get close enough to the Hillary machine to show he can raise money.
Since I just donated last week, I'll probably wait to do another.
by vwcat 2007-03-06 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!

I offered a 50 dollar match contribution in Chicago and just got a thank you note from a person in Texas who matched me. Seems like a good idea.

Thought I'd share.

by dpg220 2007-03-06 01:55PM | 0 recs
No PAC contributions and no lobbyist money

I think it's important to note that Obama has pledged to not take money from Washington lobbyists or PACs, and placed a specific emphasis on raising money from the people.

by Fran for Dean 2007-03-06 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: No PAC contributions and no lobbyist money

Yes, its nice to see. Edwards has as well. No word from Hillary. I wonder if this will come up at all in the debates.

by okamichan13 2007-03-06 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: No PAC contributions and no lobbyist money

No way HRC would do that.  If she can't outspend, she is toast.

by yitbos96bb 2007-03-06 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: No PAC contributions and no lobbyist money

Plus, where else is Hillary going to get money if not lobbyists and PACs?

by Fran for Dean 2007-03-06 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!

I'm just not sure what Stoller's criticism was.  He was upset that Obama hired Jim Margolis, but gave a rather nonspecific reason as to why that was a bad thing, without offering an alternative course of action.  What would have been better?  That Obama hires Atrios to cut his ads?  I get the point of Margolis being part of a "poor commission structure" (although specifics would be nice here), but are there better alternatives at the Presidential race level?

by HellofaSandwich 2007-03-06 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama asks for money on internets!


That Obama hires Atrios to cut his ads?

The next thing you know, there are ads run daily about wankers and Bobo's World and pictures of ponies on TV.

That'd be kind of funny, now that I think about it. :)

by PsiFighter37 2007-03-06 06:40PM | 0 recs

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