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The Green Zone

For Money Men, a Convention with a Different Goal

By Matthew Mosk
DENVER -- Kirk Wagar, one of Barack Obama's top Florida money men, camped at the bar of the Westin Hotel this afternoon, working on logistics for donors.

For many of Obama's finance committee members, catering to donor -- and potential donor -- needs is a key part of having a successful convention.

"It's a week to be endured more than enjoyed," Wagar commiserated with a fellow Florida fundraiser, who was trying to reserve slots for his donors to attend tonight's GQ magazine party.

Adding to the challenge for the bundlers, who will be trying to pin down commitments from donors over drinks, are the changing targets.

It used to be that raising $250,000 would get a fundraiser onto Obama's National Finance Committee. Now, to make that elite team, new bundlers will have to raise $300,000.

But Wagar said one change in the campaign should make his life easier. The selection of Joe Biden as a running mate means the fundraising heft of Florida developer Michael Adler. Adler has long been Biden's top money man, and he gives Obama an important entry point into the Jewish community.

Wagar said he'd also have help from top Hillary Clinton supporters in Florida.

"In our state we are doing better than any other in working together with the Clinton people, Wagar said.

Posted at 5:32 PM ET on Aug 25, 2008  | Category:  The Green Zone
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Deep Blue:

That's my point. There's no evidence that Obama AGGRESSIVELY pursued such an agreement. The only thing I've seen reported is a short meeting between their attorneys. I think it is reasonable to assume that he dismissed any such thought with his first $50+ million month. Don't you think if Obama did anything else to AGGRESSIVELY pursue an agreement on public financing, he would have made that known in order to counter McCain's charges.

Gator-ron:

Praying for rain in Central Florida on Election Day is no different than Denver on Thursday. God's will be done. Although abortion is a bit off topic, your same logic could be used as to the "personal freedom" of REAL murderers too.

Posted by: JakeD | August 26, 2008 9:19 AM

Interestingly, JakeD sees McCain's best chance if the turnout is reduced. That means that the least representative government is what he promotes and what benefits McCain. He also promotes government that interferes in the personal lives of American citizens. McCain will appoint judges that will undo Roe v Wade.

Roe v Wade is a personal freedom issue and is as important to men as to women. It does not mean nor should it mean that restrictions on abortions can be enacted. The moral issue of abortion must also be addressed but not at the expense of personal freedom.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 25, 2008 9:32 PM

Jake,

I have no idea about the inside baseball stuff regarding the campaigns' finance discussions.

The CNN coverage has been weak. I'm guessing that they are taking extra precautions regarding security, but Gergen just blasted the dems for not giving enough eye candy so far. And King's analysis about the areas that Clinton beat Obama in Penn and Va is meaningless. Obama lost the latin vote to Hillary, but he's trouncing McCain with that electorate, which will be key in New Mexico and Colorado.

By the way, I think McCain's negative campaigning will depress his turnout more than it'll depress Obama's turnout. Ultimately, people want to vote FOR someone or something. And when I listen, carefully, to people like Ross Perot and T. Boone Pickens, I still think that McCain has a HUGE problem, that is underreported with the conservative wing of his party. Romney *might* help a bit there, but he's a mixed bag and he probably hurts in Virginia, No Carolina and Georgia more than he helps in Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 25, 2008 9:13 PM

I am concerned about the integrity of the electoral process. I think John McCain's stand on public finance is more a reflection of McCain's inability to attract enthusiastic supporters. McCain did not accept public finance in the primary.

McCain has a campaign that is ruled by lobbyists. Lobbyists and Industry representatives have made the government ineffective. The FDA has become a disgrace and physicians can no longer rely on the fact that a drug has received approval as the definitive indication of drug safety. The Republicans including McCain have this perverted idea that promotion of industry is the governments job. In the case of the FDA it has removed an important factor in drug safety.

Republican president equals ineffective and incompetent government. McCain does not represent an improvement in administrative competence.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 25, 2008 9:11 PM

Gator-ron:

Hopefully, there's a lot of rain in Central Florida on Election Day then ...

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 8:56 PM

I do not see much difference between the reaction of people in North Florida to Obama from that to Kerry four years ago. The only thing that looks different from 2004 is that there are more Obama political signs than McCain.

I see nothing o be optimistic about with respect to Obama. In Florida the war will be won or lost in central Florida.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 25, 2008 8:54 PM

acarponzo:

Can you answer whether McCain supporters are supposed to "bop" Obama, or McCain. I think that part is a bit confusing.

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 8:38 PM

Barak Obama never had any intention of limiting his ability to get elected. Give me a break. there never was public financing on the table. Oh that;s right, it's the wrong populist message! http://www.bop-o-rama.com. Somebody is not winning this poll!

Posted by: acarponzo | August 25, 2008 8:36 PM

Yeah, of course I oppose everything Obama stands for, but I don't wish him any ill will whatsoever.

Back to the topic: did Obama renege on his promise to "aggressively pursue an agreement on public financing" or not? You may think it was justified, but even the WaPo "Fact Checker" has concluded that he did not fulfill that promise.

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 8:25 PM

Hey Jake,

Thanks for the heads up. Every President has to deal with a lot more stuff than what we hear about. If Obama becomes POTUS, the threats will be increased. Do you know the number- I think it's something like 30% of our Presidents have either been killed or wounded in action. That's why the Biden choice becomes so important. If the odds are 30%, then with Obama it probably becomes 50%.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 25, 2008 8:19 PM

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 8:11 PM

Deep Blue:

Did you hear the news about a failed assassination attempt on Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 8:09 PM

The good thing about elective politics is that we will get to see if our theories stand the test of time.

Young and black voters came out to the primaries in record numbers. By November, Obama will have them stoked.

I could be mistaken, but I don't think so. His field operation is the largest in history. A probably 3-1 financial advantage. The economy in the doldrums. etc.

Here's Charlie Cook's theory of this is going to play out:
http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cr_20080628_6561.php

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 25, 2008 7:28 PM

Apology accepted. As for the "KKK vote" I would have no problem voting for Alan Keyes or another, qualified pro-life African-American. I would just be surprised if your "Rock the Vote" works for you.

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 7:24 PM

I stand corrected, Jake.

You really think the Bradley Effect is going to be decisive?

I think young and black voters will more than make up for that. In my opinion, Reagan and the Bush people have long since done a great job of organizing and turning out the, for lack of a better word, KKK vote.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 25, 2008 7:11 PM

Deep Blue:

I am registered Independemt, so "my people" are not planning to take the country anywhere, anytime soon ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 6:50 PM

Sorry we failed you, Hillary. We should had worked harder - we should had worked smarter. Now we must accept Obama (the modern JFK) as our Commander-In-Chief, tutored by Biden (our new Dick Cheney) ... then again, perhaps not ...

Posted by: Louie | August 25, 2008 6:47 PM

Jake,

Like Hitler, your Republican party has learned that people prefer simple lies to complicated truths.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0208/Obama_spokesman_Public_financing_just_an_option.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/02/us/politics/02fec.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=kirkpatrick+obama+mccain+aggressively+burton&st=nyt&oref=slogin

"My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election....If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." -- Obama, November 2007

The campaigns couldn't come to an agreement, especially on the 527 stuff. Obama has taken the high road, avoid PAC money, telling moveon to close their 527 etc.

I know you people like to play to the lowest common denominator types, but, really, how low do you and your people plan to take this country this campaign Jake?

The lies are already breathtaking: calling Obama a traitor for suggesting a timetable for leaving Iraq, a timetable that Maliki and now the Bush Administration have agreed on. Where's the apology? That's right, the old man has no shame.

I hope McCain keeps lying through his old, stained, yellow teeth. The young people in this country, unlike the miserable old gits, know how to read and decipher the truth.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 25, 2008 6:45 PM

"Hope" and "Change". If Obama becomes POTUS, he's going to disappoint. Heck, he's already "moved toward the center" and away from his supporters ideals. Wake up Obama supporters. Don't blindly support this joker. Make him promise. Paint him into a corner and find out what he believes in. You only get one chance to get these suit on the record, cuz after the election, he'll be in his political "refractory period" - he's not gonna need what you got for another four years.

Posted by: David | August 25, 2008 6:40 PM

THIS thread is about the Obama-Biden money men, specifically Kirk Wagar and Michael Adler; I would be happy to discuss McCain's money men (or lack thereof, since HE abided by his promise to accept public financing for the general election) on a different thread.

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 6:35 PM

No, Deep Blue, it means it was LEGAL (he should know the loopholes, he WROTE campaign finance reform). Regardless, Barack Hussein Obama reneged on HIS promise, right?

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 6:32 PM

Jake,

You slippery fish you!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/24/mccain.finance/index.html
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/08/20/dnc_pushes_fec_on_mccain_loans.html

You know that McCain treated the matching system like his first wife - he used it for what it was worth (ballot access and the loan) and then kicked it to the curb when it no longer suited him.

The fact that the FECkless morons in DC didn't call him on it means about as much as his Senate colleagues not calling him on putting the $112,000 bribe that Keating gave him in his pocket and not reporting it on his taxes.

Guilty then. Guilty now! :-)

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 25, 2008 6:29 PM

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 6:03 PM

Following is the list of keynote speakers and topics at the upcoming Democratic Convention:

Marion Barry --- Drug Abuse

Rep. Denny Kucinich --- How to garner 1 % of the vote in every primary entered

Sen. Chrissy Dodd --- Obtaining Countrywide loans

Sen. Chucky Schumer --- How to initiate a run on a bank

Jesse Jackson ---- Marital fidelity and Castration

John Edwards ---- Ambulance Chasing and Spousal support in time of need

Sen. Theodore Kennedy --- Driver education and How to stop a pending autopsy

James McGreevey ---- Gay rights

Mayor Ray Nagin --- Emergency evacuation preparations

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick – Email etiquette in the workplace

Al Sharpton ---- Race relations

Sen. Evan Bayh --- How to ignore the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party and support the war in Iraq

Al Gore --- Snow Removal

Louis Farrakhan --- Muslims in America and Muslim in the White House

Posted by: gary | August 25, 2008 5:59 PM

Too bad Obama reneged on his promise to "aggressively pursue an agreement on public financing" or all these headaches would have been gone Thursday ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 5:58 PM

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