Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Anna Wintour raised at least $500k for Obama’s re-election bid

    (Photo of Wintour: Francois Durand/Getty Images)President Obama's re-election campaign has credited the "grassroots" for the whopping $86 million Obama raised for his 2012 bid and the Democratic National Committee between April and June.

    But a significant chunk of that fundraising haul came to the campaign though big-money donors who raised serious cash for Obama over the last three months. On Friday, the Obama campaign voluntarily released a list of 244 "volunteer fundraisers" who raised at least $50,000 apiece for Obama's re-election bid.

    The tally disclosed 27 donors who bundled contributions of $500,000 or more--a list that included well-known figures like Vogue Magazine editor Anna Wintour, former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

    Another 41 donors raised between $200,000 and $500,000, 89 raised between $100,000 and $200,000 while 87 raised between $50,000 and $100,000.

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  • Rick Santorum trails 2012 rivals in fundraising

    (Photo of Santorum: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Rick Santorum has long suggested he was compelled to run for president by his fellow Republicans, but donors don't seem to be as enthusiastic about his 2012 bid.

    According to a report filed today with the Federal Election Commission, the former Pennsylvania senator raised just over $582,000 for his presidential campaign between April and June, ending last month with roughly $229,000 in the bank.

    That's the lowest haul of any of the main 2012 GOP contenders—but Santorum's campaign tried to spin the numbers, arguing the ex-senator has made a "solid" start on the money front.

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  • Tim Pawlenty makes another big ad buy in Iowa

    (Photo of Pawlenty: Charlie Neibergall/AP)It appears Tim Pawlenty may be willing to bet his entire campaign on the upcoming Iowa straw poll.

    Per Politico's Bryan Tau, the former Minnesota governor's campaign has placed a $200,000 TV and radio ad buy in the Des Moines media market ahead of the Aug. 13th poll in Ames. That brings Pawlenty's ad spending in the state in recent weeks to more than $400,000--a major chunk of cash for Pawlenty's less than flush campaign.

    According to Pawlenty aides, the ex-governor ended the second fundraising quarter on June 30th with $1.4 million cash in the bank to spend on the GOP primary.

    The campaign had previously said it had budgeted nearly $1.8 million to spend on the Ames straw poll alone. It's unclear if Pawlenty will stick with that estimate given he's expected to have less cash on hand than many of his 2012 rivals, including Michele Bachmann, who will finally disclose her second quarter financials to the Federal Election Commission today.

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  • Obama calls on Congress to ‘seize the moment’ on debt talks

    (Photo of Obama: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)President Obama with new immediacy today reiterated his call for a sweeping plan to deal with the nation's long-term debt problems. He warned GOP lawmakers that time is running out on a deal that would prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its financial obligations.

    In his second news conference this week on the issue, Obama called on lawmakers to give him a "serious" plan to raise the debt ceiling within the next 24 or 36 hours. But he emphasized the need for Congress to "put politics aside" and tackle an "ambitious" solution to the nation's deficit problems--not just a quick fix.

    "We have a unique opportunity to do something big," Obama said. "We have a chance to stabilize America's finances for a decade, for 15 or 20 years, if we are willing to seize the moment."

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  • Judge sets John Edwards trial for October

    (Photo of Edwards: Gerry Broome/AP)

    John Edwards' trial will begin in October, a federal judge ruled Thursday, rejecting claims from the former Democratic presidential hopeful's attorneys that they needed more time to prepare.

    The former North Carolina senator had been pressing for a January trial date, but per the Associated Press' Tom Breen, District Court Judge Carlton Tilley said he saw no reason to postpone the trial further.

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  • Book claims Obama misstated mother’s struggle with health care coverage

    (Photo of Obama and his mother: Obama campaign via AP)During his 2008 presidential campaign and his subsequent fight to enact health care reform legislation, President Obama frequently told a heart-wrenching story of how problems with the nation's insurance system had touched his own family.

    He said his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had spent the final months of her life battling with insurance companies who refused to pay for her medical treatments because they claimed her ovarian cancer had been a pre-existing condition.

    "She wasn't thinking about coming to terms with her own mortality," Obama said at a rally in September 2007. "She had been diagnosed just as she was transitioning between jobs, and she wasn't sure whether insurance was going to cover the medical expenses because they might consider this a pre-existing condition. I remember just being heartbroken, seeing her struggle through the paperwork and the medical bills and the insurance forms. So, I have seen what it's like when somebody you love is suffering because of a broken health care system, and it's wrong. It's not who we are as a people."

    But the story, which was the subject of an Obama campaign ad in 2008, is facing critical scrutiny in a new biography of Obama's mother, which reports Dunham actually did have health coverage for most of her bills when she died of cancer in 1995.

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  • Perry calls Chuck Grassley about potential 2012 run

    (Photo of Perry: Darren Abate/AP)Here's another sign that Rick Perry is increasingly serious about a 2012 bid: The Texas governor phoned Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley about his prospective campaign.

    Per the Des Moines Register, Grassley told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he had spoken with Perry about a potential 2012 run earlier this week.

    Grassley, a top Iowa Republican who often plays an influential role in presidential politics, declined to divulge what Perry said to him. But the senator told reporters he advised the GOP governor to make Iowa a priority should he decide to run.

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  • Voters blame Bush more than Obama for the economy

    (Photo of Bush and Obama: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)Voters are increasingly displeased with President Obama's handling of the economy, but a new poll finds most Americans still think George W. Bush is responsible for the nation's dismal financial state.

    According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of those surveyed say Bush is responsible for the "current condition" of the economy, compared to just 27 percent who blame Obama. Among self-described independent voters, a key 2012 voting bloc, the number shifts slightly: 49 percent point the finger at the former GOP president, while 24 percent blame Obama.

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  • Mike Huckabee’s daughter compares Tim Pawlenty to her dad

    (Screenshot of Pawlenty and his wife, Mary, via YouTube)Tim Pawlenty didn't waste any time in trying to capitalize on hiring Mike Huckabee's daughter to work for his presidential campaign.

    As the Des Moines Register first reported, Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent an email to Pawlenty's Iowa supporters today comparing her boss's 2012 campaign to her father's come from behind victory in Iowa in 2008.

    "Four years ago I worked in Iowa for my dad, Gov. Mike Huckabee, when he was running for President. At the time, he was low in the polls and didn't have much money, but he won the Iowa Caucus because Iowans liked his executive experience, record of results governing a Democratic state and conservative convictions," she wrote. 'Today I'm back in Iowa working for Gov. Pawlenty's campaign because Gov. Pawlenty has the same conservative convictions and executive experience I admire in my dad."

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  • Romney leads but Bachmann surges in new 2012 poll

    (Photo of Bachmann: Andy Dunaway/AP)Mitt Romney still holds a significant lead over his rivals in the 2012 GOP primary, but Michele Bachmann has surged into second place nationally.

    A new Quinnipiac Poll finds Romney leading Bachmann by 11 points--25 percent to 14 percent among likely GOP voters. By comparison, Bachmann was in 6th place in a June Quinnipiac poll of 2012 GOP contenders, with just six percent support.

    According to the poll, she's now statistically tied with Sarah Palin, who has 12 percent support in the latest poll. Rick Perry, who is openly considering a 2012 run, registers at 10 percent in the poll.

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