As Barack Obama sets to work crafting his legacy as the nation’s 44th president, one achievement that is already carved in stone is his unparalleled skill as a campaigner. It’s not much of an accomplishment for a leader—not the sort of thing likely to be inscribed on a commemorative tablet or at the base of a monument—but it is nevertheless a reality: Twice he ran for the nation’s highest office, and twice he broke records raising campaign funds.
In fact, reports the New York’s Observer’s Politicker blog, he has not stopped raising campaign contributions, this despite having won re-election. “Obama’s electoral operation, Obama for America,” Colin Campbell writes, “is asking their supporters to contribute after filling out a form backing his plan to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.” The site features an inspirational photo of the president as its wallpaper, his gaze elevated and trained Mosaically on some distant object: a third term perhaps?
What the president’s short- or long-term objective might be is a less pressing question than the one pertaining to the legality of his fund-raising appeal. The article quotes former (current?) campaign manager, Jim Messina, as publicly signaling that the Obama for America website will continue to exist. There is no problem there. Campaign finance laws, however, are pretty specific and straightforward about the duration of campaign fund-raising. To wit, it ends with the election.
Messina seems to acknowledge this:
What’s true is just from FEC [Federal Election Commission] law, the campaign needs to shut down. We cannot expend funds for non-presidential activities. So we have got to figure out what we do next. That’s a conversation we’re having with our supporters now.
It is presumably with a wink that he added, “I think anything’s possible.”
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