This situation has been a long time coming: “The cash-strapped Democratic National Committee has hired new fundraising chairs to beef up the party’s efforts to raise the money to compete with Republicans in 2016.” The basic problem for the Democrats here is that the DNC is heavily – heavily – in debt: as of June of this year it had 6.2 million in debt and 7.6 million in cash (the RNC has about 16.7 million in cash, 1.8 million in debt). That would be a remarkable flip from this point in 2011, when the RNC was crawling out from under a crushing debt load and the DNC was… not. So, what happened?
Short version: Barack Obama. Essentially, his organization took over the DNC infrastructure at the beginning of his term – OK, that’s not entirely strange – and then proceeded to use it to secure Barack Obama’s re-election, and nothing else. Ever wonder why the Democrats didn’t claw back more state and federal seats in 2012 than they did? It’s because that wasn’t a priority for the people in charge, thank God. Keeping Barack Obama in office was.
This might have been tolerable… except that, in 2013, Obama split off a new group (Organizing for Action) from the DNC. Actually, that’s not really what happened: what actually happened was that OfA burst out of the DNC like a digger wasp larvae bursts out of a cicada. OfA left, and took all of Obama’s good proprietary data with it, and the suckers at the table were not amused. The argument is that supposedly OfA is there to provide useful support for the DNC, but judging from everybody’s email lists, it’s primarily simply there to pry just five more dollars from the people who still give OfA a valid email address.
And even this would have been… manageable… if Hillary Clinton could simply live up to the hype surrounding her and give the Democrats the quiet, inevitable primary season that her people had promised. And, indeed, Hillary Clinton may be able to reverse her second place status in New Hampshire and Iowa. Only… she’s behind in New Hampshire and Iowa. That in itself is problematical for the Democrats. Very, very problematical.
So that’s why the DNC is now putting together the fundraising infrastructure that it should have started putting together two years ago. Because if Hillary Clinton isn’t the nominee, well, the Democrats still need to run a Presidential campaign. Somehow. In fact, the Democrats will need to run a Presidential campaign even if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, given that Barack Obama isn’t showing much interest in actually helping a political committee out. :spreading hands: Such is the marvel and the terror that is modern American politics. Are you not entertained?
Moe Lane (crosspost)