Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why Must The President Run A Cloak And Dagger Fund Raising Strategy?

In case you didn't notice, there are some republicans that may be a tad wary of having the president kiss them in public. Could it be that the overuse of "private" fundraising events is a sign the president is losing public credibility and political capital?

It seems to me that there is a growing trend by the W, Rove and Co to deploy a cloak and dagger style fundraising strategy. That is, under the guise of holding a fundraising event at a "private" home, they use that as leverage to "close" the event and block out the public spotlight. This got me wondering, might this ruse be a euphemistic way to keep dirty little things secret? Getting right to the heart of the matter, I have a few related questions for the blogisphere.

First, we do know that the President has not nor will he come out and publicly endorse the Connecticut GOP elected candidate for Senate. Even so, the President will be in CT to raise money there, but for whom?

Second, I am not the only one suspicious of the W, Rove and Co.’s cloak and dagger strategy for fund raising. The bigger questions are who are going to be at these fundraisers, and why do you think they are purposefully held at private homes?

Lastly, when money is raised privately for public campaigns, should we be concerned about how those monies raised flow to various agencies? Moreover, toward what end and means will those funds be deployed?

Of course, you are not going to get anything but the standard, stock answer from Tony the Snow job, but I would be curious to hear what you all think:
Q Tony, the President is doing five closed fundraisers this week, beginning with these two today. We're in Connecticut, and then he's going to Ohio -- places where candidates maybe have not been entirely eager to be seen with him. Is that why we're having all these closed fundraisers? Are Republicans --

MR. SNOW: No, we're having them because they're in private homes. So I think you're going to find in a lot of places we're going to be doing -- as I've already told you before, Sheryl -- we'll have a lot of open events -- we'll let your phone turn off.

Q Sorry.

MR. SNOW: It's really quite elegant; it fits the circumstances. But there will be plenty of open events.

Q Can you tell us a little bit about who's inside? Is the Republican Senate candidate inside, or any --

MR. SNOW: I'll go and check. I saw Chris Shays, but I don't know who else.

Q Tony, how do you justify five events where the public has no idea what the President is saying, what the pitch is, who he's meeting with -- in some cases, how much money is raised --

MR. SNOW: I think people understand what the President stands for. It's not as if -- typically, you try to make sure that if you're having an event in somebody's private home, that it remains private. That's been a standard not only in this administration, but prior. It's not like the administration is pulling rabbits out of his hat. He's saying things that you've heard before and that you're aware of.

Q Well, actually, in the previous administration they started this way and there were a lot of protests from the media -- and from Republicans, as a matter of fact -- and they allowed a feed to come out to reporters and they allowed a print reporter to be in.

MR. SNOW: Understood.

Q So are you all considering that at all?


Q Why not?

MR. SNOW: As I said, because, frankly, we're just not in the business of revisiting this. The President is certainly going to be plenty accessible to you guys and he's going to be accessible to the public and you know what his positions are. And we're going to continue to express them.

Q But is this the way for Republican candidates who perhaps might not want to be pictured publicly with the President to avail themselves of his fundraising prowess while not being seen with him?

MR. SNOW: You're going to have ask them. That's not my reading, but feel free to ask them.
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