100 vs 1,000,000

I’ve tried to stay out of the discussion of the pro-Hillary Clinton 527 that’s recent formed called American Leadership Project. I’m not really interested in accusations of illegal activities made by people who don’t practice in campaign finance law and think the ALP’s existence has the potential to lead to a lot of toxic commentary on the blogs, as we’ve already seen.

That said, I have to give big props to the Obama campaign’s internet department for taking this moment and trying to activate their email list against the big donor fundraising surrounding the ALP. Here’s the full email, sent from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe:

Matthew —

Make a matching donationNews broke yesterday that a few wealthy Clinton supporters are gearing up for a massive spending campaign to boost her chances in the big upcoming contests in Texas and Ohio on March 4th.

The so-called “American Leadership Project” will take unlimited contributions from individuals and is organized the same way as the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

ABC News reports that this group is seeking 100 Clinton supporters to each give $100,000 to fund its $10 million effort to promote Senator Clinton and “contrast” her positions with Barack Obama’s.

That’s the opposite of how politics should work, and the opposite of how Barack Obama has run this campaign.

The same day this group’s activity was revealed, we announced that nearly 1 million individual people have donated to this campaign.

Stand up against politics-as-usual. Help reach the goal of 1 million donors calling out for change by encouraging a first-time donor to own a piece of this campaign.

If you give as part of our matching program, you will double the gift of a new donor. You can even choose to exchange a note with them about why you are part of this movement.

Make your matching donation now:


Groups like this are forbidden from working primarily for the purpose of electing or defeating a candidate.

Yet here we have a committee that springs up on the eve of an election, promotes a specific candidate, and has no history or apparent purpose of lobbying specific issues outside the benefit to the candidate of these communications.

This raises a number of legal and ethical issues, but more than anything it reveals an attitude towards politics as a game that is played to win at all costs.

Americans are ready for change. We are tired of Swift Boat-style groups and smear campaigns.

Help reach the unprecedented goal of a million voices calling for a new kind of politics and a new kind of leadership.

Make a matching donation now:


I’ll keep you updated as the situation with this group evolves.

Thank you for your support,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

I’m very curious to see the sort of response the Obama campaign gets from this email. The existence of the ALP is clearly an incarnation of DC politics as usual. Obama’s email list is primed against this sort of political campaigning and my guess is they will respond very strongly to being asked to be the counter-weight against 100 superdonors for Clinton. I particularly like that the Obama campaign has found a way to fit the push back against the ALP into their already existing effort to reach 1,000,000 unique donors. In this sense, they are asking their email list to reach two goals: the main ask is for them to hit 1,000,000 donors and, more subtly, they’re also telling their list that it will take $10,000,000 to counter the big money influence that’s helping the Clinton campaign.

This is a very smart strategy. I hope the Obama campaign releases the dollar totals raised from this pushback campaign against the big money that’s flowing towards Hillary Clinton.

3 thoughts on “100 vs 1,000,000

  1. This *is* a smart strategy; but the references to the infamous Swift Boat Veterans are way over the top. This is just offensive:

    “Americans are ready for change. We are tired of Swift Boat-style groups and smear campaigns.”

    If the ALP has *anything* to do with that kind of an effort, other than sharing the same type of legal structure, this email fails to explain; so the reference, ironically, is a smear in itself.

    ALP’s goal of raising $10 million from 100 contributors is a very good example of DC politics-as-usual, and it’s a good move by the Obama campaign to contrast its huge small-donor funding base with this. One interesting aspect of this is that Obama’s the one with the money these days… so the money to be raised by this effort appears to be secondary.

    Didn’t I just read that the Obama campaign has 500,000 individual donors? If so, it looks like they’re using this latest fundraiser to double their list of supporters. You’d never know that from this email — although I suppose that the goal is pretty realistic, given the size of their email list!

    The sad part of this, to me, is that ALP’s stated purpose — to “contrast” Clinton’s and Obama’s positions — would actually be helpful. I wish Obama would leave the generalities behind and do a little “contrasting” himself, but that’s probably too much to hope (sorry) for.


  2. I agree, I’m not a fan of referencing the Swift Boat Vets as a comparison, though they simply mean that they’re a 527. For now, that’s where the similarities end.

    With regard to the number of donors, according to the graphic the Obama campaign already has over 900,000 donors, not 500k.

    I just checked with a source in the Obama campaign and the graphic is an accurate reflection (well, when it was sent) of the number of unique donors they’ve had. There goal is to reach 1 million donors by March 4th.


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