October 15th, 2011
08:47 AM ET

Letters to the President: #999 'The money chase'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president with the same frequency that some prisoners write to their governors. He has yet to respond, but you never know…

Dear Mr. President,

The money that you have raised so far for your presidential re-election bid is mind blowing. I mean spin my head around, throw me off a bridge, and launch me into space with a catapult incomprehensible.

$70 million for the most recently reported quarter. $86-million for the one before that. Good heavens, even Kobe Bryant might be envious, and that’s saying something considering that he makes almost twice as much in 12 minutes of play as an ordinary family does in a year. (Well, perhaps not if the NBA can’t get its act together, but you get the point.)

There is, as I am sure you noted, not one Republican contender even vaguely in that league, and even collectively you are spanking them.

That must be heartening to you and your team considering how much we’ve heard in recent months about the enthusiasm gap; about Democrats having a hard time getting excited about your re-election. On the other hand, let me remind you that any advantage you have in money now is likely to dwindle, if not disappear entirely, as the race moves along.

Look, the Republicans are still sorting things out. Most of them think Mitt Romney will be their guy, and they’re trying to figure out how to get happy about that. Others still think…oh, maybe Rick Perry will wake up and recover some momentum; or the pizza baron, Herman Cain, will prove he has real staying power, or maybe Jon Huntsman or Michelle Bachmann. Or maybe there will yet be some contender to emerge from the woods like Bigfoot, lumbering into the race and making the crowd leap to its feet.

But eventually, things are going to settle down and the party will coalesce around its candidate with support, organization, and money. Lots of money. Why? Because that is what always happens. Republicans are very good at that sort of thing.

So be very careful about being caught up in the headlines. Your piggy bank may be fat now, and I daresay this will be by far the richest presidential campaign this nation has ever seen…but in terms of money, I also suspect it is going to be a very close race, and even a massive lead today won’t necessarily be a lead tomorrow.

Hope your Saturday is going well. We’re planning another apple picking excurion, and maybe pies later! Come over if you like. Hey, I heard about you and your family swinging by the new MLK monument. How was it? Nice I hope.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman