Wealthy and connected lawyers, entrepreneurs, and entertainment executives who would have raised tens of millions for the Obama campaign are forced to stay on the sidelines because they were appointed to diplomatic posts around the world, the New York Times
reported, making a comparatively underwhelming re-election fundraising effort even more challenging.
After his election in 2008, President Barack Obama named a dozen or more loyal backers to State Department ambassador posts, including one of the most popular fundraisers for Democrats, Hillary Clinton. By working as federal employees, the Times reported, the diplomats are prevented from campaigning due to legal restrictions.
“The reason these people were in those jobs is because they were so energetic, a fundraising official close to Obama’s campaign, told the Times. You lose a lot of the energy they brought to the game. You can’t really replace that.”
The dozen or so current and former ambassadors were among Obama’s top bundlers in 2008, the Times reported, likely totaling multimillions. Bundlers collect a minimum of $500,000 in checks from other donors and bundle them together.
Besides Clinton other critical losses for Obama are the ambassador to Japan, John V. Roos, who was one of Mr. Obama’s biggest fund-raisers in Silicon Valley; the ambassador to France, Charles H. Rivkin, an entertainment executive who was one of Obama’s earliest fund-raisers in Southern California; the ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Louis B. Susman, a leading bundler in Chicago; Alan D. Solomont, a Boston health care entrepreneur and longtime Democratic bundler, who is now in Madrid; David Jacobson, a Chicago lawyer, now the ambassador in Ottawa; and Norman Eisen, a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama’s who is ambassador to the Czech Republic.
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