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People are miffed. Many of Barack Obama’s strongest supporters are getting angry at his policies, and they are beginning to speak out about their frustrations.
I don’t mean those of us who are somewhere between dismayed and outraged about Obama’s equivocating, establishment-appeasing policies on such huge issues as health-insurance reform, the Wall Street bailout, and the escalation of his Afghanistan war. No, I’m talking about some of his wealthiest campaign funders.
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It seems that they’re in a deepening pout because the President is not giving them the attention they feel they so richly deserve. Some are practically having hissy fits that Obama’s rather-stringent ethics policies are excluding them from getting such perks as sleepovers in the Lincoln bedroom or such plum jobs as Ambassador to The Island Republic of Nirvana.
“I’ve had almost no communication with the White House,” whined a funder from Miami, who had raised $5.5 million for Obama. “There is no connection between the administration and money people… as far as the fun stuff,” he moaned.
Likewise, a Hollywood funder who had bundled beaucoup bucks for Obama complained that all he has received is an invitation to a policy briefing in Washington. “Is that a perk?” he asked incredulously. “Under Clinton,” this donor pointed out, “we did spend time in the White House. We did spend time in Camp David.” But under Obama, he says with palpable frustration, “There’s so much less of that than I think ever occurred in the past.”
No doubt you share their pain. Or, perhaps you share my delight that instead of coddling big money donors with business-as-usual favors, Obama has had the integrity to say, “Thank you, but no.” As one sensible fund-raiser put it, “It would be silly for me to say we wouldn’t all love to be invited to the White House, but it isn’t why we [support him]. I have no aspiration to [get] the perks.” And that’s how it should be.
“Some Obama donors are feeling left out,” The Washington Post,” December 4, 2009.