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The [Tuesday] Papers

"After months of record-breaking fund-raising, a new sense of urgency in Senator Barack Obama's fund-raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign's decision to bypass public financing for the general election is suddenly upon it," the New York Times reports on its front page today.

"Pushing a fund-raiser later this month, a finance staff member sent a sharply worded note last week to Illinois members of its national finance committee, calling their recent efforts 'extremely anemic'."

On Sunday, Lynn Sweet reported on some of the measures the campaign is taking to raise dough.

"Under pressure to raise millions of dollars in the coming weeks, Barack Obama's campaign is raising the bar for entree into his elite fund-raising world while heavily scheduling big political names and celebrities to help him raise campaign cash fast," Sweet wrote.

"Membership on Obama's privileged National Finance Committee was once open to those who raised a minimum of $250,000; now it's $300,000. The 'asks' for joint Obama/Democratic National Committee high-roller events are getting higher."

For example, recent VIP receptions with Michelle cost $25,000.

And while the campaign pretended grassroots donors had something to do with the party's platform, rich people were paying to meet with Obama's top advisers.

"In order to squeeze money out of donors, Obama's marketeers have created different kinds of events for niche contributors, including packaging together Obama foreign policy advisers Susan Rice, Richard Danzig and Greg Craig for briefings," Sweet reports.

"An Obama 'policy lecture series' - a way to stroke donors is to make them feel they are real insiders - features Obama top adviser Valerie Jarrett on Monday in New York. She will give what is billed as an 'insider's view' of the campaign. The series is $10,000; one event goes for $2,500.

"There is a 'political and policy briefing and dinner with campaign leadership' Wednesday in Chicago featuring the Obama all-stars for those who raise or donate $10,000: campaign manager David Plouffe, senior adviser Peter Rouse, economic adviser Jason Furman, national field director Jon Carson, chief of staff Jim Messina, national finance director Julianna Smoot and economic adviser Austan Goolsbee."

UPDATE 12:11 P.M.: Here's Obama's "Celebrity Fund-Raising Schedule" from Lynn Sweet.


Back to the Times:

"Even Mr. Obama's fund-raisers in Illinois were admonished in an e-mail message last Thursday to step up their efforts to 'show the other regions that his home state still has it' The donors, who were also reminded they had each promised to collect $300,000 for the campaign, were asked to raise $25,000 each for an event on Sept. 22 at a Chicago museum.

"The new state-by-state goals unveiled by campaign officials in Denver stunned at least some in the room and included sizable increases for at least some states, according to interviews with several Obama fund-raisers."

Real Change
Wouldn't it have been something if the campaign had reserved the skyboxes at Invesco for grassroots donors selected by lottery while the rich folk were treated like ordinary people? And maybe the campaign could hold events where regular folk meet with policy advisers. That would be change.

Boot Hoot
The mayor pulled his proposed boot ordinance off the table - for now - because he didn't have the votes in the council.

Once recalcitrant aldermen retrieve their cars from the pound, Daley will try again.


Maybe the Obama campaign can figure out how to raise money by booting cars at its events. The Obama Boot for Change!

School Fools
"Illinois ranks second to last in the country for state funding of public education," the Sun-Times noted over the weekend.

That means at least two of these states rank higher than we do: Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia.

Insert Joke Here
I have nothing funny or insightful to say about Cardinal George or United Airlines.

My New Hero
Here's to you, Don Gorske. You are an inspiration.

Breaking News
Cardinal George says his indifference to child sex abuse is based on an old story.


I'm trying to work with it, folks.

Irony Is A Bitch
"Obama: Palin as mom, governor, hunter may be cool, but she's just another politician."


And by "bitch" I am not referring to Sarah Palin's gender, but simply the old "karma is a bitch" phrase.

Karma Is A Bitch
"Obama: McCain wants this to be about biography."

The Machine Is A Bitch
"Rendell: If I was Palin, you'd be calling for my impeachment."

If you were Daley, you would have been impeached.


Troopergate vs. Robert Sorich. Discuss.


McCain: "And Sen. Obama has never once stood up to his party. You know that very well in the state of Illinois."


How ironic that Obama's alliance with the Machine might just sink him. McCain and Palin are the first of his opponents in his entire career who have figured out how to attack him. I mean, aside from Bobby Rush using that whole elitist/egghead thing.

TV Notes
* Bob Woodward was on Larry King Live last night discussing his new book and they played audio of President Bush admitting that one of his failures was "to change the tone in Washington."

* Michelle Obama appeared on Ellen yesterday and Ellen discussed her recent wedding but didn't ask Michelle why her husband didn't think it should be legally recognized.

* On Monday Night Football last night, the insufferable Tony Kornheiser spewed more benchmarks for comparing Aaron Rodgers to Brett Favre than have been proposed for gauging success in Iraq, until Ron Jaworski finally said, "Let it go, Tony."

In the Beachwood
* We're ecstatic to welcome Scott Buckner back to these pages in his boffo role as the city's best TV critic, as shown again by several recent posts of his.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Favre-like.


Posted on September 9, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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