- - Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Obama campaign expects lower summer fundraising

The debt negotiations appear to have put a dent in President Obama’s campaign war chest.

Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign expects to raise tens of millions of dollars less this summer than it did last spring because the debt-limit talks forced Mr. Obama to cancel several fundraisers.

Mr. Obama raised a combined $86 million for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee during the spring.

But campaign manager Jim Messina says they will raise significantly less money this summer because they can’t reschedule all of Mr. Obama’s fundraisers. The campaign canceled or postponed 10 fundraisers involving Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley during the past month.

Mr. Obama was attending two fundraisers on Wednesday in Chicago to celebrate his birthday. The president turns 50 on Thursday.


Adviser steps away from Pawlenty campaign

ST. PAUL | A Republican businessman whose support was trumpeted by presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty two months ago is stepping away from a policy position within the campaign.

Indiana executive Al Hubbard won’t be chairman of Mr. Pawlenty’s national policy efforts as previously announced. Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said Wednesday that Mr. Hubbard “became busy with work and isn’t operating in that role.”

Mr. Hubbard was seen as a big plus for Mr, Pawlenty in June because he led a White House economic panel during President George W. Bush’s administration and has close ties to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. He runs an Indianapolis-based acquisition company.


Perry’s day of prayer shadows 2012 bid

AUSTIN | Texas Gov. Rick Perry has organized a prayer meeting in Houston this weekend that could be a political double-edged sword now that he is considering running for president.

The evangelical Christian event, called “The Response,” at Houston’s Reliant Stadium is intended to ask God’s forgiveness for the nation’s moral failings. It gives Mr. Perry a chance to shore up his bona fides with the social conservative wing of the Republican Party. But some think it could also alienate independent voters, who might find its focus on the culture war distasteful.

Civil rights groups have accused some of the preachers involved of intolerance. Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who now leads the Republican Leadership Council, said such events could make it more difficult for Mr. Perry to win a general election.


Florida lawmakers signal debt bill’s great divide

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson cast it as a grand compromise. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio called it a bad deal.

And so the Florida votes reflected the divided tone of Washington over the debt-ceiling package, which got final approval by the Senate on Tuesday and was quickly signed by President Obama.

“I wanted to come up here and be part of the solution, not just part of cutting deals,” said Mr. Rubio, noting that earlier this year he called for a plan that tackled tax reform, discretionary spending, changes to shore up Social Security and Medicare, and a balanced-budget amendment.

Some of Mr. Rubio’s GOP colleagues said they wanted more, too, but that it was a significant step. Mr. Rubio agreed the Republicans, with tea party pressure, changed the debate to deep cuts.

“But I still think the enormity of the problem is unresolved,” he said. “Very soon, if we don’t do something, we’re going to have a debt crisis in this country that will make this one look like child’s play.”

Mr. Nelson, who is up for re-election in 2012, took to the Senate floor before the vote to praise the compromise.

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