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    Posted June 4, 2012 by
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    The Obama Roundup - June 4th


    In case you missed it, here is the latest Roundup of news about President Barack Obama.

    A Castro Endorsement:

    The  daughter of Cuba's president supports the re-election bid of U.S.  President Barack Obama, but believes he could do more were it not for  the pressures he is facing, she said in an interview broadcast Monday on  "CNNi's Amanpour."

    "As a citizen of the world, I would like him  to win," said Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of Raul Castro, in the  exclusive interview, which was conducted Friday in New York. "Given the  choices, I prefer Obama."

    The 49-year-old gay rights advocate  said that Obama has been constrained in his ability to effect change.  "He wants to do much more than what he's been able to do," she said.  "That's the way I interpret it personally. I don't know if I'm being  objective."

    Still, she said, "I believe that Obama needs another  opportunity and he needs greater support to move forward with his  projects and with his ideas, which I believe come from the bottom of his  heart."


    On Commitment to African-Americans:

    On  the face of it, President Obama is the nation's first African-American  president -- though some are questioning whether that's truly the case  in practice.

    "Far from giving black America greater influence in  U.S. politics, Obama's ascent to the White House has signaled the  decline of a politics aimed at challenging racial inequality head-on,"  says Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in  African-American Studies at Columbia University, writing in The  Washington Post.

    Harris writes: "Obama has pursued a racially  defused electoral and governing strategy, keeping issues of specific  interest to African Americans -- such as disparities in the criminal  justice system; the disproportionate impact of the foreclosure crisis on  communities of color; black unemployment; and the persistence of  HIV/AIDS -- off the national agenda."

    The title of Harris' op-ed? "Still waiting for our first black president."


    Dealing with Bill:

    President Barack Obama needs Bill Clinton’s help, even if it comes with a price: he can’t control the former president.

    Clinton  has been drafted by the campaign to serve as a prime surrogate,  trumpeting Obama’s economic policy, hitting the trail to rally activists  and raise money, endorsing the president’s rescue of the U.S. auto  industry and highlighting his killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin  Laden.

    Yet, the downside to enlisting Clinton was on display late  last week. In a May 31 CNN interview, the former president undercut the  narrative Obama’s campaign is building around the presumed Republican  presidential nominee -- arguing that Mitt Romney’s record as a  private-equity executive and as a governor of Massachusetts disqualifies  him from being president.

    The iciness between the two has  thawed since the protracted 2008 Democratic primary between Obama and  his then-rival turned secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, the former  first lady.

    Still, people knowledgeable about the relationship  say that while the two are in a good place, it isn’t one they describe  as warm. Obama, 50, and Clinton, 65, are respectful and friendly,  without being effusive.


    How things change.

    In  2008, after a bruising primary battle with Hillary Clinton, then-Sen.  Barack Obama was on the outs with former President Bill Clinton. This  election cycle, Clinton is one of Obama's most visible surrogates.

    Obama  and Clinton were to appear together Monday night at three New York City  fundraisers, which are expected to bring in millions of dollars.

    The  Obama campaign is relying heavily on Clinton, tapping into his network  of wealthy donors and featuring him in campaign ads. Clinton is also  expected to hit the trail to rally voters leading up to the November  election.

    "Clinton just wants to help," a source close to the  former president said. "His message is 'I know what it takes on the  economy, and Obama is doing the right thing.' They're not going to make  the mistake of the Gore campaign. They're not going to put [Clinton] on  ice."

    As Obama struggles to appeal to white, working-class males,  he hopes Clinton can woo those voters in key Southern and Rust Belt  states.

    You wouldn't call the two men best of friends, but the  lines of communication between the White House and the Clinton circle  are open, sources in both camps say.

    But even as the two are now on the same team, they're not always reading from the same playbook.


    Digging for Gold:

    In politics, a bundler plays a critical role in providing the life blood of a campaign: money.

    Bundlers  raise money, in chunks of $2,500, which is the maximum any individual  can contribute to a campaign by law.  But bundlers raise a lot of  campaign cash; with enough friends and colleagues contributing $2,500  each, the bundler can help bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars  —even more — for the campaign.

    Of President Obama's top 350  bundlers, Bill Allison, Editorial Director at the Sunlight Foundation,  says Obama's list includes 68 who serve on some kind of government  board. Obama's bundlers include George Kaiser, the single largest  investor in Solyndra.

    "Kaiser and folks from his foundation had a  number of meetings at the White House," says Allison. "There's email  traffic that shows that Solyndra was discussed at some of these  meetings. So clearly…the bundlers get in the door and get the chance to  present their priorities and their interests."

    When President  Obama was running for office he implied he would lower the number of  political appointees to embassies. But a 2011 study by the American  Foreign Service Association concluded that he has actually appointed  more than any president in the last 20 years.


    In  2008, more than 550,000 gave more than $200 to Barack Obama, entering  their names in the longest list of individual donors ever seen in  American politics.

    That list was a snapshot of the hope Obama  inspired in a cross sections of liberals, young professionals,  African-Americans, and Democrats who saw in him a generational and  historic moment. But now, as Obama struggles to keep pace with his 2008  fundraising clip, that list offers a cross-section of Democratic  disappointment and alienation. According to a BuzzFeed analysis of  campaign finance data, 88% of the people who gave $200 or more in 2008 —  537,806 people — have not yet given that sum this year. And this  drop-off isn’t simply an artifact of timing. A full 87% of the people  who gave $200 — the sum that triggers an itemized report to the Federal  Elections Commission — through April of 2008, 182,078 people, had not  contributed by the end of last month.


    Dealing with Supporters:

    President  Obama today joined a conference call for supporters to urge Senate  passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that Democrats say will  help women fighting for higher salaries.

    Introduced as a "true champion of America's women and girls," Obama opened his remarks with a "Hey Guys."

    Obama  urged listeners to contact their members of Congress, saying that if  Congress passes the bill, "women are going to have access to more tools  to claim equal pay for equal work. If they don't, then women are still  going to have difficulty enforcing and pressing for this basic  principle."


    President  Obama's campaign manager is asking supporters to basically stop  worrying about tight polls and focus on grass-roots organizing.

    "We knew this was going to be a tough race," Jim Messina says in the new release.

    "We're  going to run the most sophisticated grass-roots campaign this country  has ever seen," Messina said. "And to do that, we need to stay focused,  work hard and ignore the ups and downs."

    He also said: "The only poll that really matters is Nov. 6 -- Election Day."


    The Obama Battleground:

    Obama  campaign manager Jim Messina put out a video message which includes a  map showing President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney in electoral votes, 243  to 191, with another 104 undecided.

    Toss ups: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    Lean Democrat: Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

    Lean Republican: Arizona, Indiana, and Missouri.


    Congressional Relations:

    President  Barack Obama urged Congress on Monday to pass legislation to help women  get equal pay for equal work, emphasizing his support for an important  issue among female voters even though it has little chance of becoming  law.

    "This is more than just about fairness," he told a  conference call to urge the Senate to back the Paycheck Fairness Act.  "Women are the breadwinners for a lot of families and if they're making  less than men do for the same work, families are going to have to get by  for less money."


    In  this election year, when support from women is considered especially  crucial, Democrats in Washington made a high-profile push Monday for a  bill to help prevent pay discrimination against women.

    "Congress has to step up and do its job," President Obama told supporters of the bill on a conference call.

    "If  Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act, women are going to have  access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work. If they don't,  if Congress doesn't act, then women are still going to have difficulty  enforcing and pressing for this basic principle."


    Bashing Romney:

    President  Obama’s re-election team continued its focus Monday on what it says is  the failure of the so-called “Romney economics” with two legislators  from that state and a former Iowa Lt. Gov. highlighting key points it  says prove the former governor’s record is amiss.

    “Since Mitt  Romney has made his business experience the centerpiece of his campaign  for president and he claims that his experience will result in economic  growth for the country, we’re examining what it would mean for the whole  country if he were in charge,” said former Iowa Lt. Gov. Sally  Pederson. “Massachusetts was the laboratory where that failed experiment  took place.”


    Former  President Bill Clinton warned Monday that a Mitt Romney presidency  would be "calamitous" for the nation and the world, going further than  even President Barack Obama in depicting the consequences of a return to  Republican rule of the White House.

    With Obama standing  thoughtfully to one side, Clinton slammed Romney by name, an apparent  rebuttal to his own comments last week that were widely seen as  flattering to Romney's background in business.

    Clinton said Obama  had earned a second term because of his steering of the economy through  a "miserable situation," and that "the alternative would be, in my  opinion, calamitous for our country and the world."


    Former  President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama tag-teamed in their  criticism of Republicans on Monday night, taking swipes at the GOP and  its presidential nominee in a round of New York City fundraisers.

    "What  the other side is counting on is fear and frustration," Obama said to  an audience of donors, arguing that Republicans are not offering any  ideas of their own.

    "All they're offering is the same old ideas that didn't work then, and won't work now," he added.

    Saying  he was more determined than he was in his 2008 presidential run, Obama  faulted his Republican rivals for their economic policies, saying the  party is too eager to throw "sand in the gears" in Congress and would  "take us back to the exact same policies that got us into this mess in  the first place."


    From the Cornfield, in case you missed it on your favorite news channel, news site or newspaper, that is the latest Obama Roundup.

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