Emanuel's new campaign role -- fundraiser

Sept. 5, 2012 at 4:32 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he has dropped his role as honorary co-chairman of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign to focus on fundraising.

Emanuel -- a former White House chief of staff and a key player in Obama's 2008 campaign -- is working on beefing up fundraising among major donors to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The move is intended to help Democrats deal with a Republican edge in fundraising, the newspaper said, citing campaign and fundraising officials.

"I'm going to help where I can to get the president re-elected," Emmanuel told the Post at Charlotte, N.C., where the Democratic National Convention is under way. "And this is where I can probably be most helpful in the final days."

The added Democratic Party emphasis on Super PAC donations comes as Romney campaign officials say the campaign has raised $100 million for Romney and the Republican National Committee in August. The Obama campaign -- which has not reported its August totals -- raised less than Romney in May, June and July, the newspaper said.

Democratic Party strategists say some big-dollar contributors have been reluctant to give during the current election cycle, in part because the Obama campaign and other Democrats initially signaled they would downplay the use of super PAC money.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, told reporters Wednesday the campaign has never expected it would raise more money than Republicans "and it's been very clear on the Super PAC side it's evident in the monthly reporting."

She said Emanuel "has said he thinks this is the best way he can help the president get re-elected and what he feels is the best role he can play between now and November."

Citing insiders, the Post reported the Obama campaign expects to raise enough money to compete at the presidential race level, but Republicans have raised so much money they have a clear advantage in down-ballot races.

The 2012 campaign is the first presidential election to be held following a Supreme Court decision allowing corporations, labor unions and individual donors to give virtually unlimited amounts of money to independent political entities like super PACs.

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