Politico has an article up saying that rich gay donors are going to be a cornerstone of Obama's 2012 billion dollar campaign strategy. There's a lot of interesting information in the article, although with all the unnamed sources, boilerplate, and speculation it's important to take it with a grain of salt.
Still, here's what gay donors and fundraisers are saying out loud:
President Barack Obama's reelection campaign is banking on gay donors to make up the cash it's losing from other groups of wealthy supporters who have been alienated and disappointed by elements of Obama's first term.
Pleased by an all-out White House push to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," gay donors have surprised campaign officials with the extent of their support. And the campaign's new fundraising apparatus appears designed to capitalize on their enthusiasm: Obama's finance committee included one gay man in 2008; there are 15 this year, a source said.[...]
"He's coming back up in the estimation of the gay community pretty rapidly, and I think justifiably," said Ethan Geto, a New York lobbyist and key figure in Dean's gay fundraising, who said many gay supporters had hoped "don't ask" would be repealed during the president's first year in office. "When things didn't happen in [that] time frame and on the track that Obama had held out hope for, people got very disillusioned," said Geto. "This was the time to strike."
The article also cites the Justice Department's stance on DOMA and hospital visitation as other moves that have pleased these big donors.
I have more on this after the jump, but while you're clicking over, is what you've seen over the last few years enough to make you donate or volunteer for Obama in 2012?
The article mentions some of the other groups - mainly the left and labor, although I'm surprised that no one is talking about how disillusioned women are with the Obama administration - that might donate less to the campaign, suggesting that's why the gays are going to be needed to fill in the gap:
"It's ironic -- a year ago there was no constituency more unhappy. There was a sea change," said David Mixner, a veteran New York gay activist, who said that White House actions during the past year had swayed restive gay donors. "You not only will see a united community that will contribute to Obama, but they will work their asses off."[...]
Gay support is particularly key this year to Obama, whose 2008 campaign raised huge sums from the very rich, just as it did from smaller donors. Now, key categories of supporters have grown leery. The left-leaning super-rich, including George Soros, see Obama as hopelessly compromised and have lost their enthusiasm for him. Some Wall Street and hedge fund executives, tired of being criticized and regulated, have switched sides. Some pro-Israel Jewish donors, a mainstay of Bill Clinton's fundraising, dislike Obama's pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu. And rich men on both coasts whom Clinton had accustomed to personal flattery, personal visits and late-night bull sessions have received no such personal attention from the more solitary Obama.
It should also be mentioned that the small donors that Obama took a lot of pride in funding his campaign back in 2008 won't all be coming back. While the rich - conservative, gay, liberal, Jewish, or otherwise - have their issues that they want heard, the poor and the working class have been almost completely ignored and marginalized. Not that it matters - a campaign that focuses on big donors, like Obama's will in 2012, doesn't really need popular support if what's important is "late-night bull sessions" with the rich and famous.