Obama’s Money Pump for 2012 Re-Election Bid Primed by Chicago
(Bloomberg) — Les Coney, an executive vice president at Chicago-based Mesirow Financial, will take a seat at two of three hometown events Barack Obama is scheduled to headline today as the president kicks off fundraising for a re- election bid that might cost as much as $1 billion. Raising money may be tougher than four years ago, Coney said, partly because Obama was mostly a blank slate then, engaged in a historic quest to become the first black president. “There was a certain type of excitement that went around the first go-around,” said Coney, who was one of Obama’s top 2008 fundraisers and has collected money for him for more than a decade. “He’s never going to be able to capture that again.” Coney, 52, and other Obama supporters in the third-most- populous U.S. city say they feel the pressure to raise more early money, as Republican governors weaken the president’s allies in organized labor and the U.S. Supreme Court has eased restrictions on campaign spending.