1:25 pm Feb. 9, 2012
At least one bundler for President Obama thinks the campaign's decision to give the green light to potential super-PAC supporters could help with the mid-level campaign contributors, too.
"I've spoken to a few of my donors, and in every single case, they've absolutely understood it, and if anything the reaction was, 'Thank God, we need to fight fire with fire, we can't unilaterally disarm,'" said Jon Cooper, a former Suffolk County legislator who has raised close to $100,000 for the campaign so far, mostly in donations between $250 and $1,000.
"I think that they understand that if anything it makes it even more important for Democrats and progressives to make those thousand-dollar donations and $500 donations and $200 donations. Because I've got to raise a lot of $250 donations to counterbalance a $5 million donation from a wealthy casino owner.
"So I think the fact that the G.O.P. super PACs have gotten so much attention recently, if anything, has made my job easier."
I asked Cooper about the role of bundlers like himself in the new fund-raising landscape, where small donors can easily give online and very rich donors can very quickly eclipse a bundlers' hard work with one massive donation.
Cooper said his kind of fund-raising was "the third leg of the stool, and it's critically important."
He said that he would in fact be "redoubling his efforts."
"If anything, I'm reinvigorated," he said. "I've spoken to maybe two dozen people yesterday and today, and in every single case, people are absolutely pumped and enthusiastic. I think if anything there was a sigh of relief that was breathed, knowing that we are going to be able to play on a level playing field."
As he watched the economy improve in recent weeks, and the G.O.P. primary electorate to continue to bat their putative front-runner around, Cooper said his one concern about Obama's re-election was that Republicans would be able to massively outspend Democrats, because of the president's recently abandoned stand on campaign financing.
"I mean, look, a lot of people really respected Obama for taking this philosophical position against super PACs," Cooper said. "I wish we didn't have to go down this road … But it was a very clear consensus, at least among the folks I've spoken to, that we needed to do this if we wanted to remain competitive in the general election. And we all want to win."