Since taking office in early 2009, President Barack Obama has attended almost 400 fundraisers.
For those keeping score, including The Washington Post, which published the presidential fundraiser tally Wednesday, that’s quite a lot.
It’s more for Obama in less than six full years than George W. Bush amassed over eight years in the White House — 318 for Bush to 393 for Obama.
The president before George W. Bush is the record-holder. Bill Clinton held 638 fundraisers over two four-year terms.
So, what do we make of all this?
It speaks loud and clear about what lubricates the engine of our political system — money, lots of it.
Those little 30-second campaign commercials aren’t cheap. Also expensive are campaign staffers, online strategists, number-crunchers, advisers, PR teams and, of course, experts in raising campaign cash that in turn keeps this vicious cycle going.
All this effort is extended so that a politician can win office, which, it turns out, is a wonderful platform from which to keep the contributions flowing. And calling the big office in the White House yours is the ultimate perch.
Turning presidents into fundraisers-in-chief is an outcome of court decisions that have granted more latitude to those who want to give and those who want to receive. So, we are seemingly stuck in a system where politicians promise to look out for the 99 percent while raking in hefty campaign contributions from the privileged 1 percent.