Cue the tiny violins, per the Washington Post:
… Many fundraisers, once treated like royalty because of their extensive donor networks,are left pining for their lost prestige. Can they still have impact in a world where Jeb Bush asks big donors to please not give more than $1 million to his super PAC right now? Will they ever be in the inner circle again?…
Consider the scene last weekend in South Florida, where top supporters of the Republican National Committee gathered for their spring retreat at a luxury resort in Boca Raton. In the past, members of the RNC’s Regent and Team 100 donor programs attracted the focused attention of presidential aspirants. But this time, there were distractions.
A number of White House contenders in attendance — including former Texas governor Rick Perry and Govs. Scott Walker (Wis.), Chris Christie (N.J.) and Bobby Jindal (La.) — devoted much of their time to private meetings with high rollers, according to people familiar with their schedules. Bush came to Boca Raton after an afternoon super PAC fundraiser in Miami.
Then on Sunday, the governors made a pilgrimage to Palm Beach for a private Republican Governors Association fundraiser hosted by billionaire industrialist David Koch at his 30,000-square-foot beachfront mansion…
This is Good News for Democrats — and even progressives!
Seriously. Remember, the Washington Post is the paper for a company town whose monopoly industry is politics. They have a proprietary interest in every race, off-cycle and on, because it’s the congressional staffers and permanent bureaucrats who rent in D.C. or buy homes in Alexandria. David Koch or Sheldon Adelson may rent a convention center every four years, but it’s the “small” bundlers with the car dealerships and construction companies that keep the Beltway buzzing along.
It’s quite a shift since the bundler system was elevated by advisers to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who rebranded the laborious work of dialing for low-dollar contributions into an elite effort that showered top performers with perks. The Pioneer program, launched in the run-up to Bush’s 2000 White House campaign, gave fundraisers four-digit tracking numbers to measure their performance, with regular reports to show how they stacked up.
“If you put a structure on it, you’re not really trying to raise big money, you’re trying to raise a lot of fundraisers,” said Texas consultant James B. Francis Jr., one of the strategists who came up with the idea. “It created an urgency among money-raisers to get their job done.”…
Say what you will about Lee Atwater’s ethos, the man knew how to motivate. Bundlers busting hump to get their Dubya branding irons & special convention perks are people who are not only donating, they’re voting — and making sure every one of their family members, employees, business associates & fellow HOA board members gets to the right polling place on the proper Tuesday, too.
On the other hand, if Jeb Bush and his fellow billionaire-schmoozers convince their former stalwarts that the GOP just doesn’t care about anyone not already in the .001%… well, there’s a lot of other hobbies a mere multi-millionaire can take up, make a splash as the biggest frog in a smaller pond. The GOP is doing all they can to suppress voter turnout among Mitt Romney’s 47%, but they may finally be reaching the stage of discouraging their own voters.