James Taranto | The last hundred days: Obama supporters suffer a crisis of confidence

The presidential election is 14 weeks from tomorrow, which means yesterday was the 100-day mark. The Obama campaign noted the milestone with a fund-raising email from Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager, carrying the subject line "Romney defeats Obama?":

When you read the news 101 days from now, that might be the headline you see.

Those few words will tell us whether we fought back hard enough against Romney and the Republicans’ massive special-interest fundraising machine–or if we didn’t do enough, maybe because we got complacent or thought that we had this one in the bag.

Donate $3 or more today–and don’t leave this one up to luck, chance, or anything else.

Don’t let anyone convince you that this is a sure thing–our opponents have almost unlimited resources at their disposal, and we already know they’ll outspend us by a good amount.

What we do now decides the headlines on November 7th.

We’re facing a huge fundraising deadline. Please donate now, and have a hand in the outcome of this election.

The Obama campaign has been overconfident and complacent for sure. If you need a reminder, read the second item in our May 7 column and Mark Halperin‘s Time.com piece of the same day. If the Obama campaign has now come to terms with the reality that victory isn’t "in the bag" and adjusted its strategy and tactics accordingly, that can only be good for the president’s prospects.

But it’s an odd thing to advertise. What, after all, is the emotional payoff of making a minuscule donation to a political campaign? Surely not the illusion that one is making the difference between victory and defeat, but rather the idea that one "owns" a piece of a victory by virtue of having "invested" in it. If you’re trying to motivate people to make small donations–or, for that matter, to vote–it’s better to err on the side of overconfidence.


(18853 Posts)