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Care and Feeding of the Big-Dollar Grassroots

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 22 2010

Some Democratic donors are wondering if Obama's reliance upon small-dollar online donor base is a smart, sustainable choice, reports the Washington Post's Jason Horowitz:

Like other Obama bundlers, [Democratic fundraiser Jane Hartley] cited the swell in small Internet donations that dwarfed the traditional model. But now that the enthusiasm has ebbed, many leaders in the donor community are questioning the wisdom of letting the Democrats' once well-oiled fundraising apparatus fall into disrepair.

"It's important to remember that the donor leadership is part of the grass roots," said Robert Zimmerman, a Long Island-based bundler who was close to the Clintons and Gore. "They want to feel connected to the mission, and they have the career experiences and perspectives that are essential to the success of the mission."

That is certainly not the case these days in New York.

"One thing is for sure," said one early supporter of Obama who plans to attend the Four Seasons dinner and would not be identified speaking about the private event. "There is going to be some frank dinner conversation."