Being a major Obama donor has its benefits, the Washington Times reports:
During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers and invitations to important speeches and town-hall meetings.
High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times.
One top donor described in an interview with The Times being given a birthday visit to the Oval Office. Another was allowed use of a White House-complex bowling alley for his family. Bundlers closest to the president were invited to watch a movie in the red-walled theater in the basement of the presidential mansion.
The whole thing is worth a read. These are the stories, that once they accumulate, really hurt a president because they are objectionable in completely non-ideological way. In Obama’s case they have special significance, because one of the major themes of his campaign was that he was going to do away with the relationship between politics and big money, specifically how money is traded for access. The more of these stories Americans read, the more it will reinforce the idea that Obama is just like any other politician, just “more of the same,” as opposed to something different.