"WE WERE HOPING FOR A $100 RALLY, AND THEY GAVE US $25"
No, that quote above is not a complaint. To the contrary, Tampa Democratic activist Megan Foster meant it as a compliment. As she continued with St. Petersburg Times political writer Adam C. Smith:
"I think it was a gift and testament to the importance of the I-4 corridor...Normally it's people in our regular political circles, but we're seeing these are all new faces."
Ms. Foster was referring to Sunday's fundraising rally for U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in Ybor City at the Cuban Club. Mr. Smith makes note in his story of the unusual step in the big money world of presidential campaigns to hold an event where many within the working class can afford to see and hear the candidate in person, hoping to energize those in attendance. He has already done similar events in Louisville and Oklahoma City.
Senator Obama will have his opportunities to capture big money while he's in the area. The Cuban Club event is also offering $100 VIP tickets, and fundraisers are hoping to have at least 100 supporters willing to pay $2,300 each to attend a private event at the Tampa home of Norma Jean Lykes before the Ybor City gathering.
The Cuban Club fundraiser/rally is an excellent idea. Much of the time candidates are focused on big money events which only can attract a couple of hundred supporters who can afford the cost. The Obama campaign seems to be more active in seeking support from average, working class people who may have wanted to get involved, but unable to fork over the type of money most candidates seek when they come through the area.