From The New York Times
Senior Democrats put aside any remaining qualms about jumping into the “super PAC
” era, enlisting Mayor Rahm Emanuel
of Chicago to focus on raising money for outside groups that are seeking to help the White House rather than keep a leadership role in President Obama
’s re-election campaign.
Mr. Emanuel, who is leaving his honorary position as co-chairman of Mr. Obama’s campaign, intends to help funnel donations to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by two former Obama aides. The group is more than $60 million short of its goal, reflecting a philosophical objection to outside groups among many wealthy liberals, and a feeling among donors that the White House has been insufficiently attentive to them.
The move thrusts Mr. Emanuel into the kind of role long played by Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who advises and raises money for a network of Republican-leaning outside groups that intend to spend as much as $500 million in the campaign.
Mr. Emanuel is the latest and among the most high-profile examples of how the lines have blurred between campaigns and their outside supporters. A former White House chief of staff to Mr. Obama and the current mayor of the president’s hometown, Mr. Emanuel is deeply immersed in his party’s strategy. Now he is barred from coordinating with the Obama campaign — a prohibition that has proved to be of little consequence to prominent members of either party at a time when relatively weak rules have been exploited to knit the parties’ official and unofficial wings into unified machines.