Break out your checkbooks, because it looks like the president is about to tap the GAY-TM for a Texas-sized withdrawal. At least that’s what we took away from stories published today by The Dallas Morning News and Politico.
The DMN (paid subscription required) reports that Obama isn’t writing off Texas in 2012. In other words, even though it’s pretty unlikely he’ll win a state that he lost by 11 points the last go-round, he wants to raise a lot of money here and force the GOP candidate — whomever it may be — to play some defense:
An Obama fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday in Austin. It is the first of several such events anticipated over the next year in a state that historically is among the top five sources of campaign cash for both Republicans and Democrats.
Obama forces have kept a staff in the state since the 2008 election. The Organizing for America offices in Austin and Dallas will become the nucleus of the Obama for America campaign in Texas.
Meanwhile, Politico reports that Obama will rely heavily on gay donors in 2012:
Pleased by an all-out White House push to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” gay donors have surprised campaign officials with the extent of their support. And the campaign’s new fundraising apparatus appears designed to capitalize on their enthusiasm: Obama’s finance committee included one gay man in 2008; there are 15 this year, a source said. …
The spur for the gay community becoming an anchor for Obama’s reelection fundraising is a series of policy shifts in 2010. After a year of rocky relations and suspicion from Obama’s gay supporters that he wasn’t really committed to their issues, the last year saw a surge in activity. Along with the high-profile repeal of the military ban, Obama’s Justice Department recently refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. And the administration has taken smaller steps, like gay partner hospital visits and hate crimes legislation, concrete and important gestures that simply weren’t made during the Bush administration.
“It’s ironic — a year ago there was no constituency more unhappy. There was a sea change,” said David Mixner, a veteran New York gay activist, who said that White House actions during the past year had swayed restive gay donors. “You not only will see a united community that will contribute to Obama, but they will work their asses off.”