— From NBC's Chuck Todd
As today's New York Times indicates, the president isn't being shy about getting involved in key political races, even if it means taking sides in a Democratic primary or, in the case of embattled/unpopular New York Governor David Paterson, suggest to him that he not run. Obama's not just the Commander-in-Chief, leader of the free world etc.., he's also the head of the Democratic Party. Because these next set of elected governors (in 2009 and 2010) will be in office when the next round of redistricting/reapportionment takes place, it raises the stakes even higher than usual. All of this may explain why the White House -- whose chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, himself has spent years getting Dems elected to the House -- is taking such an interest in governor's races.
In the case of New York, the state may lose another House seat once the census is completed, making the redistricting process very important if they want to protect some newly elected Democrats sitting in swing/GOP leaning districts. So that's why governors matter so much more this cycle than the last two combined. How important are governor races to the White House?
NBC News has learned the president will be headlining a fundraising dinner for the DGA (Democratic Governors Association) in Washington, DC, on Oct. 1. The event is expected to raise at least $500,000 as the org will be limited in how much they can raise per person as the White House puts extra rules in place when the president is involved. For this event, contribution limits are $5,000. But normally, the group can accept donations at a much higher level.
Governors expected to be in attendance for this Obama fundraiser: DGA Chair/MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer, MD Gov. Martin O'Malley, DE Gov. Jack Markell, MO Gov. Jay Nixon, KS Gov. Mark Parkinson and KY Gov. Steve Beshear.
Despite the economic climate, the DGA is on pace to raise more money than ever before. In the first six months of this year, the group raised $11.6 million, breaking a prior record of $11.2 million.