Politico obtained an RNC fundraising presentation that shows what party leaders really think of their donors:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.”

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.

In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.


“What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” it asks.

The answer: “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”


One page, headed “The Evil Empire,” pictures Obama as the Joker from Batman, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid are depicted as Cruella DeVille and Scooby Doo, respectively.


The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and lays out the details of how to approach each group.

small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”

Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.” Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure”; “access”; and “Ego-Driven.”

[Emphasis mine]

So if you’re a small donor to the GOP, congrats: they think you’re petty, fearful and reactionary.

And if you’re a big donor to the GOP, congrats: they think you’re easily manipulated and egotistical.

That’s what the folks currently running the Republican Party think of their own donors.

But I think the best part of this story is how Politico obtained the presentation:

The 72-page document was provided to POLITICO by a Democrat, who said a hard copy had been left in the hotel hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, the Gasparilla Inn & Club.

That’s right–the RNC put together this long, detailed, insulting presentation outlining their entire fundraising strategy for 2010 and someone just left it at the hotel, where it was discovered and handed over to the press.

This is what you’re paying for, Republican donors: to be insulted by people so incompetent that they leave a major campaign document sitting around in hotel.

I’d be asking for a refund if I were you.