Thursday, January 18, 2018

Campaign donors give in response to Obama's shift on gay marriage

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama has seen an uptick in fundraising since he announced his shift on gay marriage Wednesday, with some Democratic rainmakers citing renewed interest from gay and lesbian donors who had been urging the president to clarify his stance on the social issue.

"The phone calls went on until 1 in the morning after the president spoke — people calling saying 'Where do I go, what can I do to help, what events are coming up,' " said Robert Zimmerman, a Long Island, N.Y., Obama bundler. "People I've been seeking out for campaign support for months have been calling me saying, 'I'm ready to give.' "

Obama's campaign has declined to say how much it has collected since the announcement but some staffers have asked supporters to give money as a way of expressing their approval. Following the Obama interview with ABC News, Rufus Gifford, Obama's national finance director, said in a posting to the campaign website that "if you're proud of our president, this is a great time to make a donation to the campaign."

On Thursday George Clooney hosted a fundraiser for Obama that showcased his popularity in the entertainment industry, whose financial backing has helped offset his lost support from Wall Street. And his stock on the West Coast was up further, just a day after Obama revealed his change of heart to support same-sex marriage, long a favored cause in Hollywood.

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