Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign inspired many, not only to vote for the first time, but to open their wallets, raising an estimated $754 million, almost entirely from individual contributions.Four years later, Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP challenger, is already game, beating the president by a $35 million margin in June.
So where are Obama’s big-spending and big-talking supporters now?
Several of the heavy-weights are holding steady, bolstering the president’s campaign coffers with donations and lending their star stumping power to Obama on the campaign trail.
But some of the President’s most high-profile 2008 supporters have turned their backs on a president, claiming that he “misunderstood his mandate” and failed to live up to their expectations of hope and change.
We tracked down Obama’s biggest 2008 cheerleaders to find out how they feel about the president this time around.
The talk show queen campaigned vigorously for Obama in 2008, speaking at rallies and inviting the first couple on her show. But while she still supports Obama's reelection, Oprah has said she will not be joining the president on the campaign trail this year.
Source: ABC News
The supermodel, who $4,600 to Obama's 2008 campaign, has since switched to Team Romney, and appeared in a fundraising video for the Republican candidate during an event in Las Vegas last year.
The Dream Works executive remains a strong, unwavering financial backer for Obama, and he once again ranks among Obama's top bundlers, a group of super-rich citizens who aggregate money from their wealthy friends to donate to a candidate.
In fact, Katzenberg has even increased his support for the President, with the help of the 2010 Citizens United ruling. In 2008, Katzenberg bundled nearly $550,000 for Obama's campaign. Now, four years later, he gathered more than $2 million for the reelection effort, and has become one of the few Democratic SuperPAC donors, giving another $2 million to the pro-Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA.
Source: Open Secrets
Kramer, a high-powered financier who manages the state of New Jersey's $82 billion pension fund, is a frequent big-spender in political elections.
During the 2008 Democratic primary, Kramer was expected to back Hillary Clinton, but surprised the establishment by throwing his support behind a relatively unknown Illinois Senator. But despite the grim economic forecast, he's standing by his man, reportedly raising $2 million for Obama's re-election campaign.
The hedge fund wizard was one of Obama's most solvent backers in 2008, and even teamed up with George Soros to host a Greenwich fundraiser for the then-presidential candidate.
But Jones, who is worth an estimated $3.4 billion, has been poached by the Romney campaign, and has so far donated $200,000 to the pro-Romney SuperPAC, Restore Our Future.
His wife Sonia, however, is not as easily swayed. She attended Sarah Jessica Parker's fundraising event in New York last month.
The hip-hop power couple continues to solidly support Obama. Jay-Z spoke out in favour of the president's comments on gay marriage earlier this year, calling it 'the right thing to do,' and has said that Obama would be 'leaps and bounds' better than his Republican opponent.
His wife Beyonce reportedly wrote a letter to Michelle Obama this year, thanking the First Lady for her service and writing: 'I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to.'
The Skybridge Capital founder and 2008 Obama supporter has joining the mass defection of high-profile New York donors to the Romney campaign, hosting a fundraiser for the Republican candidate last month.
Adding insult to injury, Scaramucci made his distaste for Obama clear during a panel at the Milken Institute's Global Conference this year, saying that the president was leading the country into disaster and a 'state controlled society.'
Source: Business Insider
The former Desperate Housewives star renewed her support to Obama by agreeing to be one of his 35 'campaign ambassadors' this year, aiming to appeal to both Hispanics and women by stumping for the president.
Longoria reportedly has raised more than $500,000 for his reelection campaign, and pulled in even more cash by agreeing to go to dinner with a raffle winner.
Source: ABC News
A 2008 supporter, Damon is no longer dazzled by Obama, recently telling CNN's Piers Morgan that he was 'not' a fan of how Obama was running the country.
'I really think he misinterpreted his mandate,' Damon said. 'I no longer hope for audacity.'
There is no word as to whether Damon has switched his vote to Obama's Republican challenger.
In 2008, Soros was one of Obama's 'Inaugural Donors,' earning the distinction with his $50,000 contribution. But while the liberal billionaire continues to donate to Democratic causes, he has vowed not to do it through Super PACs, much to the chagrin of the Romney campaign. Instead, he has directed his millions to left-leaning grassroots groups that fall outside of the SuperPAC label.
Source: The New York Times
Clooney was one of Obama's earliest celebrity fans, saying in 2006 that the then-senator was 'the most charismatic person I've been in a room with in a long time.'
Clooney's still on board this time around. In May, movie star hosted a fundraiser for Obama at his Hollywood home, which reportedly pulled in more than $15 million for Obama's reelection. Several other celebrities, including Billy Crystal and Robert Downey, Jr., also attended the soiree.
Source: Huffington Post
In 2008, the Chicago hedge funder raised an estimated $200,000 for Obama's campaign, and invited the then-candidate to speak to his employees.
But after the President lent his support to stricter banking regulations, Griffin, whose fortune is an estimated $3 billion, lost his hometown crush, telling the Chicago Tribune that he believes the wealthy have 'insufficient influence' on politics.
So it's not surprising that Griffen is now exercising his financial muscle for the other team -- he and his wife have donated more than $500,000 to the Karl Rove-backed SuperPAC American Crossroads during this election cycle.
Crown, whose family owns stake in the New York Yankees, the Chicago Bulls and the Rockefeller centre and is worth and estimated $3.1 billion remains one of Obama's biggest backers. He has already raked in more than $800,000 for the president's campaign war chest this cycle, besting his 2008 total of $240,000.
The Crown family, however, appears to be politically divided. Crown's sister, Susan Crown, held a fundraising event for Mitt Romney at her Aspen mansion this week.
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