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Obama's Impressive First Quarter

He raised $25 millionin the first quarter. He raised that money from a whopping 100,000 people. From NYSunPolitics:

The senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, has posted some stunningly positive fundraising figures for the first quarter: $25 million overall, with at least $23.5 million available for the primary. This money, according to the campaign, comes from more than 100,000 donors, some 50,000 of those having given online.


"This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grassroots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems," said Obama for America finance chair Penny Pritzker.

What's important about the number, of course, is that it comes within a hair's width of tying Hillary Clinton's $26 million for the first quarter...

And, since the Clinton camp won't say how much of that money is for the primary, it's possible that Mr. Obama has raised more for the primary.

Given how powerful Mrs. Clinton's fundraising apparatus is, and given how much of a newcomer Mr. Obama is, this has to count as one of the biggest surprises of the campaign so far. While money isn't everything, Mrs. Clinton -- like John McCain -- was counting on "inevitability" to carry her through. She -- again, like Mr. McCain -- no longer has that.

What's more, those 100,000 donors to Mr. Obama far outpace Mrs. Clinton's 50,000 donors and John Edwards's 37,000. That's a very wide base of support from small donors -- people the Obama camp can come back to again and again. A full $6.9 million came from the 50,000 Internet donors alone.

Hillary can't be pleased that her campaign is not going as easily as she expected. Obama is really giving her a run for her money - literally.

Update: The Examiner has an editorial today that argues, correctly, that McCain-Feingold is the reason for the massive fundraising by candidates in both parties. As a result, the law that was supposed to remove the "corrupting influence of money on politics" has made money even more of a corrupting influence than ever before:

Think back to the days before McCain-Feingold became law. The biggest target of the law's backers was the estimated $500 million in soft money contributed to political parties by corporations, individuals, labor unions and others. Just last year, Fred Wertheimer and Trevor Potter, two of the most ardent McCain-Feingold supporters, charged that soft money "ultimately turned into a $500 million national scandal and disgrace." Now it looks like the presidential primary contenders will equal or even surpass that once-scandalous threshold long before the start of the general election campaign. We know little or nothing about what was promised by the candidates in return for this unprecedented flood of cash.


There is a distinction to be made between "soft" and "hard" money in politics, but the common denominator is the cash, the corrupting influence that McCain-Feingold's backers sought to eliminate. Ever since Bill and Hillary Clinton put a "For Rent" sign on the Lincoln bedroom in the White House and found creative new ways to channel foreign money into domestic politics, gathering and collecting from campaign donors has been raised -- or lowered -- to levels of sophistication and efficiency that would have amazed Boss Tweed. Despite McCain-Feingold, more money is flowing to candidates than ever before in American politics.

What McCain-Feingold did accomplish was opening the door for Congress to decide what is acceptable political speech. For the first time in American history, individual citizens cannot join with like-minded others as members of a variety of associations to buy a broadcast spot to criticize an incumbent congressman by name for 60 days prior to the November election. In other words, this terrible law has unleashed the most corrupting influence of all in giving career politicians the power of government to silence their critics. McCain-Feingold must be repealed.


Comments (9)

Cheers to McCain Feingold. ... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Cheers to McCain Feingold. (sarcasm off)


Wouldnt the US be a better place if the Congress, and other elected positions went to the best candidate not to the highest bidder, the media darling, or the best(or most vicious) campaigner??


Although not in the Constitution, Ive always thought of our govt as of, by, and for the people, as Abe once said in South Central PA.

Think anyone currently in a Federal elected position believes this?

Obama is officially the 'no... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Obama is officially the 'not Hillary' candidate for the democratic nomination.I don't see Hillary dropping out until the body count is pretty high. Edwards and any/all of the also ran, maybe. Most likely Edwards will last until at least New Hampshire. Feb. 5th is going to be an interesting day.

Guess who's coming to dinne... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Guess who's coming to dinner for four years at the "White" House starting in January 2009?

Yahoo!!!!

CB, by January 2009, Yahoo ... (Below threshold)

CB, by January 2009, Yahoo will be gone. Google will not only be a guest. They'll own the place.

Yep, one of the many reason... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Yep, one of the many reasons the McCain campaign is dead in the water. Conservatives are pissed "big time."

Many in the Democratic Part... (Below threshold)

Many in the Democratic Party have reservations about Clinton, while Obama is the most inspirational politician to emerge from Illinois since Lincoln. With his open style, honest plain talk, Obama could well become the Democratic nominee.

What is going to happen, I ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

What is going to happen, I believe, is Hillary and Obama are going to go at each other hard and spend a considerable amount of that money. Then whomever wins the nomination will not get the support of the others voters because the battle was too bitter. Then the republican nominee comes in with sizable cash and a better chance of winning. ww

Obama is such an empty suit... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Obama is such an empty suit, he makes the last two dem candidates look accomplished. And that ain't easy......

Obama is officially the ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Obama is officially the 'not Hillary' candidate for the democratic nomination.

If anyone recalls, the 'unnamed Democrat candidate' faired better in the '04 runup polls than any of the named candidates. Obama's best option to win the nomination is to become the 'unnamed Democat'. He'll need to speak a lot to gain recognizability while saying nothing (stay as he is - all style and no substance). If he does this, the Democrats will eat it up and he'll win the nomination.




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