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Obama in New Hampshire
And almost all for the primary race!! Not for the general election, which is the crucial, all-important, political distinction.
Hillary Clinton reported $26 million the other day, not to mention another $10 million that she can roll over from her Senate campaign, but she didn’t detail how much was for the primary and how much for the general election. In addition, her campaign has a significant cash-on-hand issue: supposedly she’s been spending money like crazy so far. More financial data is needed from the Clinton camp. The public has a right to know.
The message for today: Obama wins a clear, smashing victory over the Establishment candidate!
Obama raised $25 million that could be used for the primaries. Updated reports are now indicating that of the $26 million that the Clinton team reported earlier, only $20 million can be used to finance primary elections.
The Washington Post reported today that:
“Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) raised at least $25 million for his presidential campaign in the first quarter of the year, putting him just shy of Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, who made a splash with her announcement Sunday that she had drawn a record-breaking $26 million. [Later reports have indicated that Hillary Clinton’s total, measured as the amount available for primary election spending, is now only $2o million, rather than the $26 million reported by the Clinton team earlier in the week].
Obama appears to have surpassed Clinton in several ways: He reported donations from 100,000 people, double the 50,000 people who gave to the New York senator’s campaign. He raised $6.9 million through donations over the Internet, more than the $4.2 million that Clinton raised online.
And of Obama’s overall receipts, $23.5 million is eligible for use in the primary contests. Clinton officials have declined to disclose how much of her cash is available for the primaries — rather than designated for the general election and therefore blocked off unless she wins the nomination — raising suspicions that she raised less for the primaries than Obama did.
“I’m proud to tell you that, after the first quarter of the campaign, we’ve exceeded all of our hopes and expectations,” Obama said in an e-mail sent to supporters today. “It’s been a truly historic response — a measure of just how hungry people are to turn the page on this era of small and destructive politics and repair our American community.”
Obama drew attention to the raw number of donors, pointing out that it was “tens of thousands more than the number reported by any other campaign.” The e-mail included a link to a video presentation on his Web site featuring anecdotes from donors, and emphasizing the momentum he has gained since launching his candidacy in January.
After letting curiosity about the announcement build for several days, Obama disclosed his figures in a brief press release, and did not authorize his campaign fundraising officials to grant interviews. He had avoided questions from reporters leading up to the announcement, apparently in the hope of appearing low-key about fundraising — he has promised to run a “different kind of campaign” — and to let the numbers speak for themselves.
Campaigning in New Hampshire yesterday, Obama even expressed distaste for the money grab, a popular stance to take, especially among the state’s Independents. Challenged by a voter to explain whether he would be beholden to his donors, Obama said he had “always tried to curb the influence of money in politics,” starting with an ethics bill in the Illinois legislature. He added, however, that he could not compete for president without joining the fundraising game.
“The people who are doing work in Washington cannot finance my campaign,” Obama said, saying he had banned gifts from federal lobbyists. “Listen, I would love not to have to raise money so I could spend all my time in town hall meetings.”
Although Obama has essentially built his campaign operation from scratch over the last few months, advisers to rival candidates point out that he has hired skilled fundraising veterans, such as his national finance director Julianna Smoot, not just relying on an organic, grassroots movement to take shape around him.
Still, the data suggested that Obama’s strategy of holding low-dollar events in addition to massive $1 million galas had succeeded, at least for now. He held numerous events that cost $25 or $100 per ticket, in an effort to bring in younger, first-time donors who could be tapped again for future donations because they had not yet reached the $2,300 limit for contributing to the primaries. (Donors can give another $2,300 to each candidate for use in the general election).
“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,” Obama’s finance chair, Penny Pritzker, said in a statement today.Clinton, with the help of her high-wattage husband, former President Bill Clinton, raised about $10 million in large events at the end of the quarter. Neither Clinton nor Obama has specified how much cash they will have on hand, after accounting for expenses, when the full financial reports are turned into the Federal Election Commission on April 15.
Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) raised about $15 million in the first quarter, double his total from four years earlier. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) raised $6 million; Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) raised $4 million; and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) raised more than $2 million.
The suddenly tight financial race once again raised questions about Clinton’s decision to spend $37 million for her re-election campaign to the Senate last year — money that could have been transferred into her presidential account. Instead, Clinton moved only $10 million. Her huge expenditure in 2006 — more than $8 million of it on advertising — brought her a 67 percent victory in New York against a Republican who barely registered in the polls.”
And in the words of the thousands of working people, who gave what they could for Obama because they really believe in this campaign: This Campaign Is Different.