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Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

FUNDRAISING....Referring to the graphic on the right (from the Obama campaign), Atrios asks:

The question really is about why Obama can raise $5 million in a day and (presumably) Clinton can't.

The obvious answer is something related to Obama's ability to inspire rapturous support from his legion of fans. But I think there's probably more to it than that. Hillary Clinton obviously has plenty of ability to raise money from big donors, but as we all know from endless regurgitation of exit poll results, her supporters tend to be older, lower income, less educated, and more likely to be working class. On a mass basis, (a) they just don't have as much money as Obama's supporters and (b) they don't hang out on the internet a lot. Obama's fans, conversely, are heavily made up of white collar, college educated folks who might not be accustomed to writing $2,300 checks but are perfectly able to comfortably write a few $200 checks here and there — and aren't rattled at the idea of filling out a donation page on a website to do it. Hillary's plant workers and Social Security recipients, not so much.

That said, this morning I figured that last night's results suggested that Hillary still had a slight edge in winning the nomination. But if Obama is really out-fundraising her by 2:1 or more, that's a big deal. It probably means Obama is the slight favorite instead.

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign emails the news that Hillary has raised $3 million in the past 24 hours. That's less than Obama, but still pretty impressive.

So what does this say about my theory above? Beats me. Seriously, I guess we should all just shut up and wait to see what happens. I really have no idea what's going on anymore.

Kevin Drum 11:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (81)

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Comments

$30M?

Posted by: Old Hat on February 6, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Iowa markets agree with that assessment that Obama is now the favorite. Today, the Obama contract went from $0.40 to $0.57.

Thats a big jump.

Posted by: EB on February 6, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think the real reason Hillary's having a hard time with contributions now is that her campaign has relied heavily on a smaller number of max-out contributions. Go to FundRace on huffingtonpost.com and check out Hillary's contributions: lots of $2300 contributors. Then check out Obama: lots of $200-$500 contributors, and a lot more individuals. This larger pool of smaller contributors is able to continue giving to Obama, while Hillary's contributors have already maxed out.

Posted by: Jake on February 6, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for this, Kevin.

For all the talk about huge grassroots support, as of the end of the year, 74% of Obama's money has come in the form of $200 donations or more, from 74,000 total donors.

74,000 is not actually that many people. It's not so much an indication of widespread support as it is of healthy support among a wealthy base. For all the talk about his big donor base, the total contributions of the vast majority amount to very little.

Given how much money she's raised, I wonder if it's too late for Hillary to take on the mantle of the champion of the working class:

"You all may have heard about how my opponent is raising a million dollars a day from his supporters. There's nothing wrong with that--they can afford it, so they can give it.

"But I'm in this campaign for you. The big American working class that struggles to pay the bills, worries about their homes, and wonders if they'll be able to get health insurance. The people who have to save for their kids' college fund before they can write out a check to a politician. This election is about you."

Posted by: Steve on February 6, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jake-- you're right that Clinton's donors are a little top-heavy, but Obama actually has almost as many maxed-out donors as she does (at least according to OpenSecrets). But as you say, he's dominating among those who can afford to write out $1000 checks.

Posted by: Steve on February 6, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, it would be dishonest for Hillary to claim that Obama's contributors are more well-off than hers are. The opposite is probably true. Hillary has a heck of a lot more $2300/$2300 contributors than Obama does. Obama has a larger number of small contributors.

Posted by: Jake on February 6, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin's analysis is off. It isn't about the ability or inability of Clinton and Obama voters to donate $100 here and there. It's just that the culture of the Clinton campaign is so top down that they wouldn't even think of doing it this way. In fact, they didn't think they'd need to raise money after Super Tuesday. They figured the big donations in January and Hillary's personal loan would carry the day in expensive markets like California, Massachusetts. and NY/NJ/CT. And they did largely carry the day there. But they got crushed elsewhere and ended up actually losing the delegate count. With the calender favoring Obama ahead, Hillary is in dangerous territory, light on money, and facing an energized Obama opposition. This is serious.

Posted by: Elrod on February 6, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Kevin, the reason why is because Hillary's support is very small and almost entirely in the Democratic base. Obama's support is broad and wide. He has moderates centrists and independents supporting him because they support his post-partisan call for transformational change to achieve unity. I'm giving Obama $1000 right now for that reason. That's why Hillary has so little money while Obama has so much.

Posted by: Al on February 6, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

In less than twelve hours Clinton has raised over $3 million from on line donors in what was supposed to be a twenty four hour effort.

Her camaign is raising its sights and now targeting $6 million in 72 hours.

Posted by: ken on February 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Jake--Clinton had 19,949 max contributors as of 1/31/08, while Obama had 16,259. It's not a huge difference.

On the other hand, he had nearly 12,000 more donors in the $200+ range.

All of the exit polling has shown that he gets the wealthier vote, and she gets the working class vote.

There's nothing wrong with that--it's just the way it is. It's the same reason the Republicans used to always destroy the Democrats in fundraising--their voters are richer than ours. Fortunately, they've now demonstrated so much incompetence that their donors have stopped giving.

Posted by: Steve on February 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Jake,

You are misreading. The argument is that Obama's supporters are more well-off than Clinton's, and therefore Clinton has fewer supporters to raise money from (and has therefore maxed more of them out).

Of course, Clinton hasn't shown any sign of actually being a better friend to the working class, and she already has more working class support, so I'm not sure what good it would do her to start trying to campaign as a populist friend to the working class. In fact, if she actually started talking like a friend to the working class, she would probably immediately find the press talking about how Obama had clearly wrapped up the nomination and she needed to drop out or show herself a poor loser.

Edwards has already very clearly demonstrated what the media conglomerates will do to you if you start talking about class in a presidential campaign.

Posted by: Charles on February 7, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

If I was a Clinton supporter, my fear would be with Obama's ground game, he will be able to flood Texas & Ohio with troops in advance of those elections. Both states present their challenges for Obama demographically, but if he is able to raise this kind of cash this quick (I am one of those donors - Only given $300 to the campaign so far and will again when it seems right) then he will be on the ground and on the air.

If she has to keep loaning money to the campaign the Rudy & Mitt comparisons will eventually creep in, and the final blow is tying Bill giving his fortune to buy his wife his old job. That would cause a flood of stories about Bill and fundraising, none of which will help them going forward.

But it doesn't buy you love!

Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Elrod, you have a point. I think a lot of Clinton supporters didn't know she was low on money. The fundraising blitz that Ken is referring to was hoping to raise $3 million in 72 hours. I'm glad to hear they reached it in 12 hours instead. It seems that now that her contributors know she needs it, they're opening up their wallets a bit.

Her campaign isn't going to be able to match Obama, certainly, but she'll have enough to field a team. And as the Super Bowl indicates, when you have a team you have a chance.

Posted by: Steve on February 7, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think Bill is allowed to donate more than $2300 to her campaign, just as Teresa Heinz Kerry was limited. He can start a 527, but I don't think he'll do that.

Posted by: Steve on February 7, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

ken wrote:
In less than twelve hours Clinton has raised over $3 million from on line donors in what was supposed to be a twenty four hour effort.

Ken, what is your proof? All I can find is a Kos diary and Taylor Marsh, who is quoting an "unverifiable email" from the campaign.
It surely is possible she could raise $3 million in a day, but from what I have seen, there is absolutely no proof to those assertions.
If you can't back it up, then peddle it elsewhere.

Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't get too far ahead of yourself on that 'unverified email'.

Posted by: john on February 7, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Is there any chance that some of Obama's money is coming from Rethuglicans who think they'd rather run against him? Not to cast aspersions against anyone here who's mentioned donating to his campaign, but with such huge sums raised so suddenly you just have to wonder about punking.

Posted by: Altoid on February 7, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

A question: Are Bill & Hillary's fortunes co-mingled or do they keep separate accounts for this sort of thing?
A $5 million donation from her could be coming from a joint source? I would imagine immediate family members (Bill) are not subject to the $2300 limit, but I am no election finance expert. Anybody here know?

All I am saying is the more she has to loan from her fortune, the more questions will be asked about where the money is coming from. And anytime you ask those kinds of questions about the Clintons, it will lead to tears before bedtime, rightly or wrongly.

Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - click that link in the first post. I'm not sure how to square this statement from it with your statements about Obama's donations (maybe different time periods?):

According to a study by The Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan organization that tracks political giving, only about a third of the donors who gave Obama $200 or more had given the maximum.

In contrast, Clinton raised about half of her money from donors who gave the maximum.

More striking, the report found that nearly half of Obamas individual contributors in the fourth quarter of 2007 gave donations of $200 or less...

Posted by: handsofaten on February 7, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't we just have a fundraising competition. The money is placed in escrow accounts and, come November, the candidate with the most money wins.

Then the money is distributed to people with a net worth of over a million dollars, according to some formula ensuring that it's kept away from the fucking peasants.

Posted by: thersites on February 7, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

It's still a 2:1 money raising advantage. On Obama's webpage he's now at 6+ million vs 3+ million for Hillary. I wonder if we'll see another loan (who knows how much money Bill got from divesting from that hedge fund)

Posted by: Pioneer10 on February 7, 2008 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are linking to that Daily Kos Diary as proof Clinton raised $3 million today? Read what you wrote: "The Clinton campaign emails the news..." It did no such thing, according to the link you provided

The Clinton campaign has not confirmed that yet. A diarist on Kos has. Quite a difference. Again, I'm not saying it is impossible, but you need to be more careful about what you are saying is true.

I'll happily eat crow if it is confirmed. And I expect you to do the same if it proves otherwise. And loans from Hillary don't count toward the $3million, BTW

Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Is there any chance that some of Obama's money is coming from Rethuglicans who think they'd rather run against him? Not to cast aspersions against anyone here who's mentioned donating to his campaign, but with such huge sums raised so suddenly you just have to wonder about punking.
Posted by: Altoid

Occam's Razor argues otherwise. Why would republicans fail to donate to their candidates while instead donating to a Dem candidate? Obama raised more money than any other presidedntial candidate ever, while Romney is using his own fortune and McCain was broke before his Florida victory. I think your conspiracy theory can't hold up under its own weight.

Posted by: cyntax on February 7, 2008 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't know she needed the $$$. When I found out, I sent some her way.

Posted by: w21 on February 7, 2008 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

It's about what I figured, most of her money has come from large donors. She has yet to ask for her small donor base and her website url was being dropped in her speech last night so we'll see how it goes in the future.

He's at over 6 million, he's still out-raising her 2-1.

Posted by: MNPundit on February 7, 2008 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

So let's see, if money is the essential ingredient in campaign success, then Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, right?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 7, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Seriously, I guess we should all just shut up and wait to see what happens. I really have no idea what's going on anymore"

This is going to sound sarcastic but it isn't - Kevin, you really do have some of the better commentary i've read.

Posted by: doug on February 7, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

"The Clinton campaign emails the news that Hillary has raised $3 million in the past 24 hours."

How much of that was a loan from herself?

Posted by: dgsa on February 7, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

So let's see, if money is the essential ingredient in campaign success, then Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, right?
Posted by: frankly0

Nope. Romney's using his own money much as Clinton is having to do now.

Posted by: cyntax on February 7, 2008 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Is there any chance that some of Obama's money is coming from Rethuglicans who think they'd rather run against him?"

Who cares?

Posted by: gashoi on February 7, 2008 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

cyntax,

When you buy ads, nobody asks where the money comes from.

All those ads didn't exactly do Romney a lot of good, did they?

I expect that whatever differential there is between Hillary and Obama in ad buys will have little or no impact on votes. Obama will continue to get the votes of white elites and African-Americans, and will do great in those those bizarre, pressured, interminable social events called caucuses. Hillary will get the votes of just about everybody else in real elections.

We'll find out at the end whose groups add up to more.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 7, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

TheWife and I have been dunned by email for weeks by the Obama campaign. Today was the very first time the Clinton campaign asked us for money and we immediately donated.

My preferred candidates - Dodd and Richardson - hadn't dropped out until recently, so I was waiting before donating. Now that it's a two-man race, TheWife and I are strongly backing Clinton. Two more highly educated, well compensated, lifelong progressives for Clinton.

Posted by: R.A. Porter on February 7, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

I expect that whatever differential there is between Hillary and Obama in ad buys will have little or no impact on votes.Obama will continue to get the votes of white elites and African-Americans, and will do great in those those bizarre, pressured, interminable social events called caucuses.
Posted by: frankly0

Money pays for a lot more than ads. It gets you paid staff to organize your ground game and GOTV effort. If you think only white elites and blacks are voting for Obama well, that's your opinion, but the states he's winning show much more range than Clinton's victories. And he's won more states by decisive margin than she has:

  • Alaska (over 70%)
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho (over 70%)
  • Illinois
  • Kansas (over 70%)
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota

For Clinton?


  • Arkansas

Posted by: cyntax on February 7, 2008 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Before drawing any conclusions about Sen. Clinton's campaign finances and what they say about the state of her campaign, we'd really need to know what her campaign has been spending money on for the last year.

This is a factor often overlooked by the media, which has access to public data on fundraising but has to rely on the campaigns for information on how they spend their money. Campaign sources used by the media are usually professionals these days; if their campaigns are wasting a lot of money, for example on their own salaries, they have little incentive to volunteer information on the subject. Both the Giuliani and the McCain campaigns (until the middle of last year) had reputations for hiring big-name political operatives and keeping them in style. It wouldn't surprise me if Clinton's campaign had done the same thing, expecting the race for the nomination to be all but over after Super Tuesday, and found itself scrambling when it became apparent after Iowa that Obama might be in the game for quite a while.

Posted by: Zathras on February 7, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't been paying much attention to the generally tedious campaign emails I get, but like a couple others here -- and it sounds like possibly a lot of other people -- when I got an email this AM from the Clinton campaign asking for money, I went right over and donated.

I'm low-income and I very rarely give $$ to political campaigns above the local level, but when I saw she had to loan her campaign money and Obama's still raking in the cash, I donated.

Just on the tactical level, the timing was pretty brilliant-- she squeaks out Super-Tuesday, announces she's loaning her campaign her own money, then sends out the email. If I support her, and I do, I ought to help. So I did.


Posted by: gyrfalcon on February 7, 2008 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

I sure would like to be able to loan my political campaign $5 million and consider giving it another $5 million if necessary. Who knew you could accumulate that much wealth after 35 years of working for the American people. Is it just me, or am I missing something? She's been the First Lady or a Senator for 16 of those years. How does this add up? She has made it clear it is her money, and not Bill's money.

Can someone explain where this money came from? I have no clue.

Posted by: The Grand Panjandrum on February 7, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

I was an Edwards supporter, and I thought poorly of Obama and his comments on Reagan after reading Krugman.

But I was won over when someone made a case that Obama has a shot of being as inspirational for Dems as Reagan was for Republicans. Or as JFK was earlier. Then I listened to a couple of Obama speeches.

He's good. I think he's got the broad appeal.

For me, I think Hillary would be fine, and she is the logical successor to Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. But Obama is a different kind of candidate, and I'd like to see the Dems break the mold this time around, and nominate someone inspirational.

After seeing this post I just found myself donating.

Posted by: Obama conver on February 7, 2008 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign emails the news that Hillary has raised $3 million in the past 24 hours. That's less than Obama, but still pretty impressive.

And a campaign release soon to follow explaining that Chelsea floated her a loan?

Posted by: Varecia on February 7, 2008 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary would make a fine President. But she's toxic as a general election candidate. She ties McCain in Washington State for crying out loud. Obama beats McCain in WA by over 10 points. I'm not sure if Hillary even wins California over McCain, even with all those primary voters for her yesterday.

Hillary = McCain Presidency. Sorry, that's just how it is. And don't cite some October poll in Ohio showing Clinton doing better against McCain than Obama. The more voters see Obama, the more they like him. Not the case with Hillary.

Posted by: Elrod on February 7, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Elrod: "She ties McCain in Washington State for crying out loud. Obama beats McCain in WA by over 10 points."

It's also February 6, and the election is nine months away. Get a grip.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 7, 2008 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Grand Panjandrum >"...Can someone explain where this money came from?..."

Use your imagination. Printing press in the basement, color copier, computer & Photoshop, telephone sex, etc.

"Stop quoting the laws to us. We carry swords." - Pompey

Posted by: daCascadian on February 7, 2008 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

Obama inspired me; he inspired me to donate $200 to Hillary's campaign. Thanks Obama!

Posted by: Kathryn on February 7, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't we just have a fundraising competition. The money is placed in escrow accounts and, come November, the candidate with the most money wins.

Then the money is distributed to people with a net worth of over a million dollars, according to some formula ensuring that it's kept away from the fucking peasants.

Sadly, this isn't that great a leap from the system we already have.

Posted by: Killjoy on February 7, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

swarty...All I am saying is the more she has to loan from her fortune, the more questions will be asked about where the money is coming from. And anytime you ask those kinds of questions about the Clintons, it will lead to tears before bedtime, rightly or wrongly.

Uh...swarty...what you're saying is why Tony Rezko did that less-than-market sale to the angelic boy with the twinkle in his eye when he smiles? Rightly or wrongly, of course.

I've had it with Obama and his supporters. To wit:

It crystallized for me another problem with the Obama campaign: Its supporters' reliance on their, and their candidate's, obvious moral and political superiority to win the election.

A smiley 'hope-and-transformational-change' speech does nothing for me. I've been a reliable dem voter over the last 7 presidential elections but the Obama campaign - from going racial in SC to the "big dem losses" when BC was prez - has left me unwilling to vote for this plastic phony. He is the reason McCain has a shot at winning and the way he is campaigning right now, he'd best prepare his concession call to President McCain.

Posted by: disgusted on February 7, 2008 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

I would not be surprised if self-financing her presidential campaigns wasn't part of the Clinton game-plan from day one. It would certainly explain why the Clintons have been taking money from anyone, anywhere, at any time ever since Bill left office.

Posted by: Joseph on February 7, 2008 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote "Seriously, I guess we should all just shut up and wait to see what happens." I agree. Kevin excels at covering the substantive issues in the campaign and the actual differences among the candidates, and he, like the rest of the media, should focus on that, and not on who is winning.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on February 7, 2008 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

"I really have no idea what's going on anymore"

Refreshing to see an opinion writer not pull something out of their butt.

Posted by: asl on February 7, 2008 at 5:42 AM | PERMALINK

And anytime you ask those kinds of questions about the Clintons, it will lead to tears before bedtime, rightly or wrongly.
Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 12:14 AM

You do realize you just used a sexist based/rooted criticism of HRC, don't you? When you say it will lead to tears before bedtime you are stating that she like women throughout history will resort to using tears to deflect from the topic instead of facing/dealing with it head on. Not to mention that there is no evidence to support such a claim on your part, indeed the closest she came to tears was way overblown (she got a bit choked up, I saw no tears then or indeed ever throughout the race for the nomination despite the massive mythology that has sprung up around it and which you appear to be using/buying into in your criticism) by both the media and the Obama campaign, the latter to explain why they lost when all indications going in was that they were going to win NH, not lose it as they did.

Indeed, I never forgot JJ jr the morning after NH going on about where her tears were for Katrina victims, which was both sexist AND racist, and was twisting reality/facts to suit an agenda of diminishing Clinton as a credible candidate because apparently either she is too out of control of her emotions (like that old argument about why a woman can't be CinC being because of menstruation and PMS making them too emotionally unstable, another classic sexist stereotype which the tears business plays into when it is used as you appear to have used it and the Obama camp definitely used it as) or a cold calculating manipulative ambitious "woman" (I won't use the perjorative which Barbara Bush made famous by saying it rhymed with witch) who manipulates people aka males by such displays of emotion to suit her needs, which plays into another classic negative stereotype about women, especially women seekng office/power.

Yet he still has his job, indeed wasn’t apparently sanctioned/reprimanded (or fired, which I think he should have been for that) for it despite that blatant sexism/racism card playing to spin the loss in NH, the first primary where the population of the State was heard from and not the much smaller numbers within the Iowa caucuses undecutting the premise of his movement/wave out there in the electorate. Since caucuses measure voter intensity in terms of those that can/will show up for the lengthy caucus process while primaries measure voter support more broadly/completely by virtue of being a standard go in and vote through the day when one has the time process instead of having to be somewhere for hours at a single specific time to be counted as caucuses require it was important for the Obama camp to downplay that Clinton victory as much as they could manage which this comment managed to do.

Well that and blaming the "Bradley effect" despite there being no evidence to support it since the polls accurately reflected his final turnout and the "Bradley effect" describes a black candidate overpolling in surveys because people don't want to sound racist to a person but have no problems showing it in their ballot choice where none can see what they are doing. Between those two points though the Obama camp clearly was playing "the race card" yet they were not called out for it despite it being far more obivous than the MLK/LBJ and Fairy Tale comments that the Clintons are blamed for which many Obama supporters claim was the true start of the race card use in the campaign and of course that the Clintons started it and not Obama's side. Straight voting is far easier and doesn't require anywhere near the same intensity in the voter to go and do, which btw is another reason why Obama's victories in the caucues are not the best basis to argue/claim/conclude he can win the State in a Statewide election, unlike with primaries.

This is a classic example of what I and many have been talking about regarding the sexism/misogyny within much of the criticism thrown at HRC by both the MSM and the Obama supporters/campaign. It is also worth noting that the racism card gets far more automatic credibility/credence to take at face value when a AA claims it is happening than does sexism when a woman complains it is happening. Isn't that also a major double standard, especially since both are supposed to be equally offensive to those that truly believe in human equality which progressives/liberals are supposed to have as a core value? What makes it so particularly disturbing for so many of us is how unconscious it appears to be, both the sexism generally and the differing standards for credibility when each claim is made by a member of the group in question (AA or female). That such writers/commentators truly do not see what they have written/said as being sexist but only fair comment, this despite it clearly playing to classic negative stereotypes of women, especially women that seek power/office speaks volumes to the difference in how each is treated when it comes to being prejudiced against and how much more accepted sexism is than racism in American society to this day.

Posted by: Scotian on February 7, 2008 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

I'm very much an Obama supporter, but this fundraising disparity demonstrates the need for serious, high-level public financing of elections -- so much that no one is tempted to turn down federal matching funds. Ideally, the fact that Obama's has more well-healed supporters wouldn't give him a relative advantage. Why should the political preferences of someone have more or less weight because of his or her socio-economic status? It's not right, and it's a problem that we can reduce drastically by drastically increasing the amount of public financing from which campaigns benefit. The fact that my candidate is benefiting from such a structural injustice doesn't make it any better.

Posted by: Zan on February 7, 2008 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's "loan" and staffers working without pay is ploy, pure and simple. Lots of free publicity, and more of that "Obama is the establishment candidate" meme. Wake up people-- you've been pwned by the Clintons. Again.

Posted by: bluewave on February 7, 2008 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Obama raised $32 million in January, Hillary $13 million. And yet, as the NYT Feb. 6 post-morterm asserts, the Obama surge fell short. And we see from McCain's effort that money is isn't critical

Posted by: bob h on February 7, 2008 at 7:01 AM | PERMALINK

There's an intellectually lazy dualism at the heart of the MSM & progressive blogosphere's narratives about Clinton & Obama.

These polarizing narratives require its adherants to ignore frequently conflicting data & substantial minorities, for their maintenance. While it's true that Clinton has had significant polling & electoral strength among women, Hispanics, Asian, older & Democrat voters, Obama's popularity among those groups, while generally in the minority, is far from insignificant.

Similarly, while Obama frequently commands impressive majorities among wealthier, better educated, younger, black, male & Independent voters, Clinton also gains significant minority support (& occaisional majorities) among exactly the same groups. Clinton, for example, captured a majority of young voters in both California & Massachusetts.

As such, any suggestion that Clinton cannot easily now call upon at least 78,000 internet savvy, financially comfortable individuals to raise comparable smaller donations, is just plain silly. As several posters have indicated above, unlike Obama, she simply hasn't asked before, but now that she has, they're happy to give. And any assumption that her majority constituencies, (older, Hispanic, female or registered Democrat voters) are collectively Internet Luddites, or politically miserly, is frankly laughable.

By continuing to apply sweeping generalisations & Beltway-driven, dualist narratives to the Obama/ Clinton primary contests, pundits less modest than Kevin will continue to make utterly wrong-headed predictions. Both candidates command noteworthy majorities & significant minorities among the electorate.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on February 7, 2008 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

CNN- Just reported that Clinton has paid herself back through raising money o the internet. No mention of Obama raising money at all. They also failed to mention that she remains broke ( having paid herself back). So much for "good" reporting. But clearly she wanted a newscycle that talked about her support andshe got it.

Posted by: C.B. on February 7, 2008 at 7:31 AM | PERMALINK

Money pays for a lot more than ads. It gets you paid staff to organize your ground game and GOTV effort. If you think only white elites and blacks are voting for Obama well, that's your opinion, but the states he's winning show much more range than Clinton's victories. And he's won more states by decisive margin than she has:

Alaska (over 70%)
Colorado
Georgia
Idaho (over 70%)
Illinois
Kansas (over 70%)
Minnesota
North Dakota
For Clinton?


Arkansas

Just out of curiosity how many of those Obama states on Tuesday were open primary states where independents and republicans could cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. Just curious?

Posted by: aline on February 7, 2008 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

This is exactly what I'm thinking. Just at a wired coffee shop with white-collar professionals in a college town. Mostly Obama supporters. They feel comfortable going online to donate $100 or $200 at a pop--and they can do it. Clinton supporters, if they aren't rich, are less likely to be able to do that in terms of cash on hand and internet comfort level. But then my parents--Clinton supporters--upper-income retirees, got over their discomfort and just antied up online. I bet they aren't alone. They will wait for me to visit to buy things for them online, so their discomfort with the internet is palpable. They don't dislike Obama, but they want Clinton far more, and enough, to make a donation online. Also, watch for a Clinton bump in about 7 to 14 days as those checks sent in by older Clinton supporters are cashed.

Posted by: Lilybelle on February 7, 2008 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

By my reckoning, the Clintons have infused 15-20 million dollars into their campaign (yes, I mean their!).

But I'm not sure that's the total picture.

What if, say in December they said the campaign had raised 21 million dollars, but failed to mention that 10 million of that was transferred from Her Senate account?

Plain and simple, every time self loans/payments are made into the race
the donation numbers "look" better.

Sounds like a con to me.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 7, 2008 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, where do I begin?
Dear Scotia,
As for saying "tears before bedtime" in a previous post, it is common British expression, and it happens to be a favorite song by Elvis Costello. Any reference to Hillary was a coincidence. That you decided to write a novella based on an expression that had absolutely nothing to do with any sexist attack is sad. I'm a husband and father of a small daughter. I'm well aware of sexism and don't go there in my private life. Your screed was totally off base and foolish for thinking so. If you were better read, you might have understood the reference.
Here is a link to the expression so you can see that you made an ass of yourself accusing me of sexism
http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/tears+before+bedtime.html

You spend plenty of time thinking I am making a personal attack, but nobody is willing to rebut my claim that the $3 million raised by Clinton has not been verified. When it is, I will be duly impressed.

As for the Rezko stuff, may I point you to this article in the NR. It is like 10 Tony Rezkos on steroids.
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=076fd56f-4aca-4683-a9d1-3c55d748946e

I'm not Obama acolyte. But throwing around Rezko as if it is a magic bullet to the heart of his candidacy is just plain silly. As the NR article shows, there are a ton of Rezko's just waiting to be dealt with on the Clinton side. That is what happens after 16+ years of power. And by that I mean they have accumulated a lot of "friends" over those years.


Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

A smiley 'hope-and-transformational-change' speech does nothing for me.

That's a shame, because it was exactly that kind of pitch that got us President Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Posted by: Brian on February 7, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

"A smiley 'hope-and-transformational-change' speech does nothing for me.

That's a shame, because it was exactly that kind of pitch that got us President Roosevelt and the New Deal."

Oh boy is this wrong history. Go back and do your reading and discover what a tough few years of legislative battling Roosevelt had to enact portions of his program. Nice speeches did nothing. Legislative battling and a machiavellian mind got Roosevelt's programs enacted. Sound like someone we know?

I find in general that the understanding of Obama supporters of history is next to nothing. Perhaps we are reaping the seeds sown in the past 20 years where history wasnt taught much as far as i could see. Obama supporters take on the 60's, and the 70's and the battles of the 90's are frequently just historically wrong and very superficial. Its sad really. A whole lot of people fought hard in the 60's and the 90's for progressive policies and Obama's people would just waive all that away as more partisan divisiveness. Its offensive to those of us who lived through it all, and I wish Obama's people could come up with a pitch that doesnt denigrate wide swaths of the electorate.

Posted by: Jammer on February 7, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK
Oh boy is this wrong history. Go back and do your reading and discover what a tough few years of legislative battling Roosevelt had to enact portions of his program. Nice speeches did nothing.

Yeah yeah.
You should remember that FDR had to get elected, before he even had an opportunity to engage in those "tough few years of legislative battling". Let's also not forget the SCOTUS packing was an element of getting his programs made into law.
Without those "nice speeches", he wouldn't have become POTUS, so in fact, they were crucial to the programs of the New Deal.

Posted by: kenga on February 7, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

The story highlights for me how nutcase this system is--where raising so much money is required in order to be considered a contender, and then used for bragging rights. Makes me almost wish for (and work for) enforced spending limits.

Jammer's right to a degree--but FDR got elected on the strength of optimism, an aura of expertise and a perception on the part of voters that whatever the GOP was selling in 1932, they weren't going to buy it. Without this election, we wouldn't have had the New Deal, for good and ill, idealism and legislative pressure politics included (and not mutually exclusive). Obama's supporters are less ignorant of history than they are selective in what they bother to acknowledge. In this, they are not alone.

Posted by: dware on February 7, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Scotian,
You are 100% wrong in your assertion that I made a sexist remark. The expression "Tears Before Bedtime" is a common British expression (and one of my favorite Elvis Costello songs). Here is a link to what it means.
http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/tears+before+bedtime.html
As you can see, there is no there there.

And as for Hillary's campaign haul yesterday, I am still waiting for something official from her campaign. So far all I can find is the Kos diary. Still waiting.

Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

I don't agree that "her supporters tend to be older, lower income, less educated, and more likely to be working class." (than Obama's). His contributions are mostly $100-$500 at a clip, more in line with the working class. Hillary's contributors, on the other hand, tend to give much larger amounts at a clip - and most are maxed out at the highest level.

Posted by: KasV on February 7, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

That's a shame, because it was exactly that kind of pitch that got us President Roosevelt and the New Deal.

No. Sorry. No. Timing is everything. Roosevelt's brilliant speeches would have fallen on deaf ears without the depression. Do you honestly think no one before Roosevelt offered up wonderful, inspirational speeches about hope and helping the unfortunate?

Christ did exactly that almost 2000 years ago.

We have not yet fallen far enough to generate enough power to counteract the massive power that is nudging us, slowly, constantly, and irresistably back to the gilded age.

Posted by: Tripp on February 7, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I'm one of those people writing out the two hundred dollar checks for the first time in my life. Beyond the oratorical might and even policies, I just want as close as I can to a break from the last twenty years of two family rule.

Posted by: matt on February 7, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Howard Wolfson will not confirm the $3 million figure. He was just asked on MSNBC and would not say they raised $3 million, but merely said they had a great fundraising day

The $3 million is a smoke screen designed to blunt some of the news of Obama's huge windfall. This bogus figure is being peddled by pliant bloggers (Kevin - I'm talking to YOU!) and there is no proof to any of it.

The Clinton campaign played you guys.

Posted by: swarty on February 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton camp is now telling TPM it's "approximately 4 million" but who knows.

Also Kevin, HOT LINK OBAMA's GRAPHIC! He's approaching $8,000,000. You have now endorsed Obama, time to get with it.

Posted by: MNpundit on February 7, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Might be good to add the $3M update to your post above re: Hillary's popularity, as well.

Posted by: Swan on February 7, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

PC taught in schools to gullible youth.

Posted by: Luther on February 7, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

"Hillary has raised $3 million in the past 24 hours."

Sounds like Norman Rogers decided to write her campaign a check.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 7, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I am undecided so listened to both Obama's and Hillary's speeches on Tuesday night. I am contributing to Hillary today. We are facing serious times. I want capable people. I do not mix religion and politics.

Obama is a weak candidate with a strong message.

I also have read more about his financial dealing related to the purchase of his house. He is not more honest than the rest of them.. he just has had less chance to be dishonest. It's a good read.. start with Firedoglake.

Since Obama uses the like ability theme.. I invite inquiring minds to watched Michelle Obama 's recent interview... Obama is very inviting.. She will get old very fast.
Hillary at least has a friendly face

Posted by: Mscomment on February 7, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Norman Rogers decided to write her campaign a check.

Who got all the attention and push from the mainstream media in the run-up to Feb. 5th? Her or Obama?

Obama has won over the 30-something IT and Human Resources "professionals." Hillary has won over the PTA/soccer-moms-and-dads, whose responsibilities can't be shucked easily enough to let them screw around on the Internet all day long (and figure out how to donate to a candidate through a Webform). These savvy people want to see what Hillary and Bill could do with a country and Congress the Republicans have less of a grip on than they did in much of the '90s.

Posted by: Swan on February 7, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Just out of curiosity how many of those Obama states on Tuesday were open primary states where independents and republicans could cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. Just curious?
Posted by: aline

Umm... every Democratic Primary in every state is open.

Posted by: cyntax on February 7, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Obama also has the ex-hippy college professors who believe 9/11 was a hoax. He's basically won over the impeccable-judgment crowd.

Posted by: Swan on February 7, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Arizona does not have an open primary, which is what I prefer. I do not want Republicans or independents voting in my party's nominating primary. I do not want to compete with them in party politics if they are not members of my party. If they want to vote in the Democratic primary, all they have to do is register as Democrats. I did to vote for Dean four years ago. There are no dues or tests required to register, so all anyone has to do is register before the deadline to vote in the primary.

Posted by: Brojo on February 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Arizona does not have an open primary...
Posted by: Brojo

My bad then.

Posted by: cyntax on February 7, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

All this money talk can be very misleading. No one knows what Super Tuesday cost these two and how prepared they were monetarily. The only cash on hand vs debt records are from 2007. I don't think either of these two has a money problem.
But, I'm suggesting, we just don't know-do we?

Posted by: fillphil on February 7, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

The Clinton campaign emails the news that Hillary has raised $3 million in the past 24 hours....
So what does this say about my theory above?

Must have been that last minute funding request sent out to Bill's former flings.

Posted by: Keith G on February 7, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

My correction about open primaries was not made to malign you. Each state's parties have different rules.

Posted by: Brojo on February 7, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"swarty:

Don't worry about Scotian -- we all ignore his rants -- his idea of sexism does not include the 1000s of women he's had sex with." Posted by: James on February 7, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Gee, exaggerating again as always while bring up something totally irrelevant to the discussion, what a shock...not. BTW, the fact that you remember a comment I tossed off once several years ago shows some serious obsession with me and my sex life, and the irony of your attempt to smear with it is that the number of partners is not the issue but whether informed consent was always present and that the partners were treated as equal human beings, which they always were. Some serious envy you must have got if you are so focused on something so trivial and irrelevant to this topic, but then that sort of drive by smear was always a specialty of yours as I recall. BTW, by using that smear you basically outed yourself Nathan because you are the only person ever to use that as an attack on me, indeed you are one of the only people to even notice that one comment from years back, which speaks poorly of you, but what else would I expect from a charter member of the Trolletariat.

Swarty:

Given the context and what you wrote it was a natural misunderstanding, perhaps if you are going to import such slang phrases you might want to be more specific, especially when there is such a concern regarding sexist commentary regarding Clinton, especially regarding her supposedly tearing up on command whenever she needs to catch up on Obama as so many Obama supporters have claimed is the case with her over the past few weeks. Perhaps you might want to think about what you are saying and the context you are saying it in next time, because it did come off as I dealt with in my comment. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and that this was your actual intent and not some face saving gesture after being nailed on it this time, next time though you might want to think about how what you write may appear, especially when you make comments tying Clinton and tears as you did given the well known tearing up going into NH that the Obama campaign supporters love to accuse Clinton of doing whenever she starts feeling desperate. My patience with sexist attacks has reached its limit and I am not inclinded to be more charitable than this on this topic given the current reality. On that note that is the last I have to say on this here in this thread.

Posted by: Scotian on February 7, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

You shouldn't write an entry like this until you know how much both campaigns are raising.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on February 8, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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