First, Barack Obama delivered a message to Hillary Clinton , do not ever underestimate me again. Her pet fundraiser, Terry McAuliffe was quite boastful when Hillary announced her presidential run, she was inevitable. Not so fast, Obama's fundraising is resetting campaign strategy on all sides.
Barack in numbers of people and primary dollar bills. Now Obama has the cash to eat into her lead in the polls. Make no mistake, money is free speech in politics. Hillary is formidable and now has a challenge worthy of her strengths.
Folks are horrified at the amount of money in politics. But you have to pay to play. The two Titans of the Democratic field are setting records. Many think the money is from fat cats and corporate types. Obama's money is rolling in from small donor offsetting advantages candidates have with big donor influence. Small donors are making their free speech rights heard too, but they will also be on the ground and on the internet more so than any big donors. It's a new day in Politics!
The vaunted Clinton political machine had scores of big donors, Hollywood, endorsements, name recognition and a former president on the team. Barack Obama, the charismatic newbie, started with notions of hope and an idea for revamping the political structure. Obama cleaned Clinton's clock and is building an army of support from a mix of small and big donors and focusing on primary money. Clinton had $10,000,000 to rollover from her 2006 senate campaign. Obama has more cash on hand at the end of an amazing second quarter of fundraising for Democrats.
No other Democrats in the presidential race are within hailing distance of these two on cash this far ahead of the Iowa & Nevada caucuses and New Hampshire & South Carolina primaries. An inordinate amount of cash is needed to compete on February 5th. Those are some of the most expensive media markets on the planet and underscore why early money to lock in media buys is important. SUPER Tuesday marks the shift away from retail politics. That is why the early money deeply matters. Money creates buzz and the WOW factor, the media flocks to it like bees, they pollinate the people with their pre-conceived narrative and it seeds endorsements.
Nothing but Bad News on the Republican side. Ron Paul has two commas worth of cash on hand. Former inevitable front runner, John McCain is now carrying his own bags after downsizing his campaign, hopes and cash to a meager $250,000 on hand. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore threw in the towel. He couldn't compete with McCain on cash.
Most of the candidates have released books. Two of the Democrats had New York Times Number one best sellers, Living History - Clinton & The Audacity of Hope - Obama. Money in Politics can be checked at Open Secrets and the Federal Election Commission.