Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Apparently, money does grow on trees

First quarter campaign fundraising numbers have been announced, and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton (D-NY) raised a whopping $26 million (with an additional $10-11 million being transferred from her Senate campaign war-chest), thus easily surpassing her opponents with Senator John Edwards netting $14 million, Senator Joseph Biden $3 million, Senator Chris Dodd $4 million (whom also transferred an additional $5 million from his Senate account) and Governor Bill Richardson $6 million.

Senator Barack Obama, as of this writing, hasn’t officially released his numbers in what is either an astute move to keep his cards close to the vest or avoiding the risk of embarrassment over a lousy quarter… though there are reporting starting to come out that Obama raised approximately $20 million, but nothing official has been announced.

On the republican side, Mitt Romney (R-MA) packed away an impressive $21 million (or $23 mil, depending on which article you read…), easily pulling away from party rivals Rudy Giuliani ($15 million) and John McCain ($12.5 million).

What about the others you ask? Well… they barely raised enough to get noticed (for instance Governor Mike Huckabee raised a scant $500,000), so we’ll ignore them for now…

To date, Democratic and republican candidates have reported more than $80 million in combined campaign fundraising for the first three months of the year, and in the process obliterated the old record of $30.9 million set in the corresponding period of the 2004 campaign.

This election is going to put a lot of stock into early cash because candidates will have to bankroll a plethora of cross-country flights, a veritable army of political consultants and a slew of advertising… and that’s only going to be for the “First Elections” of nominating.

Think about it, with so many states trying to squeeze their primaries into January and February, all candidates will have to focus a lot on those states all at once rather than separating them out as they did in the past.

Then comes the “real” election in November… and who knows how things will be shaping up at that time.

Why is all of this important? Because the huge fundraising hauls with 10 months to go before the first nominating ballots are even cast are an indication of just how competitive (and dirty?), and tight this race is going to be.

Add to that that experts are already declaring that the 2008 election may reach one billion dollars and will go down in history as the most expensive presidential race on record (at least until 2012 rolls around…), and you have the makings for one heck of a political side-show.

And furthermore… by ignoring public money and the restrictions that go with it, we are once again seeing the corporate purchase of America. With all the money being spent by companies and corporations, how do you actually elect a good and honest person (that is if there are any left in the world) that you can trust to do what is right for the country and is not beholden to either Haliburton or (the next) Enron?

Stay tuned…

1 comment:

Kara said...

Romney is the emptiest suit out there. I almost hope he gets the nomination because he'll very likely alienate every moderate out there and they'll be forced to vote for someone smarter.

Remember when we had smart presidents?

Good times, good times.