Update: Another myth falls apart:   Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) outspent chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on polling and research by almost three to one during the last three months, according to the latest financial disclosure reports filed on Sunday.


We’ve been asked to comment, at least briefly, on the 2nd quarter numbers.

As we pointed out yesterday, the hard dollar numbers are important but not determinative. For instance, how much in dollar terms, can we credit the Hillary account with for her incredible performances in the debates? How much money would have to be spent on paid media to convey the sense of command Hillary exudes every time she appears in public? Neither all the ads Obama has purchased in Iowa nor all the ads Edwards has purchased in New Hampshire will diminish Hillary’s presence and intelligent policy positions as amplified by the consequent free media she garners. Obama spent over $16 million this past quarter, Hillary just over $12 million. This spending pattern helps Hillary who thrived in her first New York senate race when she was heavily outspent. [Let’s also add here that every dollar Hillary spends on her excellent campaign team is worth every penny. The same cannot be said about other, ahem, campaign staffs.]

Here are the hard numbers:

[Hillary Clinton:] Total receipts to date (includes contributions for primary and general elections, loans and transfers): $63.1 million

Total contributions to date: $53.1 million ($12.6 million for the general election)

Total spending to date: $17.3 million

Second quarter contributions: $27 million ($5.7 million for the general election)

Second quarter spending: $12.2 million

Second quarter transfers or loans: none

Cash on hand: $45.2 million

Debt: $3 million

Top donor states: New York, $6.8 million; California, $3.8 million; New Jersey, $1.6 million; Florida, $1.5 million; Illinois, $1.4 million.

Top employers: Employees of DLA Piper contributed $190,170; Cablevision, $93,675; Kirkland & Ellis LLP, $104,300; Morgan Stanley, $47,850.

Of note: Clinton’s comfortable cash-on-hand cushion of $45.2 million was helped by a $10 million transfer last quarter from her Senate campaign committee.

[Barack Obama:]Total receipts to date (includes contributions for primary and general elections, loans and transfers): $36.3 million ($1.7 million for general election)

Total contributions to date: $58.6 million

Total spending to date: $22.6 million

Second quarter contributions: $32.9 million

Second quarter spending: $16 million

Second quarter transfers or loans: none

Cash on hand: $36.3 million

Debt: none

Top donor states: California, $4.2 million; Illinois, $3.3 million; New York, $3.1 million; District of Columbia, $1.1 million; Massachusetts, $1 million.

Top employers: Employees of Lehman Brothers, $160,760; Citadel Investment Group, $152,150; Goldman Sachs, $103,550; JP Morgan Chase, $101,950; Citigroup $61,125.

Of note: Obama gets much notice for attracting first-time donors. But the real money is coming from big investment firms. The Illinois senator is a favorite among employees of some of the nation’s largest investment banks and hedge funds. Among his fans is Kenneth C. Griffin, president of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. Griffin gave Obama $4,600 this quarter, the maximum allowed.

As to the numbers, Big Media and Hillary opponents medicate themselves with the bromide that not all Hillary’s fundraising is applicable to the primaries. There are at least 2 bigger stories here though. The first one is that the $12.6 million in general election monies Hillary has raised as opposed to Obama’s $1.7 million in general election funds illuminates the deep and confident support Hillary has among her supporters. Hillary and her supporters are sure that Hillary is going to get the nomination and Hillary and her supporters also know that we will have to pivot almost immediately against the Ripublican attack machine. So, once again, Hillary is thinking ahead and her supporters are right there with intelligent and strong support.

The second story relates somewhat to the Ripublican meltdown. In 2004, arguably the biggest mistake John Kerry made was accepting public funding and the few dollars that entitles candidates to, instead of raising the much higher multiple sums of money that non-incumbents NEED to oust incumbents. [Obama has made noises that he intends to follow the Kerry losing script – of course that could all be more flowery language to dupe his supporters into believing he scorns all this big money politics.] In the past few days we have all witnessed the car wreck that is the McCain campaign. So desperate has the McCain campaign been that they are considering applying for matching public financing. While this would provide McCain with a lifeline to about $7 million it would restrict how much money McCain could spend in primary states. The fact that Hillary is already raising high levels of general election funds puts added pressure on her potential Ripublican opponents. The Hillary campaign is serving notice to the Ripublican machine that this time Democrats have a strategy, the will and the finances, and the candidate to fight. Big Media won’t inform you of this, we do.

We informed you yesterday, when our own commenter Joe Friday, gave us the facts. Today, Politico followed:

Ryan Lizza, a close Obama watcher who’s moving from the New Republic to the New Yorker, made a good, overlooked point about some of Obama’s smaller contributions on Chris Matthews yesterday.

LIZZA: Obama set a record by having more than 250–250,000 donors this year. It was a little trick that the Obama campaign used to get that number so high. Every time you buy a bumper sticker or a T-shirt from the Obama campaign, instead of just paying cash, they count it as a campaign donation. So all those people who sort of–wanting a piece of Obama with a bumper sticker, some piece of paraphernalia, well, you give your FEC data and it counts as a campaign donation.

As we noted above, “Obama gets much notice for attracting first-time donors. But the real money is coming from big investment firms. The Illinois senator is a favorite among employees of some of the nation’s largest investment banks and hedge funds.” ABC News had this article today:

Away from the bright lights and high-minded rhetoric of the campaign trail, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has quietly worked with corporate lobbyists to help pass breaks worth $12 million.

In his speeches, Obama has lambasted lobbyists and moneyed interests who “have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”

“It’s an entire culture in Washington — some of it legal, some of it not,” the Democratic hopeful told a New York crowd in June, rallying support for his ethics reform agenda.

But last year, at the request of a hired representative for an Australian-owned chemical corporation Nufarm, Obama introduced nine separate bills exempting the company from import fees on a range of chemical ingredients it uses in the manufacture of pesticides and herbicides. Nufarm’s U.S. subsidiary is based in Illinois.

ABC News ends by quoting more of Obama’s flowery language after pointing out Obama’s thorny actions:

“We need a president who sees government not as a tool to enrich well-connected friends and high-priced lobbyists, but as the defender of fairness and opportunity for every American,” the candidate said in his June speech. “That’s the kind of president I intend to be.”

How much money will Obama have to spend in TV advertisements to erase the Rezko scandal, this Nufarm business, other business questions, not to mention the coal liquification problem?

The numbers are staggering.


15 thoughts on “Numbers

  1. BTW, Obama pulls a Kerry in Iowa. This is so laughable. Remember Kerry asked his combat comrades to tour on his behalf, which in the end propelled him into the nomination in 2004.

    Now, our empty suit Obama pulls a Kerry in Iowa. The notorious Obama cheerleader on mydd posted the following

    General Scott Gration, an Air Force fighter pilot who flew more combat missions than any other American while commanding the operations overseeing both the northern and southern no-fly zones in Iraq, will be leading several Iraq war veterans in a statewide Obama for Commander in Chief Tour.

    General Gration will be meeting with Iowans at 13 stops across the state. He sees courage, strength and wisdom in Senator Obama that he thinks make Barack the best person to be the next Commander In Chief.

    This guy is getting insane. This stunt is so amateurish, this sort of copycat action has no originality whatsoever. What else will he do? Put on a helmet and stroll in Baghdad streets. Obama makes Dukakis look sane. What a complete phoney.

  2. wtf, the kerry situation was much different. he fought along side these men in combat in vietnam. obama at the same age was a commmunity organizer- i guess his experience to be president.

  3. Obama’s fraud is starting to be uncovered by MSM. NYT has a front page story on Obama’s money game. I expect MSM to pick this up in the coming days.

    Just moments before he arrived, Mr. Obama had said goodbye to a less exclusive crowd of 10,000 that had gathered to hear him speak across the bay in Oakland. They paid nothing to hear him, but spent $40,000 on Obama T-shirts, baseball caps, buttons and other knickknacks. And the Obama campaign registered each of the purchasers as one of the record 258,000 contributors it signed up in the first six months of the year.

    But to capitalize on his celebrity, Mr. Obama’s campaign has also employed novel tactics — like counting sales of $5 speech tickets or $4.50 Obama key chains as individual contributions — to pump up his numbers and transform grass-roots enthusiasm into more useful forms of support. No other campaign is known to have listed paraphernalia sales as donations.

    While polls suggest that Mr. Obama at this early stage is running particularly strong among well-educated and affluent people, the analysis found that the contributions he was required to report to the Federal Election Commission — those of at least $200 — came from areas with an average household income of $102,000 a year. That was roughly in the middle range for all the leading candidates in both parties, somewhat more affluent than those of former Senator John Edwards’s and somewhat less affluent than Mrs. Clinton’s.

    He’s liberal elitists’ dream candidate, but a sure loser in general election.

    As for the Obama merchandise, sold mainly through the campaign’s Web site, Mr. Plouffe said it had brought it several hundred thousand dollars. “It has been a real source of revenue for us,” he said. “And obviously you still get people wearing your hats and displaying your bumper stickers.”

    He’s pushing ‘innovative’ to a new level.

    “People want to be part of a cause,” said John Roos, a Silicon Valley lawyer who helped organize the event at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. “We all feel that we are part of something much bigger than any individual, and Barack makes us feel that way.”

    Typical internet bubble chasers.

  4. kostner, I have two alternative theories on why General Gration sez Obama has the right stuff to be Commander is Chief. Theory 1: Obama has an illustrious war record, which no one including Obama himself is aware of, but serves him well in his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee that no one is aware of either. Theory 2: General Gration, a Rutgers ROTC, has had a keen interest in political and foreign affairs throughout his career (see bio google) and would not be adverse to accepting a position in an Obama Administration, which will not happen. As I sit here trying to figure out which theory is right, I recall too well the words of the Airforce Hymm” Off we go into the wild blue yonder. . . . ” and cant get them out of my head. Its a curse.

  5. Obama, the one trick pony, actually has a number of tricks up his sleeves on the way to doing his magic. His support is as wide as a trickle of water and as deep as a puddle. Selling key fobs and calling it a donation seems to me an entirely new kind of politics: one of the more clever lies of the season thus far.

  6. Thank you for posting that Kostner. Imagine if Hillary engaged in that kind of fund-raising sleight of hand.

  7. Paula: Now that Obama has paved the path, she would be entirely at liberty to tread the same way. Whatever Hillary does, I know it will be very smart and perceptive.

  8. Yes, Paula! Now we know: Barack Obama bringing more and more Americans into the political process, one key fob at a time! Who could have imagined all the creative ways that Obama would invent a new kind of politics?

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