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.]
[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
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.
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.”
The numbers are staggering.