Political Musings 6/24/08

One effect of the long, drawn-out Democratic presidential primary was the toll it took on presidential candidate Barack Obama’s financial warchest.

Through the end of May, the Obama campaign raised $287,397,945, and spent $244,250,611. At the end of May, the campaign had $43,147,333 million on hand. This information is available from the excellent web site OpenSecrets.org.

Through the same period, the McCain campaign raised $119,594,596. But because his expenditures were lower-the GOP race was decided long ago-McCain had only spent $83,633,159. He had $35,961,436 million on hand at the end of May.

As noted out by Truthout.Org:

For the first time in the campaign, Republican John McCain in May raised about the same amount of money, $22 million, as Democrat Barack Obama…

Obama spent $27 million in May… $4 million for television ads, $3.3 million for travel, $3 million for direct mail, and nearly another $3 million for phone banking. He spent another $1.7 million on print advertisements and nearly another million dollars on Internet ads.

Meanwhile, McCain spent just $12 million. The Arizona senator dropped about $3.5 million on television ads and spent another $1.4 million on postage. No other spending category for the month of May reached a million dollars.

Having effectively wrapped up his party’s nomination, McCain spent the month focused almost exclusively on replenishing his coffers. His schedule was dominated by money-generating events that helped produce his biggest fundraising month to date.

This is one reason why some folks were hoping Sen Hillary Clinton would concede the Democratic presidential race earlier than she did…

Barack Obama has decided to opt-out of public financing for his general election campaign. This caused John McCain, as the LA Times put it, to have a “hissy fit.”

I haven’t seen the latest public surveys on the subject. But I just have this feeling that the vast majority of people couldn’t care less about this.

McCain, of course, is trying to make it a campaign issue, with comments such as “This is a big deal, a big deal… (Obama) has completely reversed himself and gone back, not on his word to me, but the commitment he made to the American people.” McCain says this even as he flies around the world attending $1000-per plate fund-raising dinners.

But in the end, I think this “controversy” will have no negligible political impact…

When Al Gore and Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm endorsed Barack Obama last week, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was noticeably absent. I would guess that Kilpatrick sent Obama a congratulatory text message

In forgoing federal funding, the Obama campaign is betting that it can raise more more money through private donations. As cited here: “Chris Kofinis, a Democratic strategist who worked for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign, predicted that Obama could raise and spend $200 million in the “post-convention” period alone.”

I wonder about that. One hope of the Obama campaign is that they can go back to their smaller contributors-the ones who gave him $20 to $200 during the primaries-for more money.

But isn’t it possible that those contributors might be getting donor fatigue? I think you can go to the well but so many times before it runs dry.

Public funding would have given Obama $84 million to spend between the Democratic convention in late August and the November election. The Obama campaign will probably exceed that amount in fund-raising, but it remains to be seen if they can get anywhere close to the $200 million that some are projecting…

I’m not clairvoyent, but I have a feeling that as the campaign goes on, Obama will be attacking McCain for his many many flip flops. Several of these are chronicled at the John McCain Flip-flop site. Or, he might consult the Jed Report blog for posts and videos on McCain’s oil drilling reversal, the flip-flop on housing, his reversal on his admission that Iraq was a war for oil, and others…

Barack Obama cited his concern about so-called “527 groups” when opting out of public financing. 527s are independent political groups that raise money to attack political candidates.

I ask, why do Republicans need 527s groups to attack Obama, when they have a cable network which does that 24/7/365?…

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