Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It All Adds Up

Barack Obama’s campaign reported a staggering $150 million dollar haul for the month of September. Obama spent more on advertising in that month than Bush did in the entire 2004 election. Democrats are outspending the Republicans as much as five to one this year.

Normally, I’ll gag at those sorts of numbers. I think we spend far too much money on presidential campaigns, converting them into rich men’s games. But this time is somewhat different?


Because you and I raised that money (that is to say, if you also support and have donated to Obama’s campaign). It was not whatsoever clear that, by opting out of campaign funds, Obama would still be able to raise the money necessary to power his White House bid. But instead, Obama has drawn in unheard of amounts of money, not through big, powerful donors, but through millions of ordinary people who were inspired to give generously.

Of those who gave less than $200 dollars in September — the threshold at which either campaign does not need to report the names of those contributing — 632,000 were brand new donors. The average donation to the Obama campaign is just over $80. That’s it. Five dollars here, twenty-five there and suddenly Obama has utterly re-written the campaign playbook.

No wonder McCain is so angry. The Republican is charging sinister, “scandalous” goings on at the Obama camp, insisting Obama is "buying the election." The only thing scandalous here senator, is the overwhelming generosity of the very average Joe-the-plumber Americans you so love to tout.


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