Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Money Miscalculation?

Remind me again: Why did Barack forgo public financing?
Obama campaign officials had calculated that with its vaunted fund-raising machine, driven by both small contributors over the Internet and a powerful high-dollar donor network, it made more sense to forgo public financing so they could raise and spend unlimited sums.
So why is the New York Times splashing a front page, top of the fold story on that decision today?
The signs of concern have become evident in recent weeks as early fund-raising totals have suggested that Mr. Obama’s decision to bypass public financing may not necessarily afford him the commanding financing advantage over Senator John McCain that many had originally predicted.
Did the Obama campaign not consider that fundraising might slow - and even if it didn't, that keeping the numbers up to snuff would require a major campaign focus that McCain wouldn't be burdened with?

Mr. McCain will be dispatched for only four major fund-raisers: one on Monday night in Chicago, in which the party raised about $4 million; another next week in Miami, then Los Angeles and New York in October, finance officials said.

With his $84 million from the fed, a hundred million already in the RNC's account, and the expectation that the party will raise a hundred more, McCain will have $300 million to spend - plenty of money to run a successful presidential campaign. Barack, meanwhile, has to work hard for his money.

Campaign officials expect their Internet fund-raising engine to ramp up as the election approaches. And they hope that much of the high-dollar fund-raising can be done without Mr. Obama. In the New York area alone, there are some 18 events planned in September, all with surrogates, including Mrs. Clinton, Caroline Kennedy and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

But campaign officials conceded that Mr. Obama inevitably will have to make some appearances. On Friday night in New Jersey, Mr. Obama devoted five hours for two fund-raising events, including one at the home of the singer Jon Bon Jovi, in which the ticket was $30,800 a person. Mr. Obama is also scheduled to appear at back-to-back fund-raisers in Los Angeles on Sept. 16.

With June and July fundraising off for over June and July, the release of August numbers next week will show whether Barack has things back on track, and if enough was raised to make up the summer shortfall. Meanwhile, Democrats will have to sit and worry that Barack might be falling into the trap he built for himself.
Obama campaign officials had calculated that with its vaunted fund-raising machine, driven by both small contributors over the Internet and a powerful high-dollar donor network, it made more sense to forgo public financing so they could raise and spend unlimited sums.

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