A lot of noise was made about Hillary Clinton’s record fundraising, 26$ million in the first quarter, and the press often reported with half-truths about 36$ million in fundraising (Hillary had 10$ million in the bank, rolled over from her Senate war chest). The previous record was 8.5$ million, raised by Phil Gramm, who dropped out pretty early on in the primary in ’96. So a quick look at the preliminary totals from the top six candidates shows this:
Clinton : $26
Every one of those candidates smashed the previous fundraising records. On one hand, I could understand the impetus, with a VP not running, the polarizing nature of the Clintons, but a little back of the hand math shows that $100 + million has already been raised here. That could buy a lot of kevlar for the troops, free lunch for toddlers, pumps in New Orleans, take your pick. There are a lot of things more important right now than the 2008 election, and I’m amazed that donors are willing to spend this kind of money on people that have no chance of winning (Edwards and McCain), or may run as VP with the person you’re spending money to stop (in the case of Obama and Clinton, if you are a Dem donor that doesn’t like Clinton). The big winners here are the media outlets in New Hampshire and Iowa, which will be flooded with ad revenue for the next 8 months.
Considering Hillary’s $400,000 mistake of buying off Governor Vilsack’s endorsement this early in the game, for practically no return, one can’t help but wonder how much money she’s burned through already.