It may be the only way the president’s 2012 opponent, whoever that might be, can come close to him in the fund-raising department. From the Washington Post:
Will President Obama be the first billion-dollar man?
He raised and spent $750 million in the 2008 campaign, and there is already speculation that the cash-collection operation for his 2012 reelection bid will crest the once-unimaginable sum of $1 billion raised. (That’s a one and nine zeros. Nine!)
“It’s not unrealistic at all, given the amount raised and spent in 2008 and the amount Republican interest groups and 527s will spend against him,” said a former Obama administration official.
A look at the trend line of fundraising for presidential candidates over the past several elections suggests a doubling effect every four years.
In 2008, Obama raised an eye-popping $745 million, while Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) collected $368 million. Total spending, including third-party candidates, amounted to $1.3 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Four years earlier, President George W. Bush brought in $367 million while Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) collected $328 million. Total spending in 2004 was about half that of 2008’s: $718 million.
The key difference between 2004 and 2008 was that Obama became the first person to opt out of public financing for the general election since the adoption of the current campaign finance system in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
That last sentence, about Obama’s opt-out of public campaign financing, reminds us of an oft-forgotten fact about the man who just hates the effect of money on politics.
– By Kyle Wingfield
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