Obama challenges the Queen with $25 million

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HAT TIP: By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Democrat Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) raked in $25 million for his presidential bid in the first three months of 2007, placing him on a par with front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and dashing her image as the party’s inevitable nominee.

The donations came from an eye-popping 100,000 donors, the campaign said in a statement Wednesday.

The figures were the latest evidence that Obama, a political newcomer who has served just two years in the Senate, has emerged as the most powerful new force in presidential politics this year. It also reinforced his status as a significant threat to Clinton, who’d hoped her own $26 million first quarter fundraising total would begin to squeeze her rivals out of contention.

The campaign reported that the figure included at least $23.5 million that he can spend on the highly competitive primary race. The Clinton campaign has yet to disclose how much they can use for the primary verses money that is designated for the general election.

While Clinton has honed a vast national fundraising network through two Senate campaigns and her husband’s eight years as president, Obama launched his bid for the White House with a relatively small donor base concentrated largely in Illinois, his home state. But his early opposition to the

Iraq war and voter excitement over his quest to be the first black president quickly fueled a powerful fundraising machine.

Since he formally declared his presidential campaign in February, Obama has been traveling the country with a focus on urban areas where he could build his momentum and bring in new donors. He attracted big-money Hollywood and Wall St. executives along with families who came out to his stops in places like Oklahoma that sometimes are neglected by other candidates.

More than half the donors contributed via the Internet for a total of $6.9 million, the campaign said.

“This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grassroots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems,” said Obama finance chairwoman Penny Pritzker.

Donors are limited by law to contributions of $2,300 for the primary election, but Clinton, Obama and some other candidates also have been raising money for the general election. That allows them to take another $2,300 from each donor, but the money has to be returned if they don’t win the nomination.

Clinton’s campaign often solicited the $4,600 donations, while Obama’s campaign focused on recruiting small dollar donors. In the coming months, he can return to those donors and ask those who haven’t maxed out to give more.

Unlike Clinton, Obama says he doesn’t take money from the lobbyists or political action committees that are frequent contributors on other campaigns.

Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle said, “We are thrilled with our historic fundraising success and congratulate Senator Obama and the entire Democratic field on their fundraising, which demonstrates the overwhelming desire for change in our country.”

Obama was visiting Iowa Wednesday, holding an evening rally at a community college in Mason City.

Among the other Democratic candidates, aides to former North Carolina Sen.

John Edwards said his $14 million in new contributions included $1 million for the general election.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said he had raised $6 million and had more than $5 million cash on hand.

Aides to Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd said he raised more than $4 million and transferred nearly $5 million from his Senate campaign, for a total of $9 million in receipts and $7.5 million cash on hand. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden lagged behind, with his staff reporting that he had total receipts of nearly $4 million, nearly half of which was transferred from his Senate campaign account.

Edwards, speaking to Davenport, Iowa, television station KWQC, complained that the pressure to raise huge sums was distorting the political process.

“We should actually be publicly financing these campaigns,” Edwards said. “We shouldn’t be doing these money contests. They’re not healthy, they’re not good for democracy. Public financing is the answer.

“While we still have this system, you have to compete the best way you can. What’s clear is I think we’re going to have at least three candidates on the Democratic side who have plenty of money to run a very serious campaign.”

17 thoughts on “Obama challenges the Queen with $25 million

  1. rikyrah

    Well, I think things just got VERRRRRRRRYYYYY INTERESTING.

    BWA HA AH HA HA HA

    I’m so glad I’ve put the Tivo on Tucker, Hardball, Lou Dobbs, Situation Room, Countdown, etc. This is gonna be HILARIOUS tonight.

    HILARIOUS.

  2. dblhelix

    agree rikyrah, very interesting indeed. He probably raised more for the primary than she did. Do we have to call him the borg king now?

  3. Anything that takes the sails out of the Borg Queen, I’m all for it.

    Looks like the brotha is giving Miss Hillary something to think about and talk about. Like how being married to Bill isn’t going to count for peanuts in this round.

    More than ashtrays are being thrown; can you say “Break out that can of Whip-Ass”?

  4. yogo

    It certainly takes the wind out of the notion that Hillary’s nomination was a foregone conclusion.

  5. Denise

    Aiight, now. That is impressive!!

    I’m not hating on Obama’s hustle. He’s just not MY candidate. To his credit, the folks who are gulping down his Kool-aid are also backing up their support with their paper.

    Today’s announcement also tells me it’s time to pull out my chest waders:
    (http://www.fcsurplus.ca/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=954. )

    Methinks stuff is finna get deep 😉

  6. Ogre Mage

    Well, well. This is gonna be an interesting. We ain’t had a race this interesting in some time.

  7. rikyrah

    I’m not hating on Obama’s hustle. He’s just not MY candidate. To his credit, the folks who are gulping down his Kool-aid are also backing up their support with their paper.

    Denise, I am hearing you. Found this on another board, and I was like, ‘ Dayum’.

    Obama supporters,

    My circle of family and friends have been donating $5-$25 to the Obama campaign each pay period and have committed to do so through both the primary and presidential campaigns. And I send email reminders every two weeks. Start your own network of ‘pay day’ donations and tell them to pass it on!

    P.S.: Don’t leave the old folks out. My grandmother never gave to a presidential campaign in her 77 years of life. In her words, “that’s for rich folks.” She was so cute when she called today to celebrate that her monthly $5 donation is going to help get “my boy” elected.🙂
    By: dtd on April 04, 2007 at 04:41pm

  8. rikyrah,

    Five or Ten bills ain’t gonna get the job done, but its better than nothing at all. One of these days, Black folks will spend some serious duckets and elect a President. I am still pessimistic about Obama being the candidate.

  9. Denise

    Oh, we have the money. It’s just being spent on NON-ESSENTIALS like bootleg DVDs, acrylic fingernails, and rims.

  10. DTD

    rikyrah,

    That was my post you found on another site regarding the ‘pay day’ Obama donations. When I was kid, that’s the way my church organized donations when Jesse ran, and that’s what I’m teaching my son to do–shared responsibility and self-determination. Black folks always complainin’ about being overlooked or marginalized, but when a few of us decide to get involved (rather than sit on our asses at a keyboard and complain), we’re trivialized as Kool-Aid drinkers. How the hell can anyone contend that $5-$10 ‘ain’t gonna’ do it. If it wasn’t for nickel and diming, Blacks folks wouldn’t have been able to endure when many of us didn’t have 2 cents to rub together. HBCU’s, Black churches, and civil rights organizations owe their survival to $5 and $10 donations. You all are just some hatin’ MF’s! And on behalf of Obama, kiss his $25million earning Black ass!

  11. rikyrah

    rikyrah,

    That was my post you found on another site regarding the ‘pay day’ Obama donations. When I was kid, that’s the way my church organized donations when Jesse ran, and that’s what I’m teaching my son to do–shared responsibility and self-determination. Black folks always complainin’ about being overlooked or marginalized, but when a few of us decide to get involved (rather than sit on our asses at a keyboard and complain), we’re trivialized as Kool-Aid drinkers. How the hell can anyone contend that $5-$10 ‘ain’t gonna’ do it. If it wasn’t for nickel and diming, Blacks folks wouldn’t have been able to endure when many of us didn’t have 2 cents to rub together. HBCU’s, Black churches, and civil rights organizations owe their survival to $5 and $10 donations. You all are just some hatin’ MF’s! And on behalf of Obama, kiss his $25million earning Black ass!

    DTD,

    I happen to be an Obama supporter. I gave him money, and got my mother and 2 sisters to give money. Also gave money by buying Obama paraphanelia for the entire family. I was shocked when I read your reply because it was indicative of other stories that I had heard about Obama supporters. It was just the one on hand that I could find easily.

    And, the folks here aren’t ‘ haters’. They’re just ‘skeptics’, but they’re not hating on your support of Obama. FYI, they are just as hard on everyone else, so don’t take it personally.

    Obama gets off light compared to the Dark Sith and others.🙂

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