C.R.E.A.M. (2008 Democrats Remix)

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Trivia question from the future: "Who broke the all-time record for campaign fundraising and still fell below expectations?" Answer: Hillary! She raised around $26 million from January through March 31 but

the New York senator did not appear to open the sort of gap between herself and leading rivals that would presage the lopsided primary contest some expected as recently as late last year. And it seemed unlikely that her first-quarter numbers would knock out any of her main competitors.

An adviser to one of Clinton's rivals expressed some relief at Clinton's total.

"They'd counted on grinding the whole field into dust, and that didn't happen," the adviser said. "Now they have to win a fair fight."

This is a function of Clinton hiring some of the most proud and loud-mouthed campaign magi on the planet. Chief among them: Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, who recently bragged (presumably holding his pinkie up to his lip) that Clinton would raise $10 trillion. This was a joke, but only in the "No Mr. Bond I expect you to die" sense. After months of that kind of dick-swinging, Clinton's only raised about half as much as the rest of the field put together.

Obama—Rumored to be $22M
Edwards—$14M
Richardson—$6M
Dodd—$4M
Biden—$3M
Kucinich/Gravel—about $1M

As the Republican field announces its totals, look for the breathless commentary about how all these records are being broken (the previous records for this period in a campaign were about $9M for Phil Gramm 1995 and Al Gore 1999) and money dominates our politics and it's just so sad. This commentary will ignore the fact that 1)McCain/Feingold reforms have more than doubled the contribution limits and 2)all of the campaigns have shattered records for the numbers of individual donors giving small amounts of money.

NEXT: Hillary Clinton Sets Fundraising Record

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  1. I will be curious to see if Obama can keep pace. He had a lot of good press, a book, two “I’m running” announcements, an Oprah appearance, and his donors may be young people that give once and are done.

  2. So, no shilling for big ankles in the pages of Reason, only some mild bashing.

  3. Hillary’s your man David. No matter how you spin it, she still owns the party apparatus.

  4. Who is giving $1 million to Mike Gravel? What do they think that’s going to accomplish?

  5. Work that ref, fellas! Work him!

  6. Andy Rooney was on 60 Minutes last night wringing his hands about the huge sums that are spent to win the presidency. He referred to seemingly minor past sums, without adjusting for present equivalent value or per capita spending per voter. He is only concerned with knowing where the candidates stand: presumably this does not take advertising as CBS will be happy to filter their views for us and not give lopsided coverage to, say, Guiliana as opposed to Paul.
    Compared to what is spent on advertising a new dog food or cola, the race for president is not
    excessive (though there is a lot less pap in most commercial commercials.) Where all the hand-wringing is going, of course, is towards public (i.e. taxpayers) funding of campaigns and that should be resisted.

  7. Hugo Chavez in a pants-suit.

  8. – – – Clinton
    – – – Rules
    – – – Edwards
    – – – And
    -ObaMa

    dolla dolla bill yall

  9. “After months of that kind of dick-swinging, Clinton’s only raised about half as much as the rest of the field put together.”

    in a box as a campaign tool?

    makes you think of the term “lock box” very differently…

  10. Mike Gravel! LOL33RSK8tes

  11. And yet, considering the returns on getting your guy in office/your bills passed, the amount of money spent on elections is extremely low.

  12. If I donate to any candidate, jb, and he wins, the outcome will almost certainly be that my taxes will go up.

    Not everyone makes self-interest the touchstone of their politics.

  13. I’m proud to say that I voted for the winning candidate in the election for president of a division of a professional society.

    That’s about the only winner I’ve backed in recent years. But at least I can say that I not only voted for but actually know a guy who oversees a bunch of impotent committees.

    By libertarian standards, that’s victory!

  14. “Not everyone makes self-interest the touchstone of their politics.”

    sure they do. It’s just that your interests are different and a redistributive outcome is what you prefer. That’s in your interest.

    You are making a choice based on your preferences and what you think the (desired) outcomes will be. For you it involves X, Y, Z. For, say, a tax type, it’s T, S, R… or whatever.

    Your tax burden is not a deal breaker at this level – it might be, eventually, if you got down to that level of choice, but not at this level.

    Your scope of what is important – it is in your interest to vote for candidates who will try to shape things in a way that is compatible with your values and preferences. $$$ is not the only motivator. (think: lower middle class semi rural who is a bush supporter – his reasons don’t appear to be financial, maybe)

    (What’s funny about many of the tax warriors is that their fed taxes would go up if they got their ‘flat tax’)

  15. VM,

    Preferences and values are not the same as interest.

    Certainly, I’m voting for my preferences and values. My point is that those two things often go against my economic interest.

  16. If only joe would confine the activities that go against his economic interest to himself, by, say giving to charities.

    Instead, he insists on doing things that go against my economic interest as well, by working to put people into office who will take my money and do stupid things with it.

  17. She best protect her neck! Obama gonna just torture!

    (sorry, couldn’t resist the urge to extend the Wu-Tang references….)

  18. “If only joe would confine the activities that go against his economic interest to himself, by, say giving to charities.”

    That’s a sentence fragment. What’s the rest?

    “…then I’d have more money?”

    How compelling.

  19. No, joe:

    “Then we’d have a free society, one where you decide how your money gets spent and I decide how mine gets spent”

    I don’t know why I argue with you, though, you show an amazing penchant for never changing your mind.

    And “…then I’d have more money” might not be compelling for you, but it’s compelling for some, and who are you to dictate their interests to them?

  20. you value certain things so you vote for candidates you believe will fulfill them.

    preferences, values, whatever – you can rank order those which are of greater import to you. And you make your choices and alter your behaviors accordingly when you vote. And you go down your list.

    and that on your value scale, those things you try to attain through election are how you vote. And you have a list of preferred positions, and you balance the candidates’ positions against your desires, and you make your choice.

    it’s not in your economic interest, you say, but it is in other interests. Did you mean in this sentence, Not everyone makes self-interest the touchstone of their politics. strictly financial self interest?

    if so, you’re completely correct!

  21. This was a joke, but only in the “No Mr. Bond I expect you to die” sense.

    OK, this is the second (very specific) “Goldfinger” reference I’ve come across in 24 hours.

    I’ve seen “Goldfinger” probably three or four times, but I’d never have known this quote was from that film without Googling it. How do y’all remember this shit? Does my memory really suck that bad? Do I just watch and process movies differently from everybody else?

  22. Tom-

    Don’t worry dude…it just means you’re not an uber-nerd like some of us. Most people remember things like that for the hipster irony of it all…we quote corny shit because it’s corny…man…and that’s, like, part of the joke. We’re so cool that we quote corny ’70s stuff to show that unhip is the new hip. It’s all very inbred.

  23. “How do y’all remember this shit? Does my memory really suck that bad? Do I just watch and process movies differently from everybody else?”

    1) most do. they just do.
    2) doubt it. you focus and concentrate on different things
    3) probably.

    Mr. Crane will be by to collect the bill. This has been a BlagoHMO visit.

  24. …I not only voted for but actually know a guy who oversees a bunch of impotent committees.

    Does that make him (and you) a Very Impotent Person?

    sorry

  25. Ayn Randian,

    “Then we’d have a free society, one where you decide how your money gets spent and I decide how mine gets spent”

    Some of us would rather have a decent society, where those in need have enough for a decent life, whether people like you feel like giving or not.

  26. VM,

    “Did you mean in this sentence, Not everyone makes self-interest the touchstone of their politics. strictly financial self interest?”

    Yes. I wrote that in response to jb’s comment, “And yet, considering the returns on getting your guy in office/your bills passed, the amount of money spent on elections is extremely low.”

    So, yeah, the subject was money.

  27. Hillary: I ain’t no dolla back girl.

  28. “If only joe would confine the activities that go against his economic interest to himself, by, say giving to charities.”

    That’s a sentence fragment. What’s the rest?

    Then he wouldn’t be supporting the immoral and unconstitutional expansion of the Total State.

    Geez, do I have to spell everything out?

  29. where those in need have enough for a decent life, whether people like you feel like giving or not.

    Funny how you assume I don’t give. Maybe you should change your handle to “Kreskin”.

    What’s your definition of a decent life?

  30. gotcha!

    sorry for muddying the waters with that. I completely agree.

    apologies. 🙂

    /bows graciously. kicks pebble

  31. Ayn Randian,

    “Funny how you assume I don’t give.” Well, you call yourself “Ayn Randian,” so I assumed you are just as anti-charity as your namesake.

    If you’ve managed to achieve a higher level of moral thought than her, good on ya!

    “What’s your definition of a decent life?” Nope, not interested in debating fractions of centimeters. I don’t go to engineering conventions to debate the principles of a good society, and I don’t come to a nest of anti-government ideologues to discuss where to set the eligibility cutoff for WIC. It’s the ideas I want to get at.

  32. So, if I read this right, joe basically believes the government should guarantee everyone a decent life, but doesn’t care to define what he means by “a decent life.”

    Hard to argue with that.

  33. …so I assumed you are just as anti-charity as your namesake.

    joe, Rand was not opposed to charity, she was opposed to altruism. There is a difference.

  34. Isaac,

    If you are getting something from your donations, it’s not charity, it’s a purchase.

  35. Although since a lot of self-styled Objectivists don’t seem to understand the distinction, your confusion is understandable. 🙂

  36. joe, even altruists get something from their donations.

    You know, that warm smug feeling that you’re just ever so superior to everyone else.

  37. What if you just feel guilty about not giving more?

  38. As important as how much the candidates have raised is their “burn rate” through all that money. That would be very interesting to know. Howard Dean raised a shitload of money and plowed through it all so quickly that he was broke by the time the presidential race got underway for real.

  39. I may be wrong, but aren’t all these donors simply paying for the priviledge of deciding who get to fuck them next?

  40. What if you just feel guilty about not giving more?

    That’s good. (chortle….snort)

    😮

  41. “So, if I read this right, joe basically believes the government should guarantee everyone a decent life, but doesn’t care to define what he means by “a decent life.””

    Eh, he’s pulling the same old sacntimonius liberal routine of trying to spin his desire to control and spend other people’s money into a “virtue” that I’ve heard many times before.

  42. RC, is there some level of “decency” I could describe that would lead you and Ayn Randian to say, “Oh, OK, we should totally redistribute wealth to achieve that?”

    No, there isn’t. So why waste time? I think we know each other well enough that we can skip the introductions.

  43. I find myself almost agreeing with joe. What is to be done with the the mentally ill, the truly poor, those who would work if they could, but don’t have the ability to? Private charity? What if that isn’t enough?

  44. joe,

    Maybe I would give more…if I weren’t giving 30% of my paycheck to fund your decent society.

    Then again, I’m guessing about ten cents of every dollar is actually going to help poor people and the rest is going to help those with political connections. I know, I know, once we get the RIGHT people in office, that won’t be a problem anymore, blah blah…

  45. “I know, I know, once we get the RIGHT people in office…”

    …they’ll slash the federal budget and everyone will have liberty, right?

  46. What if you just feel guilty about not giving more?

    *Sheds a tiny tear*

    Dear fucking Christ how do you sleep at night, you terrible, smug sanctimonious piece of shit?

  47. So basically, the truly poor and mentally ill are fucked. (See four posts up.) Libertarians– big and little “L”– always avoid this topic; I’d like to see someone take a shot at addressing it.

    If it’s not the job of the government to take care of the poor and mentally ill, that leaves it to private charity. What if private charity isn’t enough?

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