Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

The campaign fund-raising figures have been released, and there are a few early winners, and a few early losers.

The winners are quite obvious: Senator Hillary Clinton (D, New York) $26 million, Senator Barack Obama (D, Illinois) with $25 million, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) with $23 million.  The loser is also quite obvious as Senator John McCain (R, Arizona) raised “only” $12 million.

Senator McCain has long been known for his attempts to lessen money’s influence in politics; however, money still plays a major role, and he will need better fund-raising over the next several months if he wishes to stay in the race. His less-than-stellar fund-raising figures have been attributed to a disorganized fund-raising team, and a lackadaisical attitude among the fund-raising staff. Needless to say, the campaign announced a reorganization of their fundraising efforts would take place.

The most intriguing part of the figures lies with Senator Obama and former Governor Romney’s fund-raising totals. Romney, though trailing in most polls, took in a massive amount of money over the first phase of fund-raising. Many have attributed this to his ties in the corporate world, as well as to the Mormon church. His multi-million dollar lead on both former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (who raised around $17 million) and Senator McCain shows that Romney is to be taken very seriously.

Senator Obama’s ability to raise money, as evidenced by his $25 million, must be making those in Senator Clinton’s campaign a little worried. Not only did Obama, who does have nearly as many fund-raising connections as Senator Clinton, raise nearly as much money as Clinton, but he did so with nearly twice as many contributors (100,000 for Obama as opposed to 50,000 for Clinton), showing his widespread appeal, and the ability to go back to some of those contributors for more donations.

It’s still very early, but with the number of highly recognizable candidates (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards) fund-raising has been outrageous so far. The previous highs for fund-raising at this point were nearly $15 million less than Clinton and Obama’s totals. Howard Dean in 2004, who started off in January with the largest campaign war-chest, had around $40 million. It looks at those some of this year’s candidates will reach those totals by this June.

While this year’s candidates’ ability to raise money is remarkable, it also serves as more evidence that more and more money is required for a presidential campaign, and that the campaign needs to  be shortened, and the amount of money spent on it lessened.


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On April 15, the candidates running for President in 2008 will have to release their recent fund-raising figures to the public, but even before that date, there’s a good idea of how each candidate is doing.

The projected early leaders are John McCain and Hillary Clinton, who have well developed fund-raising options. Also, each of them has a federal account through their Senate campaigns which they can funnel into their quest for the presidency.

Giuliani and Romney are receiving money from their respective states, New York and Massachusetts. Romney also has the fund-raising from Mormons and his contacts from the corporate world. Both of these men have the disadvantage of having to start from scratch, as they cannot transfer any federal dollars into their accounts from Senate or House fund-raising.

While Edwards will again rely on his trial lawyer network, Obama has perhaps the most different approach of all of the candidates. He has still received many donations from larger groups – notably Hollywood – Obama has also taken a different tack to his large scale fund-raising, taking somewhat of a Howard Dean approach by holding events with very cheap entry fees to attract large audiences. He already has a strong “grass roots” appeal, and by hosting these events and using the Internet he’s utilizing a different approach then you typically see.

In the end most of this isn’t really new. The front runners will continue to build money and endorsements and take small jabs at each other, and the big hitting will come this fall and winter. The reality of it is, if the candidates don’t raise enough to be able to pay the $1 million a week that they’ll need during the primary, their candidacy is in trouble.

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In a visit to Buckhead for a fundraiser tomorrow (2/28/07), Mitt Romney came under fire for changing his abortion views. In a clear attempt to appease the Religious Right in the Republican primaries, Romney has been supporting more restrictive abortion laws.

These kinds of moves seem to be becoming quite popular among some of the more moderate Republican candidates (McCain, Romney, Giuliani). Knowing that the more conservative wing of the party votes in the Republican primaries, each of these candidates has, in recent months, made an attempt to show that they are “more conservative.” McCain, in particular, seeing what happened in the 2000 primaries, has made very visible overtures to the conservatives in the party.

Oh well. This is the reality of the primaries. Due to much lower turnout, primaries are not highly representative of the nation as a whole. Obama, Clinton, Edwards, and Biden will all face this in the Democratic primaries – the pull of the liberal wing of the Democratic party. Hopefully, in the election (and most importantly, in governing) the candidates will move toward the center.

On another note, the fact that Romney is coming under fire for, as he puts it, “changing his mind” brings up an entire other subject. Its common knowledge that the American public loves the politician who “sticks to his guns,” but the idea that a politician, or any person for that matter, can’t change his mind when he perceives that a previous position was wrong is ludicrous. The President is renown for his “unwavering” stances. However, when those “unwavering” stances are wrong, wouldn’t you rather he change his mind? That’s less likely to happen if politicians continue to get crucified for changing any of their positions (which is actually quite common).

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