Obama campaign take of $25M gets attention

The $25 million in campaign contributions the Illinois Democrat reported collecting in the first three months of this year was just $1 million less than rival Hillary Rodham Clinton's record haul.

Obama campaign take of $25M gets attention

The $25 million in campaign contributions the Illinois Democrat reportedcollecting in the first three months of this year was just $1 million less thanrival Hillary Rodham Clinton'srecord haul and was a remarkable feat for a novice in national politics.

"He was the newcomer, he was the outsider, and this shows he's aserious candidate," said Ron Parker, a Democratic strategist in Iowa, home of thenation's first nominating caucuses. "It shows he can do a lot more thandraw big crowds."

Fundraising by Clinton and Obama, combined with healthy donations to theirparty rivals, helped Democratic presidential candidates out-raise Republicans$80 million to $40 million, a surprising role reversal for the usuallywell-funded GOP.

"That should send a pretty clear signal that people are looking for achange," said another IowaDemocratic activist, Carl Grover. While he hasn't donated money to Obama,Grover said, "I'm definitely thinking about it."

Obama backers also were cheering the fact that $23.5 million of the $25million they raised is targeted at what's shaping up to be a competitive primaryfight. Clinton has not disclosed how much of hermoney is targeted at the primary and how much must be held for general electionuse, should the New Yorksenator be the nominee.

Obama told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his fundraising reflectsthe growing enthusiasm for his bid.

"It indicates that people are really engaged and enthusiastic, and thecrowds we've been attracting, I think, are indicative of a broad base ofsupport across the country," Obama said just before speaking to a raucouscrowd of more than 2,500 at a community college.

Asked if the financial disclosures left the fight for the Democraticnomination between Clinton and himself, Obama demurred.

"It's way too early," he said, but added: "We're proud of thefact that we were able to do this without any money from federal lobbyists orPACs."

Obama wrote in an e-mail to supporters that Wednesday's fundraising reportwas "an unmistakable message to the political establishment in Washington about thepower and seriousness of our challenge."

Most polls have shown Obama running second behind Clinton for their party's nomination. FormerSen. John Edwardsgenerally considered the third top-tier Democratic candidate, posted a $14million campaign report.

In Iowa,which is nearly overrun this spring by Republicans and Democrats seekingtraction in their campaigns, Obama's money report — it said 100,000 people haddonated — was the buzz of a large and noisy crowd of political activists.

"The fact that he had twice as many contributors as Clintonis important," said Dan Courtney of Mason City. "I think it shows he's a viablecandidate."

Democratic strategist Joe Shanahan was impressed too, but only up to apoint. "It's a big number," he said, "but it's April and there'splenty of time for people to stumble and things could change."

While Obama was winning some converts, others wanted to hear much morebefore making a decision. Iowa Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstalcounseled patience, noting that former Vermont Gov. Howard Deanwas the hot candidate early in the 2004 campaign but eventually collapsed.

"We have to see how long the bloom will last on the rose of the toptier," Gronstal said.

Des Moineslawyer Rob Tully is backing Edwards, but he said he was impressed with Obama'sfundraising.

"The reality is that all three of them are going to be competitive inthe first four contests," Tully said.

Despite their fundraising prowess, Parker wasn't quite ready to narrow theDemocratic field to Clinton and Obama.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16