The second quarter of 2007 is over, and the presidential campaigns are once again disclosing their quarterly fundraising numbers. On the Republican side, the big winner in Q2 is Rudy Giuliani, who raised about $15 million for use in the primary (plus another $2 million that can’t be used until the general election). Mitt Romney raised $14 million in primary funds for the quarter, and John McCain raised $11.2 million. Giuliani is the only one of the top three who raised more in Q2 than in Q1, and is spending much less than his rivals. Giuliani has $15 million cash on hand and zero debt, while Mitt Romney has $12 million, which includes $6.5 million of Romney’s own money that he’s lent his campaign. (Romney’s spending spree seems for the moment to be paying off — he leads in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire — but that can change fast once other candidates start airing ads and/or Fred Thompson enters the race.)
The McCain campaign, meanwhile, has only $2 million on hand and is shedding staff and cutting salaries. McCain continues to make progress — albeit involuntary and unilateral progress — toward his dream of getting money out of politics.
As in Q1, the Democrats did much better than the Republicans. Barack Obama, who won the money race on the Democratic side, raised $31 million in primary funds, more than double what Giuliani did. Hillary Clinton raised $21 million for the primary. (She came closer to Obama if general election funds are included, with $27 million to Osama’s $32.5 million.)
Clearly, Obama is exciting the liberal activists who are opening their wallets. But he has yet to translate money into poll numbers, where he trails Clinton both nationally and in early primary states (with the partial exception of South Carolina, where Obama comes out on top in some but not all of the polls). And even if he can raise his profile with spending to come, the Clintons’ status in the party may give Hillary access to the best Democratic strategists. That can make a big difference; get-out-the-vote specialist Michael Whouley is generally credited with John Kerry’s poll-defying win in the 2004 Iowa caucuses. Whouley is a veteran of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign.
It is perhaps good news for Obama, then, that John Edwards raised only $9 million in Q2, a drop from his $13 million Q1 haul. If the Edwards campaign crumbles, Obama may be able to monopolize the “not-Hillary” vote. Obama must have smiled a bit at the hilarious Washington Post article yesterday in which stylist Joseph Torrenueva revealed that he has been paid as much as $1250 to fly across the country and give Edwards a haircut. The Edwards campaign, which infamously paid for Edwards to have two $400 trims, won’t last long if it spends the way its candidate does.
“One great rock show can change the world.” So says Jack Black’s character in School of Rock. That delightful movie takes place in what is essentially a fantasy world, where a guitar-toting slacker can get away with impersonating a substitute teacher for weeks and young classically-trained musicians effortlessly transition into playing rock and roll with only a few words of instruction. But there seem to be people in the real world who actually believe this absurd lie about the potency of performance, hence Live Aid, Farm Aid, Live 8, and now Live Earth, Al Gore’s “Concerts for a Climate in Crisis.” Tomorrow performers in eight cities around the world will urge audiences to take Gore’s “Seven-Point Pledge,” which includes a promise to “take personal action to help solve the climate crises by reducing my own C02 pollution as much as I can.”
As Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders pointed out, by way of explaining why his band isn’t involved in Live Earth, “It’s a bit patronizing for us 21-year-olds to try to start to change the world. Especially when we’re using enough power for 10 houses just for lighting. It’d be a bit hypocritical.”
Indeed. In addition to the eight concerts, Live Earth is set to include 6000 parties in 119 countries, 150 acts, 60 short films, 30 public service announcements, and a book. Those are some T-Rex sized carbon footprints. Come to think of it, Gore’s warnings about energy usage and global warming suggest that maybe this rock show really will change the world — or at least its climate.
John Tabin is a columnist for Brainwash.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | James Velasquez
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond