Obama breaks the bank - raises $150 million in September

Jake Turcotte

Joe the Plumber doesn't have to worry.  Barack Obama doesn't need to raise taxes.  All he's got to do is continue to raise money personally.

On Friday night Obama jokingly announced that his real middle name was Steve.  He should change it to Guinness.  As in "world-record" Guinness.

Lotta dough

For the month of September, cool-hand Barack raised a staggering $150 million.  To put it in perspective, that broke the prior record (also owned by Obama) of $67 million.

No wonder he's bought up some infomercial time at the end of the month and he's putting ads on video games.  Where else is he going to spend it?  Is he going to start advertising in Utah now?

Good morning

Supporters were greeted by an email early this morning from Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe with news of big, big crowds greeting Obama in St. Louis and Kansas City (even larger than Sarah Palin crowds) and word of positive fundraising efforts.

"Supporters like you have completely transformed how political campaigns raise money, so I wanted you to be the first to know how we did in September," he wrote.


Then, astutely like the Obama campaign continues to do, they included a link to the video where Plouffe discusses where the campaign stands and even asked for more money.

"You've probably seen, if you live in a battleground state, the 'robo-calls', the mailpieces, the nasty ads and the nasty radio ads," Plouffe explains.  "They are just going to increase in intensity.  And we have to have the ability to fight back against that."

"We also have to be able to put up ads and send out our own calls in response to the slime we're getting from the McCain campaign," he said.

New battlegrounds

Plouffe announced they were expanding their operation in newly minted battleground states such as West Virginia.  Plouffe also mentioned tightening polls in North Dakota and Georgia.

"We're always on the lookout for expansion," Plouffe added.

Ready for some football

Where else is the money going?  It's Sunday.  Turn on the TV.  Obama's buying up time on NFL games.  He's bought baseball (and there is sure to be a big audience tonight.

He's even doing two-minute ads now.   And according to Advertising Age, he's all over the most popular cable-TV shows.

Within the last two weeks, the Obama campaign has run ads on the Weather Channel, ESPN, Discover Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, VH1, Comedy Central, True, Military Channel and A&E. It's also running ads on all the broadcast TV networks.

So far Obama has raised more than $605 million during the campaign and has 3.1 million donors.  The campaign reports that the average donation is $86.

McCain's reaction

Not surprisingly, John McCain mentioned the fundraising efforts this morning in the context of public financing.  Earlier this year, Barack Obama announced he would opt-in for public financing as long as his opponent did as well.  McCain announced he would.  Obama backed away and has received much criticism from McCain thereafter -- including this morning.

"[Senator Obama] broke his word to me and the American people when he signed a piece of paper when he was a longshot candidate that he would take public financing if I would. He signed a piece of paper,"  McCain said appearing on FOX News Sunday.

"Then, twice on national television he looked into the camera with Senator Clinton sitting there and said, "I'll sit down and talk to John McCain before I make a decision on public financing or not." He didn't tell the truth," he added.

Buying the election?

As for the record amount, McCain said a case could be made that Obama is buying the election before adding, "We're not going to let that happen."

McCain's concern?  First this election and then the future of campaigns.

"The dam is broken," he said.  "We're now going to see huge amounts of money coming into political campaigns, and we know history tells us that always leads to scandal."

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