Obama’s August: $66 million; Update: Only $11 million gain in cash on hand?

posted at 9:45 am on September 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama broke another fundraising record in August, adding $11 million to his previous record to haul in $66 million.  That tells about a third of the story, though:

Senator Barack Obama raised $66 million in the month of August, making it his best month ever and the best in American political history, an aide said Sunday morning.

Obama is releasing that number after suggestions that his fundraising was failing to meet expectations. It puts him on pace to substantially outspend John McCain in the last two months of the race, in which McCain will be limited to spending the $84 million supplied by the Treasury under public financing rules.

Last week, the New York Times raised questions about the viability of the Obama fundraising machine.  They reported that the campaign had started to panic about their decision to break their pledge on public financing and had started using hardball tactics to wring more donations out of their base.  This disclosure attempts to put an end to that speculation.

However, it tells only part of the story.  While John McCain can only spend $84 million over the next two months after accepting that much from the public-financing system, it doesn’t cost him a dime to get it.  The Obama campaign’s burn rate will be critical in determining whether he’s actually raising enough money to keep him ahead of McCain.  If it costs him more than $20 million to raise that money, it’s essentially a wash — and the burn rate at Team O has been much higher than 30%.  Their cash-on-hand numbers will probably tell a different story, as Obama would have to almost double McCain’s $84 million over the next two months just to stay even.

Also, the DNC’s numbers should prove interesting.  The RNC has consistently outraised them, providing more cushion for McCain in building a war chest.  If Obama got his new donations at the expense of the DNC, or even if they trail the RNC at the same rate as the rest of the year, Obama’s $66 million August will not keep pace with the overall GOP effort.

The rest of the figures will come out this week, and that will give us a more complete picture of whether Obama made a fiscal error in opting out of public financing.

Update: Byron York quotes the campaign as having $77 million cash on hand after August.  That sounds impressive, but they had almost $66 million at the end of July.  They had a burn rate of over 80%, which explains why the campaign may have seemed desperate to the New York Times.  In order to make this decision work for Obama, they have to do better than $66 million a month if they want to cover the cost of fundraising as well as make up for the deficit between the DNC and the RNC.


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It’s delicious most of McCain’s federal money is coming from liberals who believe in public financing and so check that box on their tax return. For Mccain supporters it’s like paying a hooker with a bad check and getting cash back. Maybe a little like that. (?) Anyway, it’s money for McCain from people who’d never send McCain money.

Paul-Cincy on September 14, 2008 at 12:37 PM

It’s delicious most of McCain’s federal money is coming from liberals who believe in public financing and so check that box on their tax return. For Mccain supporters it’s like paying a hooker with a bad check and getting cash back. Maybe a little like that. (?) Anyway, it’s money for McCain from people who’d never send McCain money.

Paul-Cincy on September 14, 2008 at 12:37 PM

and the money we on the right would donate anyway goes to the downticket…

Capone/Biden ’08 Change I’d rather do without!

sven10077 on September 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM

So who’s buying Obama? All that money is not coming from $25 donations from ordinary people. Who are the big money donors to The Obamassiah, and what do they expect to get out of buying this candidate? We already know that Joe Biden’s in the pocket of the credit card companies.

rbj on September 14, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Biden is going to be Charlotte, NC…to raise money in a state that is apparently out of reach…when he should be in Pennsylvania or Michigan. Heh.

SouthernGent on September 14, 2008 at 12:43 PM

So who’s buying Obama? All that money is not coming from $25 donations from ordinary people. Who are the big money donors to The Obamassiah, and what do they expect to get out of buying this candidate? We already know that Joe Biden’s in the pocket of the credit card companies.

rbj on September 14, 2008 at 12:41 PM

That’ll take a semi-partisan 527 to look into….

call it something like “Donation Watch” and track the declared donations of corporate and private donors who give over say 25Grand……

be interesting to see and deduce.

Win or lose reformers have a lot of work to do.

sven10077 on September 14, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Biden is going to be Charlotte, NC…to raise money in a state that is apparently out of reach…when he should be in Pennsylvania or Michigan. Heh.

SouthernGent on September 14, 2008 at 12:43 PM

That’s why I am cautiously optomistic on the battleground states….Bambi simply has to expend too much time to gain scratch….McCain/Palin can split their ground game having Sarah canvas socially conservative rust belt areas and McCain go after moderate areas….

I like our ground game better than Bambi’s.

sven10077 on September 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Obama collects millions of dollars of other people’s money… that he can’t seem to spend fast enough! Don’t be surprised if part of it becomes “bribe money” – give voters a $100 bill so they vote for him this November. Or cigarettes. Or meals.

I guess that’s the way he’s going to spend during his administration…

Easy come, easy go…

newton on September 14, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Capone/Biden ‘08

Al Capone is a piker compared to the level of crime Obama’s already committed.
One overlooked item are the repercussions of his graft and malfeasance in fleecing HUD with Tony Rezko and leaving dozens of poor Chicago families in worse living conditions than they otherwise would have endured. People whose health was negatively impacted and damaged by their corruption. Lives shortened and made more miserable. Children driven to crime by their actions.
You know, the people he community organized.

Beto Ochoa on September 14, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Obama collects millions of dollars of other people’s money… that he can’t seem to spend fast enough! Don’t be surprised if part of it becomes “bribe money” – give voters a $100 bill so they vote for him this November. Or cigarettes. Or meals.

I guess that’s the way he’s going to spend during his administration…

Easy come, easy go…

newton on September 14, 2008 at 12:48 PM

The only thing you can count on more is Joe K. Adaver voting for him in numbers.

sven10077 on September 14, 2008 at 12:51 PM

Al Capone is a piker compared to the level of crime Obama’s already committed.
One overlooked item are the repercussions of his graft and malfeasance in fleecing HUD with Tony Rezko and leaving dozens of poor Chicago families in worse living conditions than they otherwise would have endured. People whose health was negatively impacted and damaged by their corruption. Lives shortened and made more miserable. Children driven to crime by their actions.
You know, the people he community organized.

Beto Ochoa on September 14, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Absolutely. There is no way he has the friends he has without contact with the combination. Chicago is a commuting RICO case.

sven10077 on September 14, 2008 at 12:53 PM

I love the update about cash on hand. It puts things into better perspective. This will be the billion dollar failure on the part of the Dhimmicrats.

Mojave Mark on September 14, 2008 at 12:53 PM

“Probably” is the wrong choice of words here.

Elizabetty on September 14, 2008 at 11:18 AM

The possibility that McCain/Palin will win in November is looking a lot better.

The probability that McCain/Palin will win in November is a nebulous number right now.

Here is one place to watch from now on to aid in sorting out the numbers:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

Yoop on September 14, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Obama bought and paid for his superdelegates. From the lists I have seen, it looks like each of them received an average of around $15,000 each to their own campaign funds. He did the same thing with each state’s Democratic party. Add the BIG payments to ACORN for “advance work” and other criminal enterprises, and his obligations directed in areas other than the issues are enormous.

If you look at the statistics on what charities spend to obtain their donations, many of them have a very high expense to donation ratio. Remember the flack after 9/11 when the charities began to be scrutinized for the dollars they were taking from donations to cover “administrative” expenses.

Jim M. on September 14, 2008 at 1:06 PM

“Tingles” Matthews used to sing a different tune. See this before it disappears down the memory hole or gets “disappeared” by the Obama Brown Shirts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGeu_4Ekx-o

Obama cannot effectively manage a budget, approves of and seeks exhoribitant earmarks, and cannot legislate. Ready to lead?

I think that he should be exited from the Senate.

onlineanalyst on September 14, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Obama pays his “volunteers” unlike the GOP, which relies on grassroots, unpaid volunteers.

His political campaign pays “volunteers”/goons to infiltrate McCain-Palin rallies and intimidate attendees with aggressive, in-your-face tactics. There were plenty of witnesses to this strategy in one of the first post-Palin- announcement rallies in Washington, PA.

onlineanalyst on September 14, 2008 at 1:30 PM

I wondered about the little incident in Illinois in which the Obama campaign initially wouldn’t give the Girl Scout troop any free souvenirs. When it became a public embaressment, they sent some over. Seemed like real penny-pinching for a campaign supposedly raking it in. I wonder if any vendors are asking for money up front from Obama, so they don’t get burned like the ones who are still waiting to be paid by Hillary.

Wethal on September 14, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Do we have a link to the cash on hand for McCain and the RNC?

TheNolan on September 14, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Biden is going to be Charlotte, NC…to raise money in a state that is apparently out of reach…when he should be in Pennsylvania or Michigan. Heh.

SouthernGent on September 14, 2008 at 12:43 PM

They’re sending him on a tour of all the states they can’t win. Biden does less harm to Obama this way.

Chuck Schick on September 14, 2008 at 1:59 PM

According to an article on American Thinker, Obama is getting some of his donations from other countries, which is illegal.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/obamas_donor_contributions_sil.html

Obama’s overseas (foreign) contributors are making multiple small donations, ostensibly in their own names, over a period of a few days, some under maximum donation allowances, but others are aggregating in excess of the maximums when all added up. The countries and major cities from which contributions have been received France, Virgin Islands, Planegg, Vienna, Hague, Madrid, London, AE, IR, Geneva,Tokyo, Bangkok, Turin, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Roma, Zurich, Netherlands, Moscow, Ireland, Milan, Singapore, Bejing, Switzerland, Toronto, Vancouver, La Creche, Pak Chong, Dublin, Panama, Krabi, Berlin, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Prague, Nagoya, Budapest, Barcelona, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Zurich, Ragusa, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Uganda, Mumbia, Nagoya, Tunis, Zacatecas, St, Croix, Mississauga, Laval, Nadi, Behchoko, Ragusa, DUBIA, Lima, Copenhagen, Quaama, Jeddah, Kabul, Cairo, Nassau(not the county on Long Island,lol), Luxembourg (Auchi’s stomping grounds), etc,etc,etc,

squeek71 on September 14, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Obama’s August: $66 million; Update: Only $11 million gain in cash on hand?

I wonder how much of OBummer’s endless money supply came from hate America Arabs, like Hamas, Hezbollah, Saudis, Libyans, jihad’s, etc. Why would Arabs send money to a person that claims to be a Christian?

I’m still unconvinced that Barack Hussein Obama is not a closet Muslim!

byteshredder on September 14, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Here is where you can find out financial info about all of the campaigns http://query.nictusa.com/pres/

cannonball on September 14, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Some more campaign financial info worth lookin at:

Obama’s monthly spend by category for August

McCain’s monthly spend by category for August

Some August highlights:
Media: Obama $32.3M, McCain $13.7M
Payroll: Obama $2.2M, McCain $0.9M
Postage: Obama $1.6M, McCain $3.1M
Travel: Obama $5.8M, McCain $1.5M

Check out the site for more details. If dig financial info, you will like the site.

cannonball on September 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM

So I’m looking over Obama’s “Donations by Zip Code” for July and the total was $16.5M. Interesting, since his total receipts for the same month was $51.5M.

Where did the other $35M in July come from?

I don’t know how this stuff is reported, but I would think that all of the small time individual donations that Obama constantly tells us about would be reported with a zip code. If that is the case, where did the other $35M come from?

Hmmm…..

cannonball on September 14, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Obama wants us to believe that “his” managership of his campaign qualifies him for the presidency. But when we look closely at that campaign, we see an incompetent, fiscally irresponsible, excessively large operation that, were it a real business, wouldn’t last more than a year.

Yet this qualifies him to lead a nation that is 1000% times the size of his failing campaign. Scary.

amkun on September 14, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Spending money like a drunken community organizer.

Wethal on September 14, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Wethal on September 14, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Is there a way to rhetorically illustrate the comedic “Rim Shot”?
If there is, this snark certainly deserves it.

Beto Ochoa on September 14, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Could evidence of Obama taking illegal foreign contributions be the Oct. surprise?

Nobody donates cents. It is always in whole dollars. The cents means that it is coming from a non-USD amount which means a high chance the donor is NOT a U.S. citizen.

Obama is toast if this is substantiated. This should be investigated by RNC people ASAP to thereby keep Obama on the defensive.

Sapwolf on September 14, 2008 at 3:52 PM

I don’t want to get irrationally happy and then feel depressed on Nov. 5th. It’s better to just expect the worst. Then, if something nice happens, it’s a bonus.

No complaining if you aren’t working hard up until November 4th. I am. Time AND $$s.

ex-Democrat on September 14, 2008 at 3:54 PM

How about a McCain TV refuting Obama’s claims of experience running a campaign with how poorly he is managing the campaigns financial resources?

His campaign is SO wasteful and focusless.

Sapwolf on September 14, 2008 at 3:54 PM

I can’t see Barry sustaining that contribution rate unless George Soros is handing out gobs of cash for people to ‘donate’ to Team O. People tend to get pissed off when the bundlers come back to the well for the 4th or 5th time.

GarandFan on September 14, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Wethal on September 14, 2008 at 3:25 PM
Is there a way to rhetorically illustrate the comedic “Rim Shot”?
If there is, this snark certainly deserves it.

Beto Ochoa on September 14, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Thanks, but can’t think of one. Of course, I’m about as computer-savvy as McCain, I guess.

The problem with community organizers is that they usually want to do rabble-rousing to get taxpayer funds. When they start spending their own money with the same abandon, then they get into trouble. Michelle will be buying iceberg lettuce at the A&P soon, if they’re not careful. Or maybe Barry can write another memoir.

Wethal on September 14, 2008 at 4:46 PM

I had a strange thought as I drifted off to sleep last night. Could it be that Barry is a big fan of the movie “The Producers”? Could the serial instances of flossing with his Florshiem be an attempt to replace “Springtime for Hitler” with “Autumn for Obama”? I had a vision of Barry’s concession speech, where he announces the he and Michelle are thoroughly disillusioned by the intransigent racism of America, and as a consequence they and the kids were moving from the manse in Hyde Park to a hacienda in Costa Rica. Two years later, when the FEC finally completes its’ audit of the Obama campaign, it’s discovered that $300 million has somehow made its’ way from the campaign’s coffers to a bank in the Cayman Islands. I realize that this is an entirely fantastic notion, but in some small corner of my mind, it strikes me as being as logical as anything I’ve witnessed in this completely bizarre election.

djaces on September 14, 2008 at 5:10 PM

All these stories about rate of fundraising are interesting… and they do call into question Obama’s decision to forgo public financing…

… but at the end of the day, what matters is how much money he can spend on advertising in the month of October. And how much McCain can spend to counter both Obama’s ads and the various blatant misrepresentations the MSM will be blathering on about all month.

Last thought: since all these stories are based on the Obama campaign’s say-so, and not on any actual facts, could it be that they’re intended to panic Democrats into sending the DNC lots and lots of money?

ClintACK on September 14, 2008 at 7:50 PM

Is anyone keeping track of the amount of money House and Senate candidates are taking in?

It would be interesting to compare the numbers this year with previous years.

It would be even more interesting to see how state races are going.

Remember, redistricting starts in 2 years.

MarkTheGreat on September 14, 2008 at 9:05 PM

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