NBC: Obama spending $293,000 an hour in October

You can buy the presidency. But it’ll cost you.

OBAMA’S OCT 1-15 SPENDING = $105,599,963.76

That’s more than $293,000 an hour.

It’s also 49% of EVERYTHING McCain has spent the entire time he has been running for president ($216,769,840).

By contrast, McCain’s Oct. 1-15 spending was $9,246,618.70 (or $26,000/hr).

The RNC’s chipped in $45 million but doubtless some of that includes congressional races. To put Obama’s numbers in perspective, to break even at $293K an hour, he needs slightly more than three $25 donations per second. Which brings us back to yesterday’s story du jour before Ashley Todd plopped into the blogosphere’s lap. I asked for reader input about online vending then and I’m going to ask for more now: Is what this guy suggests about Team Barry’s vendor necessarily having colluded with the campaign true or half-baked?

I just realized something (it’s been awhile since I wrote credit card code); I don’t believe any standard automated service would accept simply the unverified credit card number. They either are doing it in collusion with a credit card processor willing to accept a high rate of fraud, or they are manually re-entering the card number and amount as you would do in your neighborhood sandwich shop. Either way, there is extra work that actually has gone on to perpetrate the fraud.

The other issue to understand in this is the vendor’s involvement, because that is a very suspicious arrangement. They very likely are taking in excessive number of bogus charges. They have to make good on the ones on which a customer complains, but the question is; is the company getting reimbursed from the Obama campaign or essentially making a multi-million dollar illegal contribution by eating it and serving as a money launderer for one of Obama’s billionare friends? And bogus ones not caught by the credit card holders, or reported (or addressed after the election) don’t enter into the picture. One wonders how clear is the charge showing up on the bills; Many internet purchases end up as pretty arcane entries on statements. Lots of questions, very few answers, and very little time to find them.

I’m asking earnestly; my knowledge of how vendors normally operate is precisely as broad and deep as my knowledge of finance generally. Incidentally, at least one lefty blogger is demanding prosecutions over this — not of Obama’s finance team or his website administrators, but of the conservative bloggers and blog readers who exposed the security holes in the donation page by making bogus contributions. Yes, really. Exit quotation from Megan McArdle: “Wondering if we can’t prosecute the person who exposed the campaign’s error smacks of police state tactics.”

Update: A few thoughts from Obama’s “donors,” via Jim Treacher.