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Obama Hopes to "Close the Gap"

Can bad fundraising news be potentially good?

Sen. Barack Obama seems to hope so. After reporting that he has less cash on hand than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the end of the third quarter this week, Obama sent a plea to his supporters to help "close the gap" between the two campaigns.

Obama, who had trumpeted his ability to beat Clinton in fundraising for most of the year, is now trying to claim underdog status with his slowed-down results.

"We continue to build the largest grassroots movement in history, but Washington lobbyists and special interests rallied to help Hillary Clinton out-raise us for the first time," Obama wrote in his email. "If we want real change in this country, then we need to prove that together we are stronger than the lobbyist-driven money machine that has dominated Washington for too long."

He continued: "The situation here is simple. We are $2.1 million behind. We must close that gap right now." Obama described Clinton as the "chosen" candidate of establishment lobbyists, saying he is campaigning "in the face of the most entrenched political machine in Democratic politics."

Obama reported having about $32 million on hand to spend in the primaries at the end of the third quarter, compared with $35 million for Clinton.

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Post Editor  |  October 16, 2007; 6:43 PM ET
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