The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Green Zone

A New Online Fundraising Record on the Horizon

By Jose Antonio Vargas
At the rate that Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are raising money on the Internet, February is poised to see a record in online fundraising.

It's a tit-for-tat of sorts for the dueling Democrats, with Obama maintaining an edge over Clinton. On Feb. 1, sources inside the Obama campaign told The Trail that the Illinois senator raised $28 million online in January -- a stunning amount given that Howard Dean raised $27 million online during his whole campaign. Then, on Saturday, three days after Clinton announced that she had lent her cash-strapped campaign $5 million, aides to the New York senator reported that she had amassed more than $9 million online from over 95,000 supporters since Super Tuesday. Not to be outdone, Obama's campaign e-mailed reporters hours later to emphasize that it was still on top. "We've raised well more than the Clinton campaign this month," wrote Obama spokesman Bill Burton. "More than 350,000 donors have contributed to our campaign just this year."

If the Obama campaign can maintain this fundraising pace -- online donations poured in at the rate of more than $500,000 an hour after his overwhelming victory in South Carolina -- it's likely that Obama will raise upwards of $30 million online this month.

Posted at 10:27 AM ET on Feb 11, 2008  | Category:  The Green Zone
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As a result of some of the comments posted here by Jake and others, I decided to do a test run of a petition, although eventually I'll have to redo it on a real petition Web site rather than Surveymonkey. Noentheless, I'm curious about everyone's thoughts on it.

"I hereby wish to make it known that if the Democratic National Convention nominates for President of the United States a candidate other than the individual who won the simple majority of pledged, democratically elected (non super-) delegates in the various state and territorial primary and caucus contests, I hereby promise to refrain from voting for the Democratic nominee in the November general election.

"Further, should the Credentials Committee choose to seat the delegations from Michigan and/or Florida in direct contravention of the DNC's own previously stated rules, and should those delegates cause enough of a shift in the vote count that the nomination goes to Sen. Clinton instead of Sen. Obama when that would have otherwise not occurred, I will also refrain from voting for the Democratic nominee, Sen. Clinton, in the fall.

"I may or may not vote for or write in another candidate, but I will not give the Democratic nominee either my vote or my support should either or both of the above events occur. The name of our party is the DEMOCRATIC Party, and we should therefore scrupulously observe the conventions of rule by a majority of the electorate in order to remain true to that name. We must not allow the process of nominating our candidate for President to be corrupted by elitist co-option, nor subverted by rewarding those who do not follow the rules they themselves earlier agreed to observe. I will not vote for a party candidate that does not honor these principles."

Posted by: whatmeregister | February 11, 2008 11:09 PM

I am a 35 yr old white male in Arkansas with 5 children, and even though I really don't have the extra, I have sent the Obama campaign $100 since the last part of January. Watching the sickening display "the Clinton's" put on the week prior to South Carolina I decided to put my money where my mouth is. The "superdelegates" need to know that if they screw this up, as is entirely possible, they could push millions of young voters to the other party. I'll be sending in another $50 as soon as we get past this Tuesday, because it looks as though we may need the extra cash to take OH,TX and PA.

Posted by: kntryboy2005 | February 11, 2008 2:34 PM

I've not a lot of money but I'm giving Obama $50 a week each Monday till this primary is over. Obama is well worth my money.
Yes, we can!

Posted by: dionc9 | February 11, 2008 2:08 PM


What makes you think Hillary won't land us in another war? She's voted twice along with the war mongers. I don't see much difference between her and McCain in terms of aggressive behavior. I think McCain would have this countries interest at heart. Hillary would be doing the bidding of all those MIC donors. I think Obama could reduce the tensions in the world. Hillary could have the opposite effect.

Posted by: msmart2 | February 11, 2008 1:48 PM

All right, but might I suggest voting for another candidate who at least in some way mirrors your own convictions, rather than for someone who is promising to deliver the opposite? I may not like Hillary, but I'm sure not going to vote FOR more tax cuts and militaristic chest-pounding in order to ensure that she isn't elected. That's nuts!

I had forgotten about the possibility of superdelegates reversing the collective will of the voters. Using these to nudge the candidate with more pledged delegates over into nominee status is one thing - I'm okay with that, regardless of who wins.

Posted by: joshwager | February 11, 2008 1:24 PM

There's no way I could vote for Hillary. It doesn't matter what she promises. She'll say anything to get elected. I don't trust her. She has no moral compass. When Bill was in he destroyed the white collar workers. Bush got in and destroyed the blue collar workers. You'd have to be an idiot to let another Clinton or a Bush anywhere near the Whitehouse.

Posted by: msmart2 | February 11, 2008 12:58 PM


Those are good points. I believe that both candidates should be given the opportunity to campaign in Michigan and Florida, if it's determined that their delegates will count.

As for superdelegates, you got me there. I'll probably be so crushed that I'll ask Canada for political asylum if they reverse ANYTHING.

Posted by: joshwager | February 11, 2008 12:41 PM


I read your thoughts, but there has to be SOME line we draw about not voting for Hillary. You would vote for her even if Obama goes into the convention leading in the popular vote / regular delegates but the "super" delegates give it to Hillary instead? You would vote for her even if Florida / Michigan (where Obama agreed to NOT campaign) tip the balance? You would vote for her if she killed Obama and made it look like a suicide?

Posted by: JakeD | February 11, 2008 12:12 PM

Democrats - There's been a lot of talk about personality cults the past week. I fear that many of us in each camp are sliding into our own separate cults.

Here's how to tell if you're sliding:

First, ask yourself if you are for universal health care, a speedy but intelligent withdrawal from Iraq, more money spent on improving our educational system, on stimulating our economy, on protecting the environment, less money spent on making Americans scared of the world and the world of America.

Next, ask yourself if you'll vow to either not vote at all, or vote against the other Democratic camp, if your candidate is not chosen as the Democratic nominee.

You might as well stop reading if your answer to the first question is 'No'.

But if you do want those all those things, and yet say 'Yes' to the second part, then you are likely more interested in your candidate's personal aura, or repulsed by the other's, than what he or she has offered to try to accomplish as president.

I am still upset by Hillary's vote to authorize Bush's intervention in Iraq. In my mind, this is a legitimate reason to not favor her as the nominee. But I'm not a blind Obama supporter, at least not now that my initial enthusiasm has been tempered by a dose of realism. He's not perfect, either.

This weekend I asked myself if I would vote for her if she beats Obama for the nomination, and realized that I most definitely will.

Why? Both of them have pledged to do the same things. If I like Obama's priorities, I would be a fool to vote against Hillary out of spite or disappointment.

There is absolutely no chance that we will have a better health care system, no chance that we'll not still be in Iraq four years from now, no chance that we'll have leaders not completely obsessed with smoking terrorists out of holes while curtailing our constitutional rights, if one camp decides to stay home or switch sides because their man or woman lost.

I hope someone reads this. There are people on both sides who have effectively said, If you're not with us, you're against us! Sounds familiar, right? I've said it a couple times.

But in a typical election cycle, either one would at the very least represent a decent choice.

One more thing - read Don Quixote [if you have two weeks to kill]. It is a celebration of both idealism and realism. The human soul needs a bit of both to prosper, and so do political parties.

Posted by: joshwager | February 11, 2008 12:08 PM

That being said, I certainly hope that Obama wins the Democratic nomination and Hillary Clinton doesn't manage to steal it away from him (i.e. Florida / Michigan, super-delegates, and keep in mind all those cacuses -- cauci? -- have not officially bound delegates for Obama yet ; )

Posted by: JakeD | February 11, 2008 12:01 PM


I never said Obama would need to 'ask' HRC to 'agree' to be his VP -- the 16 year plan is not my idea.

Posted by: JakeD | February 11, 2008 11:56 AM

To clarify my first post, the original article by Jose Antonio Vargas had the "likely that Obama will raise upwards of $30 million online this month" twice. That has since been corrected.

Posted by: JakeD | February 11, 2008 11:54 AM

JakeD I don't think Obama would need to 'ask' HRC to 'agree' to be his VP! There are a lot of better-educated, more intelligent and less manipulative women (if he needed a woman to be his VP) in the US political spectrum than this one woman

Posted by: g.mohiuddin | February 11, 2008 11:52 AM

These dollars become even more meaningful now that it's clear that Hillary can't even manage her own campaign funds, while Obama has continuously been on the up-and-up. It's interesting to note the tactical differences between the two. It's even more interesting to see where the two actually differ on their stated political beliefs. This article lists all the places where Hillary and Barack's voting records differ:

Posted by: lostinmyownhead | February 11, 2008 11:51 AM


Give it up with your 16-year plan. Name ONE time where a president served 2 full terms and then their vice-president got elected to 2 terms. It's never happened.

I'm curious to see what happens tomorrow, what happens over the rest of February (Clinton campaign shakeup, how much money both campaigns raise, and the upcoming primaries) and how it all shakes out.

If Obama makes gains among Latinos and white males, then Clinton could have a serious problem. Likewise, if Obama does not improve in those two groups and if blue-collar workers stick with Clinton, then HE could have a big problem.

And... does Edwards endorse someone? If so, who benefits from that news cycle?

Posted by: ericp331 | February 11, 2008 11:51 AM

There's no way that Hillary agrees to be Obama's VP.

Posted by: JakeD | February 11, 2008 11:16 AM

Let's harness the excitement we're seeing among Democrats for BOTH amazing candidates. Sign the petition to Howard Dean and the DNC at

Posted by: steven4 | February 11, 2008 10:59 AM

Third time's a charm -- it's likely that Obama will raise upwards of $30 million online this month.

Posted by: JakeD | February 11, 2008 10:43 AM

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