Posted by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review at 2:36 PM on February 3, 2008.
The campaigns have all released their fundraising reports from the fourth quarter of 2007, and the results show that three candidates who oppose the endless occupation of Iraq raised the most money.
Democrat Hillary Clinton led the field in both parties with $26.5 million, followed by Barack Obama with $22.8 million. (The Obama campaign says it has already raised $32 million in January alone.)
But the headline that ought to be in 40-point type is the fact the only Republican supporter of withdrawal from Iraq, Ron Paul, trounced his GOP rivals in the fourth quarter by raising nearly $20 million. As a Los Angeles Times blogger put it, it is a "news shocker":
Well, it's official, ladies and gentlemen. Believe it or not, Rep. Ron Paul, the 72-year-old Texan who hardly ever gets mentioned in Republican political news and the one-time libertarian who always gets the least time on TV debates if he isn't barred completely, was, in fact, the most successful Republican fundraiser in the last three months of 2007.
By the thousands, Paul's fervent followers donated $19.95 million to the "Ron Paul Revolution." He spent $17.75 million, and at year's end, had $7.8 million cash on hand, making him the only Republican candidate to increase his fundraising totals in every quarter of 2007. According to his website, Paul's Paulunteers have contributed another $4.1 million this month...
Compare that impressive financial success with, say, ex-candidate Rudy Giuliani, who raised only $14.4 million from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 and spent $18.2 million.
Or the departed Fred Thompson, who collected $8.9 million and spent $13.9 million.
Or even the newly-minted Republican front-runner Sen. John McCain, who raked in only $9.9 million, spent $10.5 million and had only $2.9 million cash in hand. Of course, McCain's string of primary victories in January will have boosted his financial fortunes. Everybody loves a winner.
Mitt Romney actually raised only $9.2 million from other people last quarter, less than half of Paul's haul. However, the former Massachusetts governor -- and if he keeps spending at this rate, the quite possibly former multimillionaire -- gave himself $18 million more of his own money last fall for a total of $27.2 million and $2.4 million cash on hand.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who's had trouble raising money ... [According to the Federal Election Commission website] he raised about $6.7 million, a third of Paul's sum, while spending $7.08 million, leaving him on New Year's Eve with cash on hand of only $651,300.68...
Paul, who's done well in some symbolic straw polls and little-noticed state caucuses until his best showing so far as a second-place finisher to Romney in the Nevada caucuses, has repeatedly disavowed a third-party effort if his bid to be the Republican nominee in St. Paul next summer falls short.
His determined followers maintain that a news media conspiracy is holding down Paul's success at the polls, although obviously word has gotten out to somebody for him to raise such sums. Paul's outspoken stands, including withdrawal from Iraq and drastic downsizing of the federal government, run counter to each of his GOP competitors.
As for Paul's campaign, his loyal troops plan another "money bomb," a big fundraising day, today in honor of Ron and Carol Paul's 51st wedding anniversary. One of the obvious gifts: the undisputed GOP fundraising championship for the last three months of 2007.
Paul also leads the GOP field in cash on hand with $8 million. MccCain has $3 million; Romney, $2.4 million; and Huckabee, $2 million.
Jon Ponder is regular blogger for the Pensito Review