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John McCain's got some serious money troubles

Wait one dollar-grubbing minute!

How can the troublesome twin Democratic candidates raise $60 million between them Arizona's Senator John McCain has the Republican presidential nomination sewn up, but he's lagging far behind Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in fundraisinglast month and John McCain scrapes together barely $15 million, according to campaign sources. And this is supposed to be so great? A successful month for this guy?

To be sure, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still donating their millions to TV stations all over Pennsylvania and North Carolina contradicting each other in 30 seconds or less, which is worth something to the Arizonan with the GOP nod sewn up. McCain is preparing to take maybe $85 million in public funds for the general election, which is a week shorter for the late-meeting Republicans.

But that means this interim run-up to the general election is a week longer. And $15 lousy million? For the Republican who's supposed to represent all the fat cats and big businesses? McCain folks tell fellow blogger Marc Ambinder that March was their best month and quarter ever. And tonight McCain expects to take in $400,000 from a banquet in Washington.


Dr. Nobody, Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-like Texan who's a year older than McCain, raked in $6 million one slow Sunday last December from his motivated followers when everyone else was ...

thinking about Christmas. And then the congressman, who all but 803,000 supporters who voted for him so far dismissed as never having a chance at the GOP nomination, outpaced all the Republicans for that fourth quarter with $20 million.

McCain is in some kind of financial trouble. First of all, would-be Republican donors and voters are downhearted, apparently believing all the media hype and allegedly self-fulfilling polls about this being a Democrat year. They're voting less, caucusing less and giving less in state after state.

Additionally, there's a price to being a maverick. Over time, the folks you've mavericked, say, the kind of folks who didn't like your McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms or the ones who lost out on that lucrative aircraft contract, they sort of drift away.

But most importantly, McCain is a horrible fundraiser. Always has been. Nobody in the political business likes begging for bucks, but they do it because they must. McCain hates it.

He's not one of those canape-crunching, conversation-making, how-about-those-D'backs kind of small talkers, can you please help a poor candidate out with a couple grand? And he's not been organized for it. He's especially not organized for small donor drives.

We saw the impact of this last spring and summer, when the alleged Republican front-runner's campaign imploded in disarray and overspending and McCain ended up flying solo again on commercial flights, crammed into Row 22F on US Air to South Carolina.

McCain over the years has proved particularly awful at organizing drives to tap small donors, not short people but the folks who give $100 here and there or $25 a month like Paul's and Obama's financial fans. Those are the folks you can go back to. Forty percent of Obama's donors last month gave less than $200. The figure for McCain was 24%; for Clinton even worse, 23%.

Obama's donor list totals about 1.3 million now. And he can reach every single one of them within the hour.

Last month Obama, who's assembled $230 million total so far, took in another $40 million, less than his stunning $55 million in February, but still twice Clinton's March donations. McCain's February total was a measly $11 million.

That's nearly $1.3 million a day for Obama last month, $900 every minute of every day all month, while McCain's finance folks were collecting about $336 a minute.

More importantly, Obama got that money from 442,000 donors, 218,000 of them brand new givers at an average of $96 per person. That's a lot of people -- voters -- buying into his effort. Who do you think they'll vote for to make it all worthwhile?

McCain sources bragged to Ambinder that $11 million of their $15 million came from large donors, big checks.

McCain needs help. His former adversary, Mitt Romney, who spent more than  $43 million of his own dough on his own campaign, has promised to raise another $15 million from Romney supporters later this spring. So if you already gave to the former Massachusetts governor, watch for that e-mail or envelope in your mailbox soon.

To someone who endured 66 months of solitary confinement, loneliness and torture in a dank Vietnamese prisoner of war cell, a stunning seven-month political comeback like McCain's in comfortable hotels may seem like a long vacation. So no one would ever underestimate the former flier's grit.

But to make a race of it in the fall, he's still gonna need more dough in the spring and summer.

-- Andrew Malcolm 

                                                                      Photo Credit: MSNBC

Comments () | Archives (20)

The comments to this entry are closed.

He cannot raise money from lots of small donors, because we the people of the Republican party HATE him. Sure, alot of Republicans will dutifully check his name on the ballot, but will not send him a dime.

There is nothing exciting at all about McCain. Sure...I appreciated that he served our country and feel for him because of his time as a prisoner. Thank you McCain for that. However, he is NOT the man for this job. He has NO clue about the economy...hey McCain...Remember when you couldn't even answer what the Presidents Working Group on Financial Matters was?

All that McCain can talk about is the military and Iraq. Listen to him. Oh sure...he talks about vetoing pork barrel spending, but he gets the majority of money from big donors. Those big donors WANT something for their money and support.

Lets not even talk about McCain-Feingold, McCain and his buddies Kennedy and Lieberman. Also don't forget his pro-amnesty stance which he now says he'll listen to the people...hogwash!!! McCain also voted against the Bush taxcuts. Republican will not be voting for McCain. I just cannot do it...maybe in 2000 I would have...but after all that has happened sir!

At least Dr. Nobody as the article calls him (Congressman Ron Paul) adheres to conservative values and has an impressive 20 year voting record to back it up. Sure...they call him kooky...but I'm starting to think that the liberal media is calling him kooky so that they can get a Democrat/Liberal/Fake-O Republican like McCain in.

No...Mr. McCain will not get the grassroots support from the Republican party and he is doomed if he has to run against Obama. He may be able to win against Hillary, just because she would energize the Republican base with the massive hate that they have for her.

I cannot wait to see that scoundrel McCain flop...why out of a field of 11 Republicans did we have to get him...WHY!?

Why aren't we hearing more about McCain's public funds violation? He could face up to 5 years in prison for breaking his OWN campaign finance laws. Why isn't this front page news? Not a word on any major news outlet. People need to know about this. How can you elect a president who broke the law to get into office? What kind of precedent does this set? Sad.

If we had a SURGE in Los Angeles or Chicago or any major city in the US, we could eliminate GANG and GANG violence at least while the military was there, it doesnt solve the underlying problems though. Our country has large portions of its own cities unsafe while we try to pacify a hateful pseudo "country" with three religions at war with themselves for a thousand years, plus. Iraq should be three countries sharing per capita oil revenue and then lets get out of the hell hole....

How can you even say these things with a straight face? Perhaps that's why it's done on screen. McCain doesn't need to be raising any money at all. The fact that he can bring in $15 million despite a lack of need is impressive. He can coast through the summer with free publicity while the Democrats will be pouring money into their campaigns. This is a sign of nothing other than the fact that he has secured the nomination and the primary campaign is over for him. Trying to say otherwise is just an obviously desperate attempt to discredit the Republican nominee to detract from the conflict within the Democratic party. Since the Democrats don't even have a nominee, I can't imagine that anyone grounded in reality has dismissed McCain as a viable contender for the presidency.

...wondering why it is important to the story that Rep. Paul is a year older than the Democrat-like Arizonan...

(Because the older guy did better than the "younger" guy in raising money.)

This article seems pretty stupid. I would think it obvious that McCain is not raising any money right now, because there is no need for him to. He's already wrapped it up.

Hey Andrew, the American is a lot of things, but when it comes to spending his or her money, They shop for the best, Look at it like this Ron Paul is that little spot you always stop at to get that hand tied fly and John McShame is the Wallmart, where it is all plastic crap from China.

(That seems to be one of Dr. Paul's points that resonates with voters.)

Obama can go back to his donors again and again and again, as the Times reported several weeks ago. The fact that going back to this base costs him nearly nothing because of email and online processing, just makes it even easier and more efficient.

McCain's campaign last year suffered from incredible bloat and wasteful spending, and he ended the primary season with very little money. Even now, his pathetic big-donor (i.e. can't go back to 'em legally) raise is still so much less than Obama's totals (and he's banked money for the general) and Clinton's, it's no wonder he is now crying for public tax dollars and spending limits on the campaign. He can't compete with the Democrats because he can't raise the money or control his own spending.

Tough for him. The Democrats finally learned a few tricks, and Old John and his running mate, Mike Huckabee didn't . Boo Hoo.

I always enjoy your attention paid to the Ron Paul campaign. It's true, there's absolutely no motivation at present behind McCain's campaign, and the (mostly) winner-takes-all GOP system is to thank for this. Were he a democrat his win in SC for example would have meant one, maybe two extra delegates.

As a Ron Paul fan I'm big on a candidate that knows a thing or two about the economy and after Ron Paul I was actually hoping that Romney would win on the GOP side (even though I prefer all the Democratic candidates to the rest of the GOP after Ron Paul) because at least we could have a campaign with someone able to talk about the economy without having to do a lot of checking up beforehand to make sure he knows what he's talking about.

I'm sure you remember that question Ron Paul asked McCain in the last debate they had about the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, and McCain didn't even know what that was so he just listed off a few names to eat up the 90 seconds he had to answer.

"At least Dr. Nobody as the article calls him (Congressman Ron Paul) adheres to conservative values and has an impressive 20 year voting record to back it up. Sure...they call him kooky...but I'm starting to think that the liberal media is calling him kooky so that they can get a Democrat/Liberal/Fake-O Republican like McCain in."

Gee, some of us were saying that months ago. We were also saying that only Dr. Paul knew what was really going on with the economy and the Iraq mess, and we were belittled for being correct. Welcome to the program, too bad it's almost too late now to change things!

No-one needs to discredit McCain. He's doing quite alright on his own.

The man's to damn old to run anything bigger than a bake sale, and he should yield the turf to someone who's going to be alive after the effects of the Bush presidency have finally become no worse than a nasty rash, rather than the cancer they now are. By which time McCain would be roughly 100 years old.

Instead, the Republicans picked the best of the horrible lot they were offered and got Bush Lite. Same stupid foreign policy (give 'em guns or bomb, bomb, bomb 'em), no economic solutions ('cause the market's doing such a splendid job of self-regulation), and no hope for the future (presumably because the past seven years have been so happy and pleasant).

Past service is service in the past. Well done thou good and faithful servant and all that, but if you don't have a vision or a plan for the future, then it's time to bow out.

Time for a gold watch, a firm handshake, and a meaningful goodbye.

Maybe President Obama could offer him a sinecure somewhere.

I'm amazed that McCain didn't come under more fire for his involvement in dissuading regulators from analyzing the financial solvency of the Lincoln Savings and Loan thrift. McCain has no moral authority to speak on corruption due to his ties with lobbyists and his past involvement in the Savings and Loan scandal. Corruption and ties to lobbyists are just two of many reasons why I just can't stand McCain. And this article insightfully points out that the people donating to McCain are the fat cats (i.e. large donors) and special interest groups that do not represent the general will of the people. Perhaps one reason why McCain is out of step with the American public is because he doesn't get much of their money. That would make sense since McCain supports a war that 2/3 of the American public want to end. McCain is dead wrong on the war in Iraq.

Iraq is already in a civil war, we invaded a country on flawed/manipulated intelligence, the Bush administration sold the war on the smoking gun of nuclear weapons and a Saddam link to 9/11, the war is largely about trying to secure cheap oil, and the American public (including McCain) has no clue about the deep ethnic and religious strife between Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish factions. The truth is that while we didn't want a secular Sunni government (i.e. the de-Bathification of Saddam's socialist regime), we can't come to grips with the fact that a democratically elected goverment in Iraq will be a Shiite goverment that is sympathetic to Iran. Staying in Iraq threatens the very core of our own nation's financial stability as well as our own national security. Sorry McCain, you've already lost this Republican vote.

When Barack Obama decided to run for president, unlike Hillary Clinton and John McCain, he made the significant decision that he would not accept campaign contributions from lobbyists, special interests, and political action committees for his presidential campaign. It was Barack Obama’s judgment that it would be preferable if the next President of the United States was elected without being beholden to money peddlers in Washington or anywhere else.
Barack Obama’s belief that together ordinary Americans can do extraordinary things has been ridiculed by his opponents as “just high sounding words” and “big talk from a pied piper”. But when 1 million ordinary Americans use their credit cards and each gives $25-50 dollars with the click of a mouse to raise $25-50 million dollars for Obama’s campaign without the help of special interests, political action committees, lobbyists, $1000 a plate dinners, or huge contributions from American billionaires most of us think that’s pretty extraordinary.
Suppose Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee for president at the Democratic National Convention in August, and suppose on November 4, 2008 the majority of Americans decide to vote for Barack Obama, the presidential candidate who among many other things has refused to accept campaign contributions from special interests, political action committees, and lobbyists but has financed his campaign solely from the contributions of people to whom he is accountable, people like you and me.
Furthermore, suppose this idea of raising money for political campaigns directly from the voters to whom the candidate is accountable sits so well with the American people that they come to expect that future presidential candidates as well as candidates for other offices such for the US Senate and House of Representatives will do as Barack Obama has done. What if candidates who continue to accept campaign contributions from special interests, political action committees, and lobbyists find it increasingly difficult to get elected? Would that help or hurt democracy in America?
That’s the kind of change that Barack Obama represents which concerns so many in Washington who aren’t very eager for the American people to reclaim their democracy from the influence of money peddlers, individuals who currently make arrangements to provide huge amounts of financial support to political candidates whom they believe have a good chance of winning and whom they can then “work with” later on.
Don’t let fear and hate mongers, talk radio hosts, smooth talking politicians, or anyone else do your thinking for you. We are at a historic moment in America. Barack Obama is a very special candidate for president who can bring about significant changes in Washington and help ordinary Americans begin reclaiming their democracy. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr. knows this and has recently endorsed Senator Barack Obama, recognizing Obama’s integrity, intelligence, and the strong leadership he can provide as president. It is time for voters in Pennsylvania and in the remaining states that will soon vote in the presidential primary election to stand up and be counted. It’s time for ordinary Americans to begin the process of reclaiming America.

Since when are less freedoms "taking back America", More taxes "Taking back America" , a North American Union and preemptive war "Taking back America". If you haven't already, start doing some hard research on Obama and his voting record, and then match it up with the Constitution and the mistakes made in history. His job is to uphold and preserve the Constitution, not "interpret it". Though the constitution can be AMENDED, there is a process to do it and it isn't up to the president. Obama is just a smooth talking politician riding a media wave, lets just hope it breaks before reaching shore.

To those who argue that Romney is a sharp businessman: there is a big difference between having the talent to explolt others for your own financial benefit, and administering a large budget in a judicious and effective manner. Romney may be good at making a fortune grow, but his record as governor of Massachusetts as well as his debate performances show he would not have a clue about how to deal with the national economy.

Conservatives and alot of christians supported Ron Paul and still do. McCain can wait till the IRAQ is over for 100 years before he gets our money. That goes for Hillary and Obama too! They are all the same.

I look online to find new news about the Election every day. It just so happens that the writers of the Los Angeles Times know how to get under my skin with their snide remarks and inabilitity to report the news without any of their own opinions.

Now that that is said;
'The older Dr. Nobody' a.k.a Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate that has actually adhered to the laws of campaigning. McCain shouldn't even be a candidate in the election because he's not a natural born citizen, but becuase he probably paid a few people out of the voters contributions he is. (For those of you that are going to argue the same BS excuse that McCain himself is using, Do me a favor and explain this. McCain says that since Barry Goldwater ran for President in 1964 he was a natural born citizen since Arizona was a territory when Mr. Goldwater was born. BUT when Mr. Goldwater ran for President, Arizona was in fact a state. Tell me, is Panama a state? Is it going to become a state before November? My point: Arizona was a state at the time Mr. Goldwater ran for President, therefore he was a natural born citizen. Panama is not a state today, when McCain is running for President, therefore the territory is NOT part of the US and he is NOT a natural born citizen) Because the newcon GOP ignores this they also ignore the fact that McCain broke his own law (McCain - Feingold) . Read here: to know more. McCain has complete disregard for rules. He does not understand the economy. Watch here :
I can go on and on about why McCain shouldn't be President and how foolish his supporters are for believing a word that comes out of this liars mouth. At the rate he's going, he'll continue to show the public why he shouldn't ever be President.

McCain is nothing more than a sock puppet for the special money donors to his campaign. He is hated as a Republican and should join his good friend Lieberman in the Independent party because his principles are not of the Republican party. With his good friend Lieberman passing kooky and perverted legislation(Kyl-Lieberman Bill), and his other friend Phil Gramm passing the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act, this man is not Republican. Further, he was not nominated by the Republicans anyway but by Mainstream Media. Any genius can figure how election work in this country. Further, he has a money problem because he does not understand economics and has stated such during interviews. When asked during a debate about whether he would keep the PLunge Protection Team, signed into law under Reagan, he looked bewildered like Henry Fonda in the woods during that scene in On Golden Pond. Keep him away from the controls. Good article by the way.

The Dems voted for McCain because of the idiotic RNC rules allowing them to vote in the Republican primaries. Hell, New Hampshire Republicans even allowed people to come in from out of state and vote in the primary. It was against the law in Florida, but no one said a thing because the DNC wasn't allowing delegates from Florida.

So we have McCain as probably our third choice courtesy of the Democrats. Let him collect campaign money from them.
For me, my money stays in my wallet until I see who he picks for a running mate.

And will stay there if McCains soulmate, Huckabigot, is anywhere on the ticket.

CT Johnson posted:
>>He cannot raise money from lots of small donors,
>> because we the people of the Republican party
>> HATE him.

I am a state delegate, trying to go to national, for Ron Paul. I walked my precinct and found exactly ONE person who supported John. I found Ron Paul supporters, and a few who said "anybody but mccain".

From what I observe, Republicans will not be working to get John elected.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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