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With little notice, Sarah Palin becomes a GOP fundraising machine

While the political and news world was focused on the glitzy Hollywood haul of money by the Obama campaign's Brinks trucks Tuesday night, it turns out lesser-light Sarah Palin was gathering in a good deal more than a million bucks at three separate fundraisers back in Ohio.

She did a country club event in Canton that raked inAlaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin besieged by fans in Ohio Sept. 16 more than $1 million by itself Monday night, a Dayton breakfast and a $2,500-per-plate luncheon in Cincinnati.

Once totaled, the 18-hour sum will exceed the entire $1.35 million Palin spent on her successful insurgent gubernatorial general election campaign in Alaska two years ago.

So keen a new draw is the 44-year-old mother of five, that party officials estimate she'll probably do three dozen more fundraisers in the 48 days remaining in this campaign.

Because John McCain is taking $84 million in federal funds, the money she raises is split between national and state parties, which are ...

... trying to keep up with the Obama donation juggernaut that changed its mind and rejected federal money.

"What we've seen over the past 17 days or so is nothing short of amazing when it comes to grass-roots response," said Kevin DeWine, deputy chairman of the Republican Party of Ohio, a must-win state for GOP White House hopes since 1916.

Palin's fresh-faced, down-to-earth appeal has even spread to Western states. Organizers of a Sept. 24 fundraiser in Wyoming featuring Palin report ticket sales to people from as far away as Idaho and Montana.

"We're really talking about a regional type of excitement," Maggie Scarlett, McCain's Wyoming co-finance chair, told Erika Bolstad of the Anchorage Daily News.

This success doesn't surprise David Dittman, a consultant to Palin's 2006 campaign. "She connects with people," he says.

Outraised by her well-known Democratic opponent in 2006, Dittman noted, "She didn't have the support of the party. She did not have the support of labor unions, environmentalists, the oil industry. She did it all by herself."

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Matt Duncan / Associated Press (Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is besieged by Ohio fans this week.)

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Comments () | Archives (4)

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As a lifelong democrat, the more that Snidely Whiplash (Keith Olbermann), and his sidekick Rachel Maddow go after Sarah Palin, the closer I come to making my first ever contribution to a Republican candidate.

They said they weren't going to have the Dayton breakfast! They said it was going to be rescheduled because of the outages!

Grump, grump. Man, I was looking forward to walking over there and waving at the woman, since it was the closest political event to my house ever. Grump.

I demand a re-breakfast!

Since Governor Palin did not have a lot of financial help in running for governor it would definitely appear that the average voter connected with her message and helped her win.

This is what the GOP has in mind as she goes across the country, because, help in all forms is necessary in order to win an election. A lot of people may not have money to donate, but, they have time to help get out the message.

Let Senator Obama take the Hollywood money all day long as they do not swing any weight with the people when it comes to politics. I remember several stating they would move to Canada if Bush beat Kerry - but- surprise they are still in Hollywood earning their big bucks.

John McCain mocks Obama for holding a fundraiser in Hollywood this month.

But McCain had a fundraiser in Hollywood last month with Pat Boone:


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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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