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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

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With $605 million already, Obama asks only $10 more from each of us

Having hauled in a record $208,333 every hour of every day last month -- $150 million in all -- plus a few more unreported millions so far this month, Barack Obama is worried that he might come up short in the political money war with the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket.

Just to relieve himself of that $150 million before the polls open, Obama will have to spend $12.5 million a day.

An Official Obama-Biden car magnet

But he needs some more.

And, according to an e-mail plea to supporters, tonight's the absolute deadline to donate $10 more and receive your special edition Official Obama-Biden car magnet.

Having now collected more than $605 million altogether, the freshman senator shows no concern over the appearance of buying the presidency. Imagine for a moment the national political conversation that could be going on now if rich Republicans had raked in that much loot for one campaign.

Obama's team is so well-funded and well-organized it has spread its political web into one-time red states, forcing McCain to defend them with his measly $84.1 million in federal funds.

Obama aides privately profess profound concern that additional financial resources from the Republican National Committee could make the GOP ticket competitive in the closing days. And the Cincinnati Bengals are a real Super Bowl threat this year.

"The race is deadlocked in a number of crucial battleground states," the urgent e-mail proclaims, "including Ohio, Missouri and Indiana. And we're neck-and-neck in Florida, North Carolina and Nevada.

"We have to make our final, tough decisions about where to fight and how strong we can make our team. And those choices will depend on the financial resources we have."

And, hey, if there's a few hundred million dollars left over in the campaign coffers on Nov. 5, win or lose, maybe Obama would like to put it toward the immense federal budget deficits that our colleague Stephen Braun warns this morning will confront the hopes and current plans of either an Obama or McCain White House come Jan. 21.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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I don't like this story for one single reason. It's a hit piece.

You say that if a few rich Republicans raised this much money everybody would be going nuts, and they would... but a few rich Democrats didn't raise the money for Obama; millions of Americans did with small donations. So that argument falls flat on its face.

Worse yet, you never made a single claim as to how or why Obama would need more money. He has an ever-expanding campaign that went from dozens to thousands to tens of thousands of volunteers and staffers from every corner of the country -- maybe a hypothesis on why this is would be more productive than simply pandering to snide comments and the ever so obvious "money is useful in a campaign" backdrop.

A tip, when you proofread don't just look for spelling errors, sometimes it's helpful to act like you didn't write it and read it from a clean-slate perspective.

Just a glance at Andrew Malcolm's bio explains the bitter tone of his comments re Obama.

I'll give another $10,000,000 to ensure victory. Quit complaining.

Remember, the politicians get to keep all the left over campaign funds, so you fools just keeping sending him more money.

This article irritates me a little because it implies that the Obama is greedy because they have raised so much money so far and are still asking doners to help.

Today an ap poll claims that the candidates are in a dead heat. Other polls claim Obama has a 12 pt lead.

No one really will know for sure until election day.
It is close and the the Republican National Committee is putting in a lot of money to help in the last week. Mc Cain will be also asking the same of his supporters.

I am sure the author of this articles doesn't really believe that If the tables were turned Mc Cain would say let's stop raising more money, the people have given enough.

In the crucial last days it is fair for both parties to ask for whatever help their faithful can provide to win.

Obviously, Obama is the most fiscally responsible and organized candidate EVER!

Does anyone even need more proof that he's the best choice for President?

Obama '08!!!

Looking for Presidential material in Mr Obama.

Mr. Barack Obama's has opinions on many subjects, has been in very few positions in government where his ideas have been put to the test.
This gentleman, whom I regard in high esteem, and who has a Moslem father, is an intellectual, who does not have the practical experience to be Commander in chief or CEO of the United States of America.
This person has one qualification, he can talk, and discuss in a charming manner.
Let him continue his Senate role, in future years, run for top job in America.
Talking and promising, is all very well, it has it’s place certainly, but the President of the United States has to consider Congress and the Senate, the golden voice of Senator Barack Obama does not qualify him to move into the White house with disregard for practical experience, not yet attained.
I wish him well in his future endeavors. Advise him to sit out this particular endeavor.
Thoughts for the Voters….
Has he got what it takes will be too late after he is elected, and you desire to change your mind.
He is a Lawyer…
How many years has he practiced law, that career is now at an end.
He appears as a honest person, he has not been in any position as such to be a proven honest
He obtained some experience in State legislature, but for how long.
He can talk that is true, a great communicator, most lawyers are, and he promises much.
But these are just promises, none of which may come to pass.
He appears friendly that also is true, politicians are always friendly till they get elected.
Where is all his political experience, that I do not see. How many years has he had in the Senate.
Where does his experience come from to be knowledgeable about our the economy and our country..
Where does his experience come from to be Commander in Chief of all the Military in USA.
Where has all his campaign money come from. However he knows some people who to say the least, have a reputation that is soiled and associated with people of ill repute..
He is a religious man, but the church he attended appears he should have rejected many years ago, because of his minister.
Been involved with the Weather man a group who attacked America, started his career in this mans living room.
Mr Obama simply puts it down to dirty politics, he was associated with those people, an investigation before he is elected.
Mr. Colin Powell has highly recommended Obama , great but what has Mr. Obama done to deserve that recommendation, his efforts in the Senate certainly do not..
His promises, he has made many, and fulfilled none, nothing there to deserve a recommendation,
His military career of which he has none.
Be honest, praise from the General does not give Mr Obama experience, he requires to be Commander in Chief of all the Military in the USA.
General Powell and Mr Obama are from the same race.
General is an honest man, race would not influence his judgment.

Wow, you got all that money and spent is like it was going out of style? AND STILL mccain is about even on a fraction of that. Hmmmm? and you still want more.
Lately, I am starting to think you ask for money like taxes, will you blow our tax money like water? I think I vote McCain being frugal with his money.

election after election democrates are like I will pave roads for freeeee!!!!, we elect them, then they turn on us and tax us for driving on them, and they have the nerve saying I did not lie, weput them in for free, right! And you satnd their with shmuck written on your forhead.

No thanks McCain I'll vote McCain

And the Press is complaining about how much Sarah Palin's wardrobe cost!
No Mr. Obama is not greedy!

If Barack Hussein Obama gets elected get use to him digging into your pockets.

There are a lot of hard working people in PA that don't think the same way as Hollywood.

anyone who votes for Obama is an idiot

I'm sure he'll use the excess money left over to pay down the deficit... yeah right! Didn't realize they keep the cash... hum... interesting. Makes me see who the better money manager is if McCain can be sooo very close to Obama in the polls and have so much less money in the bank. Obama's answer to everything as president will be "I need more money from you" and he'll just raise taxes... not e-mail us to ask. Just a thought that struck me today.

The fools will keep giving, he will bleed every last penny out of his far left followers and then if he gets elected turn around and go back on his word and have to increase taxes on every single american in order to pay for all the spending and free giveaways he has planned.

It looks like Obama is getting himself tuned to winning the presidency. He's spending like a drunken sailor and asking for more money. All of his campaign rhetoric is just that, rhetoric. He's a big spending socialist with an appetite for taxes. Right now he can only ASK for your money; if he is elected he can COMMAND that you give your money!

Obama takes in $200k/hour and the press focuses on $150K the GOP spent on clothes for the Palin family. Bias? Of course!

What you should be asking is where the money is coming from? Check out the article at NewsMax. An estimated 60 million is coming from overseas and being inserted into domestic contributors contributions.

A hit piece, come on.

No matter how McCain raised money, if he were out-spending Obama 4-to-1 there would be constant news about it.

And remember how many Hollywood stars have donated to Obama, but you don't want to recognize that.

This is one short blog article. It's such a hypocrisy how no one criticizes Obama.

Obama isn't buying the presidency, us poor folk are, $1 at a time. In the past it was the wealthy who controlled, now it's finally the "little" people who are in command. How's this for real democracy and self empowerment.

The people are buying back their democracy from the big money interests that have run things for years and years. Why do you hate the people so much?

What I wonder is how much of Obama's fundrasing was raised by an increase in consumer debt. It's so easy to donate with credit cards these days. I wonder how many of those credit cards get paid off at the end of each month. Not to worry, if he gets in each of those donors has a $1,000 tax credit waiting for them to help pay them off. Let's just keep cleaning up our private sectors balance sheet by dirtying our public sectors.

I have never before donated anything other than my volunteer time to a candidate. That changed about 8 months ago when even as a single mom w/ no child support coming in I started giving $25 at the end of every month after my bills were paid. I have a huge stake in this campaign as do millions of others. I will be devastated if Obama loses but if he wins I will feel part of like never before. I see this attitude being repeated all over the place when I volunteer at voter registration drives. Who cares that he has all this money if most of it came from small donors like me a million times over. It's the first time I have had hope since 1992 that I would have some sort of representation in the WH. I was disappointed after that with how Clinton conducted himself. Now I am 17 years older and I think I'm a little better judge of "character" I'm counting on the fact that I won't be disappointed again and my multi-ethnic daughter will reap the benefits of the hopefulness of an Obama presidency.

Barack Obama should be congratulated for his fundraising efforts, which has created a campaign that is truly democratic - not funded by big donors, as past campaigns have been. The article? Sounds like someone is jealous.

This guy has absolutely NO scruples. And all you're writing about is Palin's wardrobe? Get a large clue, please. He's running his campaign like he would run an administration (help us, please!). Ask for more money and spend it madly. Come on, I know everyone hates Bush, but be real careful what you vote for. You just might get it.

I dont see the problem.....for years the GOP has pummeled the democratic party with their superior fund raising skills(especially the RNC). Now the tables have turned and you cry fowl? Grow up!!!

I see a republican party that followed Bush and his partisian politics and now are reaping the rewards of his failed administration. Now you are all trying to jump roaches when the light is turned on.

Obama did this by exciting a very large base of dissatisfied americans. This whole concept became possible only because the the complete failure of the Bush\Cheney Administration.....

He may not have all the answers but I know one thing...

He is Not George Bush cloned Republican.....and that is all i need.

Thanks for the tip! I will make a donation right now and get the magnet.


Man it's amazing how low our journalistic standards have fallen in these times.


republicans are jealous not only because of size of money obama campaign raised, but because such size of money indicates the numbers of supporters who contributed that much, 10s of millions are sending obama money to win... never in history happened such support base .. mccain in hundred years would never raise half of this money cause nobody care for his candidacy .. expect an obama win with big margin, can we say 70-30 :)

Shame on you and the LA Times for pretending this is journalism. The real story is where he got most of his donations--from millions and millions of individuals like me who have never donated to any presidential campaign before. Why? While he may not be as populist as we'd like, may not be everything we want, he has indeed become a symbol of the America we the real working people want--an undivided, intelligent, caring, creative, and inclusive America.

Dear Andrew,

For some of us, WHERE the money comes from (the "who") is far more important than the HOW MUCH controversy you are attempting to stir.

And let me tell ya: "Delightful" doesn't even begin to describe what it feels like to be one of those three plus million - and growing! - folk whose average contribution is $86.

Quite simply: The Obama campaign has truly transformed the political process; perhaps someday you might be able to view through a different lens and in so doing, see it as something to celebrate rather than something to deride.

Take care.

Thanks for the tip, Andrew. I'll head over and donate my $10 now. You are just being ridiculous - this is sour grapes over the fact that Obama has such a groundswell of grassroots support that he hasn't *need* some fat cat friends to make huge donations to make his campaign flush, like a republican. He just needs to reach out to us average American people and we are happy to give because we are sick to death of toxic Republican presidencies. The republicans have done enough damage these last 8 years, we're ready to give the democrats a try. They couldn't be worse.

Number don't lie. Pathetic and concerning regardless of which political party spends that much $ to become the next president.

Wow someone seems to be angry at the fact that McCain is not doing that well. Oh well just keep the complaints at the complaint desk please.

Catfish, it is absolutely NOT TRUE that politicians "get to keep all the left over campaign funds".

Well, how much is all the positive news about John McCain and Sarah Palin worth on Fox News? Fox News does not charge the McCain-Palin campaign anything for their non-stop, every program promotion of McCain-Palin and smearing of Obama-Biden. If caluclated at national TV ad rates--and not even counting the salaries of mouthpieces like O'Reilly, Hannity, and the morning show bozos--Murdock and Fox News have alone outspent the Obama-Biden campaign.

This should be a clear signal to all of us how freely Obama will go through our hard earned tax dollars. Spending at records levels, and then asking for more when he is only a candidate is shameful. Already a master in the art of persuasion, imagine the power he'll command if he becomes president. What will he "ask" for then?

If he can't manage to win a campaign with $605 million, how is he going to run the country?

I think that it is completely ridiculous that Obama needs $10 dollars more from anybody. Let me clarify that I am and undecided voter leaning towards Obama, but it outrageous to believe that he needs a penny more. My wife and I both have good jobs a home 2 cars and are a typical american couple. I look at what Obama is doing and I just see "GREED" He should spend that money on what really matters most "THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA" We cannot even dream of haing children because we are just breaking even with school debt, motgage , car payments and so forth. If Obama had any resolve he would take that 600 million and give $50.000 to 20,000 american families who need the money and quit doing hate adds. This goes for Mcain as well. I know that there will be supporters and haters about what I said, but its the truth and I said it. Obama and Mcain "QUIT "TALKING AND START DOING" Tahnk you for reading my article.

I don't think this is a particularly well-written, sophisticated article, but as an Obama supporter, I'm concerned about this 'need' for such immense amounts of cash. Seriously, our economy is the worst its been in decades. I can barely keep food on the table. The federal government just arranged an enormous bailout and though Barack Obama needs more money? My respect and support would increase tenfold if he encouraged people to take care of their families and he would run a more fiscally responsible campaign - making the most of the money that hard-working Americans have already donated. Everyone has been saying since the primaries that the success of a future president can be measured by how they manage their campaigns. Barack Obama has raised more than any other presidential candidate in history - the amounts he's collected are obscene - and he's asking for more? He could stop all fundraising efforts now and still come out ahead of McCain not only in money but in votes. The old myth about democrats is that they 'tax and spend' - what's Obama doing right now to undermine that notion? As a voter and an Obama supporter I find the excess to be almost gluttonous and not very flattering of a candidate who espouses 'good judgement'.

Mr. Malcolm, if your goal was snark, you achieved it. But this piece is useless as journalism, because it doesn't have enough facts. The big, important missing fact is where the money came from. One of Sen. Obama's greatest claims to our attention is his ability to convince ordinary middle-class people to give everything they can, in money and time. The difference between a few wealthy donors and millions of small donors is a huge one, and is the difference between Democrats and Republicans, at least this year.

Obama needs $10 more from each of us? But, he can spend $105K on just a few meals? Come on, he has no concern and does not relate to the average American where that $10 can mean the difference between another meal on our table? Typical liberal way of life..."me, me and more for me". Obama wants to "spread the wealth" around for US??? If that is true, why doesn't he make an example out of himself and give some of his money to McCain to make this a fair fight, after all he was able to acquire it by stabbing McCain in the back. The only one HE wants to spread the wealth around for his himself.

Vote for capitalism! Obama even practices socialism in campaign finance!

I hate beggars... especially ones that have the name Obama! Let him dig it out of his own pocket if he wants to be president so bad.

Keeping all that little preson money could put him in the 250k tax braket. I wonder how he'll hide it?

Democracy for sale??? That arguement has been going on for too long. The real issue involves the idiots that have a vote in this country and are too lazy to investigate the issues themselves.

Candidates advertise because voters actually respond to a 30 second ad. Wake up America, this decision is not anything like choosing Tide over Wisk. This actually matters, so get of your 'super sized' lazy asses and do some research. These candidates are nothing alike so deciding based on the issues should be quite easy, if you take the time to read both positions.

If americans bothered to investigate the issues....the candidates actual positions...than the value of 30 second blurbs would be muted. In fact, informed voters might bring an end to the otherwise usless TV advertising. Moreover, those that are swayed by ads should have voting priviledges revoked. But alas, we are a united nation of lazy idiots.

Thanks for the update. I just gave an additional ten dollars to the campaign.

Sounds like more whinnig from the straight picket fence crowd!All about control.

Uhm...I see the big black hole in your brain...

You sound like you are not happy McCain is not raising as much, and then your hard feeling about the prospect of Obama wining the presidency with superior fundraising plan seems to have taken away from doing your job as a self appointed journalist to sounding a sore losser. The great tradigy of this misleading blog is the fact that over 600K people have given to Obama, because they are SICK of what the republicans have done to this country!

Moss MN
Change we badly need!
American desparetly need Obama.
Obama is now your mama
its your turn to keep quite while if fixes your mess, then you can thank him later!

Keep in mind he gets to keep the money to do it all again in 4 years, when Sarah Palin will want to be your next President... GOD HELP US ALL!

You know in Australia every running party is given a set sum of money to use for campaigning and thats it, no donations other than that, ;) people can still help in the campaigns by getting out there but hey thats just a better system, we're talking about america, the greatest two horse race in existance.

so i'll now get into that xD i get those very msgs cause i signed up for them.
anyone who signed up for those emails gets the requests for donations.
big whoop, the entire idea is that people who want to support obama any way they can and dont just go on about the money, theres plenty of ways to get involved, you didnt mention those.
hell i live on the otherside of the world and id happily get on the phones and tell people why obama is better for
A) the economy and
B) foreign affairs.
sure mccain was a POW (thats a brilliant reason to elect some one btw, gotta have really given his mental health a boost) and seems to be the sort who would know how to deal with threats... but obama would eliminate the majority of threats outside the us just by being president.

Muslim extremists will go "hey! finally someone who is reasonable" lol

well not that exactly but im trying to impart the idea of how he's the diplomat you NEED
no one likes america anymore ;) GO BLUE DAMNIT.

oh and back to my previous comment
america needs an MMP system.. having 2 parties only chokes democracy so much.
party politics is a joke.
ah well ;)

Keep in mind he gets to keep the money to do it all again in 4 years, when Sarah Palin will want to be your next President... GOD HELP US ALL!

I am here to change politics....I am going to change America..... I am here for the "middle Class"..... over a half a BILLION for a 1 year campaign. Does anyone else on either side of the ploitical spectrum see anything amazingly wrong with this?

We have got to get control of the amount of money collected and spent on Presidencial, Congressional and local politics. It is absurd that thius much money is being spent on these campaigns. We all need to push for monatary limits on political campaigns. Wed all need to mandate all candidates much give back to retire American debt what is not spent.

It is making me sick to think of how much Obama and Mccain have wasted. How many "friends" and cronies that own ad companies, printing companies, direct mail companies, t shirt companies, tv & radio stations etc... are making on this ridiculousness? How much is being kicked back to the candidate or others on each persons team? How much will be going to support the privtae wastgeful spending of each candidate (ie: Lobster, Champagne & Caviar at 4pm for the Obamas in NYC). I am sure the Mccain bunch is living high on the hog as well.

We all need to realize it is not right versus left. It is Politicians versus the voters. The politicians are taking power at every turn and we are letting them do it!

Wake Up America!

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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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