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John McCain, from bank loans to golden boy in a single month

February 20, 2008 |  3:04 pm

Sen. John McCain, now the Republicans' presumptive nominee, kept his campaign afloat as recently as last month by loaning himself another $950,000. That's nearly $4 million he's had to borrow since November at a bank-profitable interest rate.

But then came the Arizonan's election success in New Hampshire and he quickly began raising major sums. Everybody likes a winner, or at least enough folks with money who want on the bandwagon.

Now McCain is likely to be the GOP's nominee. But way back in, oh, it must have been early January of 2008, McCain started the new year way, way back in the Republican pack -- and his fundraising reflected that.

He raised less than $1 million in the first week of January. But how sweet....

and lucrative victory is in numerous truly American ways!

Starting on Jan. 8, the day he won the New Hampshire primary, the money started flowing. Between Jan. 8 and Jan. 31, McCain raised $9.3 million of the $11.7 million he received last month. It came from individuals and other political committees, according to The Times' campaign finance expert, Dan Morain, who examined McCain's latest finance report filed late Tuesday night.

“His ability to raise money increases geometrically as donors try to board the train,” said Jim Brulte, a Republican strategist, a former Bush backer and now a McCain supporter. “You don’t have to pay the fare to hop on the bandwagon. But most people do, as a matter of courtesy.”

McCain drew $950,000 from a line of credit in two chunks of $475,000 each, one on Jan. 2 and the other on Jan. 7. The senator's campaign is paying a hefty 8.5% interest on the loan from Fidelity & Trust Bank of Maryland. And he had to take out a special personal life insurance policy.

-- Andrew Malcolm