81,538 supporters in 48 hours

I'm not going to go so far as to say I've taken heat for it, but I will say that a spirited dialogue emerged this weekend around this blog post. I praised Obama for opting out of the public campaign finance system. I praised him for making the commitment to fund his entire campaign on the donations the American public gives directly to him. I want to follow up with a few comments I didn't included in that post.

I realize that he stands to raise more money this way than he would have "raised" opting into the public finance system. I don't discount that motivation; nor do I feel it lessens his credibility. The system is broken whether he can raise more money on his own or not. Was he motivated by a broken system *and* the fact that on his own he can raise more money than any Presidential candidate in the history of this nation? Sure. Absolutely. So what?

The federal government offers each candidate roughly $85 million tax-payer dollars (to very much over-simplify the process) and Obama has already raised nearly $300,000,000. He opted out of the $85 million and decided to raise every penny of his campaign through the strength of his nation-wide organization. You read correctly, by the way, that's three hundred million dollars. And guess what? The source of that nearly $300,000,000 is 100% individual contributions. 100%. That's right. That's what I was praising. That is what inspires me and millions of other supporters. Check it out for yourself, via independent watchdog website OpenSecrets.org

Should Obama have stated that motivation as well as his broken-system motivation? Maybe. But a sore John McCain camp - who has a snowball's chance in hell of raising that much money - and the right-wing bloggers whipped into a frenzy over the issue are no match for a surge of 81,538 Obama supporters in 48 hours time. I posted on the afternoon of 20 June, just after Obama made the announcement, and by the evening of 21 June there were 81,538 contributions made. The numbers are only getting higher and that's only the first day after the announcement was made.

Interesting trivia for your next cocktail party: The average contribution to Obama's campaign is $25. Yup...$25 at a time we've reached $300,000,000. Upwards of 69% of those contributors are first-time contributors to *any* political campaign. That, my friends, is giving power back to the people. And this is giving them voice: read what people are saying as they contribute.

He'll change the world as we know it. He already has. Now it's your turn.

My New Adventure

Declare independence from a broken system