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Tuesday, April 01, 2003


The Money Primary: Nabbing the 'Low-Hanging Fruit'

posted by Joe at Tuesday, April 01, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
A Reuters story out today puts Dean rival Sen. John Edwards' first-quarter fundraising total at $7.4 million. The story cites expectations of more the $4 million each for Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Dick Gephardt and $1.5 million for Howard Dean. (It does not provide any information on totals for Sen. Joe Lieberman.)

The following excerpt puts the results in context:
Donnie Fowler, a national field director for Gore's 2000 campaign, said that while many view the first-quarter totals as a sign of a campaign's strength, he considers the second and third quarters more telling.

Much of the first-quarter money is "low-hanging fruit,'' he said.

"It's the easiest money because it's family and friends,'' Fowler said. "They're going to give money to you regardless of whether you're viable, regardless of whether they agree with you on all the issues, regardless of what the media's saying.''
By that logic it seems that Edwards would do well at this early stage; as a wealthy trial lawyer, his connections to other wealthy trial lawyers around the country mean that his low-hanging fruit is probably by far the juiciest.

Similarly, Sen. Kerry and Rep. Gephardt have the connections to raise this friendly money. Sen. Kerry's wife is the Heinz ketchup heiress and he has been a fixture of Boston and Washington high society for decades. Gephardt, another Washington insider, ran for president once before and travelled the country tirelessly during the last several election cycles, cultivating donors for his repeatedly unsuccessful attempts to lead Democrats back into the majority in the House of Representatives.

Dean, as the "outsider" candidate from a small state, contends with fewer opportunities to raise this early money. But he also benefits from lower expectations because of that fact. If he manages to meet or exceed the expectations of the political establishment and his own campaign, it will emphasize his credibility as a candidate and allow him to focus on what this campaign is really about: reaching people, showing them his vision, and taking his -- and our -- country back.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.