APRIL 02, 2007
Hillary Clinton has shattered political fundraising records by collecting an unprecedented $26 million in new contributions during the first quarter of her presidential campaign. Combined with $10 million she transferred from her Senate coffers, the New York senator has a whopping $36 million in her war chest.
The former First lady broke previous first-quarter fundraising records set by Texas Republican Phil Gramm, who raised $8.7 million in 1995, and Al Gore who collected $8.9 million in 1999. Clinton’s main competitor for the Democratic nomination, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, has not disclosed his first quarter contributions and he has until the April 15 Federal Election Commission (FEC) deadline to do it.
While Obama is said to have raised about $22 million this quarter, the other Democratic candidates didn’t come close to Clinton. former North Carolina Senator John Edwards raised $14 million, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson $6 million, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd $4 million and South Carolina Senator Joe Biden a mere $3 million.
Clinton’s cash came from 50,000 contributors in 50 states and supposedly exceeded the campaign’s goal of raising $15 million for the first quarter. Clinton proved to be quite an efficient fundraiser when she collected a record $40 million for a senate reelection campaign with dismal competition.
It gave her the confidence to become the first major candidate to forgo public funding in both the primary and general election in order to avoid FEC rules designed to clean up presidential campaigns by limiting the influence of big donors in politics. Some experts have predicted that, with the help of her famous husband, Clinton can raise $100 million for her presidential campaign. Just last month, she made $2.6 million at a weekend Hollywood fundraiser.
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