WASHINGTON--The 2008 fund-raising showdown between White House rivals Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is driving fund-raising to record levels of giving. With the second quarter closing on Saturday, Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a memo the campaign expects to take-in at least $27 million, with Obama collecting "significantly" more in April, May and June.
"We expect to bring in about what we did in the First Quarter, or slightly more, which should put us in the range of $27 million. To put that figure in some perspective, it is more than any Democrat has ever raised in the second quarter of the “off” year. While that figure is record setting, we do expect Senator Obama to significantly outraise us this quarter. Bottom line is that both campaigns will raise a great deal of money and that we will have all the resources we need to compete and win," Wolfson said.
In Washington on Thursday at a fund-raiser aimed at women, Michelle Obama said the crowds coming to see Obama show "This is not curiosity, this is a movement."
The Obama campaign estimated that events in the Washington area on Wednesday and Thursday hauled in $1 million for Obama. Michelle Obama quipped that one of her daughters calls the Secret Service personnel assigned to Obama "Secret people."
The Obama campaign is on track to report about $30 million in second quarter donations, according to unofficial estimates from fund-raising observers. Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is lowering expectations, gauging second quarter collections at $9 million. A few weeks ago the Obama campaign was floating a $20 million number.
Meanwhile, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is engaging in a bit of media baiting in mounting a straw man argument in a direct e-mail appeal to supporters, designed to spur donors to give in time to run up second quarter numbers.
“Media pundits and Washington insiders are already speculating about our end of quarter fundraising totals," Plouffe wrote. "They claim the money we raise by this Saturday, June 30th, will determine the success or failure of our campaign," Plouffe wrote.