Monday, September 01, 2008

The vanishing fundraising window

Earlier this month, I argued that Obama would have had one additional strategic benefit by waiting until just before the convention (and by extension, the end of the primary season) to pick Clinton as his running mate:

Clinton’s presence on the ticket may be able to gin up Republican fundraising…except, because they are taking public financing, the McCain campaign will have precisely one week to both collect AND spend that money.

In short, absent some increase in RNC money and possibly 527 money, for the most part McCain’s advantage here would be completely neutralized by the clock. If Hillary had been the VP nominee all summer long the Republicans would be dining out on this–but now they simply would not have enough time to do it.

Now, obviously Obama didn't choose Clinton--and at the same time, much crowing has come from the McCain camp about how much money they've raised based on picking Palin.

But their problem is: they are about to run out the same clock as I outlined above!

It is important to note, however, that after McCain makes his acceptance speech Thursday, he can no longer use any money raised previously. This is referred to as "primary" money.

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