In the twenty-year history of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton(?) American politics, here are the five biggest stories respresenting the greatest political achievements, from greatest to less great:
1. George W. Bush's fundraising, 1999-2000.
2. The large governor of a small Southern state (a/k/a "Bill Clinton") defeating an incumbent Republican president, 1992.
3. George W. Bush's consolidation of the Republican base, 1999-2004.
4. Bill Clinton's surviving impeachment and thriving in his last two years in office, 1998-2000.
5. Laura Bush's enduring popularity, 1999-present.
Today, the effort to rejigger that list begins in earnest, as the Hillary Clinton for President finance operation (years in the making) moves a bit more above ground.
"She's going to raise more money than all the other candidates put together," in the first six months of 2007, said John Catsimitidis, identified by the hypnotic (how else to explain all these scoops?) Ben Smith of Politico, as "a New York supermarket magnate," although he should probably be called "the most blabbermouthy donor on the planet and a man completely without any sense of how to set expectations."
On a day when Clinton's finance team is bringing its big, bundling guns to Washington to get every oar in the water (The Note mixes metaphors!!!), we ask:
Why is Clinton such a formidable fundraising force?
Let The Note count the ways and whys:
Terry McAuliffe:There may be two "greatest presidents in the history of the United States" in his view, but The Macker by every possible account plans to put another Clinton in the White House, and there is only ONE "greatest fundraiser in the history of the Democratic Party."
Whitehaven and Chappaqua: Outside of Hyannisport, there are no greater venues within the party for fundraising, donor maintenance, and donor cultivation.
Bill Clinton: He's laying low for now, but just wait until the two-for-the-price-of-one Fundraising Spouse-in-Chief starts to buckrake, $4,600/head, in places such as Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Texas, California, etc.
The (other) surrogates: There are plenty of other big names (former cabinet secretaries, Carvilleian staffers, etc) who can do events that will pull in tens of thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands.
EMILU's List: Early money is like unstoppable, and Ellen Malcolm's army of checkbook-toting ladies is going to produce millions and millions for the one candidate who puts her skirt on one leg at a time.
The (other) lists: Contact lists, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and e-mails in abundance, allowing Clinton to reach out and touch a lot of givers.
Iraq: Long seen as Clinton's worst enemy, in fact it is now her best friend for fundraising -- bringing down the Republican Brand overall, bringing down McCain's numbers, and allowing pollster Mark Penn to dazzle donors with data galore showing today's snapshot demonstrating Clinton's electability, thereby shooing away a potential donor's reason not to give. (The Politico's "GOP Views Clinton As Virtually Unbeatable" headline will be pointed out to many a Clinton donor today.)LINK
The Empire State empire: Bush had Texas money; Clinton has her own large, wealthy home state, with single buildings on the East Side holding more donors who can and will max out than the entire state of Delaware has. Q. How much can Clinton raise in New York alone? A. More than any candidate has ever raised in one state in the history of the Republic.