April 03, 2007
HOWARD KURTZ THINKS THAT POLITICAL FUNDRAISING is getting too much coverage:
I think it's an overrated indicator. I lost track of how many big-name political journalists told me in late 2003 that Howard Dean was nearly unstoppable for the nomination because he was the Democrats' leading fundraiser. But his $40 million -- some of which had been frittered away earlier -- didn't do him much good once he got to the Iowa caucuses. All the money in the world doesn't help a candidate who can't close the sale.
I got bleary-eyed in 1996, reading all the glowing pieces about how strong a candidate Phil Gramm was because he was raising truckloads of money. Gramm never made it to New Hampshire. The donors might have been buying, but the voters weren't.
But you have to report about something. And fundraising stories have numbers, meaning that they're totally objective!