The Politicowrites
As impressive as Mitt's number is, McCain's $12.5 million may be as striking. The institutional advantages that he had at his disposal -- think about his list alone -- render "late start" spin inoperative. To their credit, they know it and are now fessing up to the problem instead of trying to explain it away. A McCain aide told me that the elevation of former Rep. Tom Loeffler and ex-Sen. Phil Gramm earlier this month was in response to their meager fundraising efforts. Loeffler and Gramm were tasked with revamping the finance operation and are currently doing so. While McCain has wooed many of President Bush's top donors, the McCain staffer I spoke with admitted that they "didn't give our guys the tools they needed to be successful." In particular, the aide said, the top bundlers didn't really have clear objectives as to what was expected of them. Loeffler and Gramm will now try to right that financial ship by instituting a more precise bundling plan with established goals and built-in accountability.
differences over campaign finance reformJason Zengerle