Friday, May 16, 2008

How Obama is changing politics

This Atlantic article about Obama's Silicon Valley culture-inspired campaign is very interesting. This information jumped out at me:
In February, the Obama campaign reported that 94 percent of their donations came in increments of $200 or less, versus 26 percent for Clinton and 13 percent for McCain. Obama’s claim of 1,276,000 donors through March is so large that Clinton doesn’t bother to compete; she stopped regularly providing her own number last year.

“If the typical Gore event was 20 people in a living room writing six-figure checks,” Gorenberg told me, “and the Kerry event was 2,000 people in a hotel ballroom writing four-figure checks, this year for Obama we have stadium rallies of 20,000 people who pay absolutely nothing, and then go home and contribute a few dollars online.”
Bottom up, rather than top-down. That is important. If we can't get money out of politics, at least the money can come from a broad base. Now, Obama has an enormous incentive to keep a huge number of small donors happy, rather than a small number of huge donors. That sounds like progress to me.


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