Clinton fundraising will be 'like nothing you've seen'

President Obama raised $1.072 billion for his 2012 successful presidential campaign. This is after he raised $750 million for his 2008 campaign.

How well is Hillary Clinton expected to do in the fundraising department?

According to aides, her efforts will "astound and intimidate."

The Hill:

Major donors are ready to announce huge financial commitments to Hillary Clinton as soon as she announces a second run for the White House, according to Clinton allies and Democratic fundraisers. 

The Clinton team wants to build excitement about her campaign launch, which is expected in March or April. The money blitz would be a show of Clinton’s strength meant to scare away potential primary rivals. 


“The floodgates are going to open immediately, and there’s going to be a rush to get on the team,” said Don Peebles, the real estate mogul who served on President Obama's national finance committee. “There’s nobody in the Democratic Party who can match her. Not even close.”

“It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen,” added one top Democratic donor, who supported both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and plans to throw big support behind Clinton. “The numbers will be astounding.”

Clinton is also busy considering who to have run the finances of her would-be campaign. 

The wide consensus among Clinton insiders is that Dennis Cheng, who serves as the chief development officer at the Clinton Foundation and worked on her finance team in her 2008 campaign, would take on the role. 

Democratic fundraisers say big donors are more likely to get behind Clinton than Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a favorite among progressives, who has attacked Wall Street interests that can be big players in Democratic politics. 

“The bundler class is less likely to get behind her,” said one top Democratic fundraiser. 

“The Hillary supporters that were there in 2008 will be there for her again,” one top fundraiser said. “And most of the Obama supporters will be there as well because they're appreciative of what she did and what President Clinton did to support President Obama.”

Clinton will, “do a good job of having strong out of the gate numbers,” the fundraiser predicted. “Her campaign is going to blow through what they did in 2008.” 

A lot of people might forget how successful Hillary was in 2008 fundraising. While Obama was no pauper, he was far outraised and outspent by the Clinton machine - until it became clear he had cinched the nomination. Then the floodgates opened for him as well.

Now the Clintons have the benefit of 8 more years building networks and relationships using the Clinton Foundation as a base. Could she raise and spend $1.5 billion? $2 billion? If she runs virtually unopposed, that isn't likely. She will probably surpass Obama's 2012 totals, but not by as much if donors thought she might be in trouble in the primaries.

“The concern I have is that after you get an initial spike, you're just not going to have the events to keep sustaining it,” one fundraiser said, adding that donations only come in if there are milestone events, or if the campaign appears to hit a bump. 

The donor pointed to Obama in 2008 as an example, saying that his campaign saw the biggest cash flow around milestones, such as when he won the Iowa caucus or clinched the nomination. In the 2012 cycle, donors turned up the cash flow when Obama tanked during his first debate against Mitt Romney. 

“You've gotta have people be really happy or really scared [to get money coming in],” the donor said.

Would a Warren candidacy open the floodgates? The Wall Street and big business types expected to flock to Hillary's banner would be terrified enough of a Warren presidency that they would open their pockets and dig deep to prevent it. But Warren has done virtually nothing to this point to indicate she's preparing a run. No exploratory committee, hiring no seasoned national staffers, no fundraising of her own. So Hillary - if she runs - will march virtually unopposed to the nomination, raising more than a billion dollars for the November, 2016 election.

It is easily going to be the most expensive presidential election in US history.


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