A reader explains why it shouldn't be under-estimated:
After seeing Obama's speech on the steps of the Springfield courthouse, I gave him $50. The next month I signed up for a small recurring gift. Then somewhere in there I bought a t-shirt and a hat. A couple times the campaign invited me to match a first-time donor, and I'd give another $25. I also bought a t-shirt, and then a hat at a small $100 fundraiser (it was November and I was cold). The recurring gift stayed through the primaries, but then every so often he'd get beat and I'd want to lend a hand with another $25. In an e-mail today announcing the June fundraising figures, the Obama campaign told me what I've donated: $1,103.78.
I had no idea how much I'd donated! But since I spent it over the last 15 months, it just kept adding up. I make $50K a year, so this is actually a fairly sizeable chunk for me if I ever had to write it out as a single check. And it's hard not to think about all the other things I could have done with $1,100. But at the same time, it's hard not to feel a little proud, too. I've never given to a candidate before in my life. But I really do feel like I own a piece of the campaign.
I've never subscribed to the belief that money in politics was a bad thing. But I'm starting to feel that the $2,300 cap, combined with Obama's pledge not to accept PAC money, is a good thing. I will keep giving those small $25 and $50 gifts when I can/when I feel like he needs it. There are so many more like me ... I think that when we see the results in November, Democrats and Republicans are going to be aghast at how much Obama and his million donors has changed the political landscape.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.