Filling Republican counterparts with envy, President Obama's 2012 campaign manager announced a record fundraising effort this morning of $86 million for the first quarter. With $47 million going to his re-election campaign Obama for America and $38 million to the Democratic National Committee, Obama's war chest far outstrips his nearest rivals'. Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million in the quarter ending on June 30, while Tim Pawlenty took in $4.2 million and Jon Huntsman raised $4.1 million. (Michele Bachmann has not yet reported her fundraising efforts.) So what kind of advantage does the haul, which Politico's Glenn Thrush calls a "shock and awe showing," give the president at this stage in the 2012 race? Here's what reporters and pundits are pointing out:
This is big for advertising, writes Michael Shear at The New York Times: "The money raised by the president will allow early advertising efforts to push back against criticism of the president coming from the Republican presidential candidates and from outside groups about Mr. Obama's handling of the economy."
By comparison, the GOP is floundering, writes Caitlin Huey-Burns at Real Clear Politics. "With no Democratic challenger and the advantage of incumbency, Obama's campaign is able to focus the money it raises on the 2012 general election while the Republican contenders need to funnel much of their cash into the primary contest," she writes. "By this time four years ago, the 10 Republican presidential candidates had raised more than $118 million combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Still, the field has been slow to form in this election cycle and rumored candidates such as Rick Perry and Sarah Palin--both savvy fundraisers--could join the fray."