Obama Network of Big Donors Rivals Bush's

Bundlers chip in large portion of Obama's record haul
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2008 11:55 AM CDT
Barack Obama gets off the plane at South Bend Regional Airport in South Bend, Ind., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama likes to point to the avalanche of small-money donations that account for a full half of his record $340 million haul. But he has also been carefully cultivating a network of big-money bundlers since his earliest days in the Senate, the New York Times reports. As a result, Obama’s fleet of boosters are on pace to rival even George W. Bush’s vaunted “rangers” and “pioneers.”

Obama has 500 bundlers that have collected at least $50,000 each; more than a half-dozen have passed the $1 million mark. Roughly two-thirds of the money can be traced to four industry groups: law, investment, real estate, and entertainment. “It's fairly clear that this is being packaged as an extraordinary new kind of fundraising,” said a campaign finance expert. “But it's also clear that many of the old donors are still there and important.”