Monday, September 15, 2008



September 14 2008 at 20:21
Internet Sources
Daily Nation


US presidential candidate Barack Obama raised a record $66 million (Sh4.6 billion) in August, a campaign spokesman said today.

The latest figures confirmed a money advantage that Mr Obama, a Democrat, is likely to have over Republican candidate John McCain.

The Obama campaign added 500,000 new donors last month, campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail.

The previous record for a single month’s fundraising total was $55 million (Sh3.8 billion).

The haul may reassure some Democrats who have been worried that donations for Mr Obama were starting to fall off. The figures don’t include the record $10 million that Mr Obama raised on September 4 after Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave her acceptance speech at the party’s national convention.

Mr McCain raised at least $47 million in August, a record for his own campaign. Mr Obama, 47, an Illinois senator, has been trying to calm fears among Democrats that he’s not doing enough to fight attacks from McCain’s campaign, and in speeches this past week he repeatedly tied McCain to the unpopular policies of President George W. Bush.

Will break through

Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, told reporters yesterday that he’s confident Obama’s message will break through. The campaign is concentrating on the economy and arguing that Mr Obama can shake up the capital and contending that McCain, who has spent 26 years in Washington, is too tied to the past.

‘‘The only thing that’s changed is that McCain now has the temerity to suggest that somehow he represents change,’’ Mr Axelrod said.

‘’I don’t think there’s going to be a person in America who by the end of these next weeks will not understand who represents change and who represents more of the same.’’

Mr Axelrod said he expects Obama to be competitive in more states than the 2004 Democratic nominee, John Kerry.

‘‘In the battleground states, and the battleground is an expanded field, I think things are competitive today as ever,’’

Polls show that McCain has erased a lead Obama held after his party’s convention ended in late August. The Republican is ahead in some polls; the two are tied in others. That means the race is in about the same place it was before the conventions, and it will probably stay tight, Mr Axelrod said.

McCain’s choice of Alaska Governor Palin as his running mate ‘‘energized the right wing,’’ Axelrod said. ‘’In some of the very red states, his support has grown, where he was winning and would have won anyway,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Obama aides have accuse the McCain campaign of outright lies, distortions and distractions to the American people.

The row is over Ms Palin’s claims that she has visited Iraq.

Ms Palin made a well-documented trip to Kuwait and Germany last year to visit US troops, and over time, the governor and her staff have revealed she also visited Canada and Mexico but didn’t visit Iraq.

On Saturday, a Palin aide said the governor also travelled one-quarter mile into Iraq during her July 2007 trip to participate in a re-enlistment ceremony for a member of the Alaska National Guard.