Maybe Obama Needs the Big-Money Dems After All

Donors to Barack Obama expect his campaign to raise just over $30 million in June, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Even if that estimate is a tactial lowball, the number is well below the astronomical figures reported during the primary. And when contrasted with the $22 million June haul the McCain campaign reported yesterday, and the additional $95 million McCain campaign aides hope to raise by the end of the summer through the RNC and state victory accounts, it seems to diminish the notion of the Obama campaign’s Internet fund-raising operation as a bottomless well.

And if the $30 million number is at all accurate, it could prompt questions not only about whether the substantial editorial hit Obama suffered for his reversal on the issue of public funding was worth it, but also about the significance of the super bundler, a species that some of Obama’s own bundlers said had been put out to pasture by the Internet tidal wave.

Certainly, the Obama campaign seems to have rediscovered an appreciation for traditional bundlers in recent days, illustrated by high-dollar fund-raising events held in New York this week, and by the gaudy expansion of a previously hidden bundler database at the instigation of The Times.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign had the largest stable of bundlers, and after some tortured negotiations, they are now raising big money for Obama.

When I asked him before an Obama event on Monday about the role of bundlers in the campaign, Clinton (and now Obama) donor Hassan Nemazee responded: "The rumor of the demise of the Neanderthal was premature."

Another former Clinton donor, also now raising money for Obama, said, "We’re back, and this time it’s personal."

UPDATE: More reason to emphasize the "if the number is accurate" proviso: The Obama campaign releases a statement saying that the Journal’s report is "way off the mark."

Maybe Obama Needs the Big-Money Dems After All