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Friday, May 16, 2008

The Amazing Money Machine

How Silicon Valley made Barack Obama this year’s hottest start-up

by Joshua Green

History has a way of prizing timeless qualities like vision and oratory above temporal things like money. So if Barack Obama becomes our nation’s first black president, civics textbooks will probably never note his fund-raising prowess or the financial challenges he had to overcome simply to compete with the likes of Hillary Clinton. But Obama would not be where he is today if he did not possess a preternatural ability to elicit huge sums. Obama prompts an impulse in people to reach for historical antecedents when describing him—as a speaker, Martin Luther King Jr.; as an inspiration to young voters, Robert F. Kennedy. No one I’m aware of has suggested an apt comparison for Obama, the mighty fund-raiser. But whenever I think about the quarter billion dollars he has raised so far, the image that leaps to mind is Scrooge McDuck diving joyously into his piles of gold.

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