Barack Obama's $150 Million September Put Into Perspective

Time was, you could spread $150 million over a couple of different presidential campaigns.

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Let's pause a moment and put Barack Obama's $150 million September into perspective.

Over in Data Points today (in the center column of U.S. News's Opinion page), we've got some comparative figures. John Kerry spent $310 million in the 2004 election, for example, or about twice as much as Obama raised last month. George W. Bush and Al Gore combined to spend almost $240 million in 2000. And they were big spenders: Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (or as I like to call him, John McCain version 1.0) combined for $239.9 million in 1996.

If you really want to get weirded out, consider that Obama raised more in September than Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale spent all told in 1984 ($103.6 million) and roughly as much as Jimmy Carter (two runs), Reagan, and Gerald Ford spent in the 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns combined.

The mind reels.