Don’t Miss: ‘Take the Money and Run — For Office’

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Back in February, Mother Jones posted this chart showing how much more Barack Obama spent to become president than any other candidate before him. The $780 million price tag was about 240 times more than Abraham Lincoln spent nearly 150 years ago (by today’s dollars).

Spending on all 2008 races totaled around $7 billion. The 2012 campaign is projected to be the most expensive election ever, perhaps topping $8 billion come November.

Since running for office is so much more expensive today than it was in Abe’s day, its not uncommon for congressmen to spend as many as 2 to 3 hours a day raising money for their re-election campaigns.

NPR’s This American Life and Planet Money blog posted several stories recently as part of Planet Money‘s money and politics series looking at fundraising in Washington, D.C.: how much time congressmen devote to it and the role that committee assignments have in determining who raises the most. They also crunched the numbers on over 13,000 events using data from the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time website to graph the most common types of fundraisers:

Source: The Sunlight Foundation / Political Party Time  Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Source: The Sunlight Foundation / Political Party Time Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

And over at, don’t miss their breakdown of where all that money goes — including staff salaries, consultants, direct mail, TV advertising and… donuts, among other things.

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  • Anonymous

    Looks like breakfast is the most important meal of any campaign.
    Gotta get up oily and go to bed drugged.
    Holy John Edward’s haircut, Batman!
    So long Rick Santorum: Your fought hard  for your convictions.