Sunday, September 4, 2016

Lede, Exhumed

J.E.B. Bush with East Hampton Village mayor Paul F. Rickenbach, Jr., on a fundraising visit in July 2015. Photo by Richard Lewin for the East Hampton Star.
Some cutting-edge reporting by Amy Chozick and Jonathan Martin in the New York Times has unearthed the little-known fact that presidential candidates usually spend the month before Labor Day (when voters are believed to be preoccupied with the Olympics and nostalgic memories of the days when we used to be able to afford vacations) hobnobbing with the wealthy and raising campaign money:
Cash-seeking candidates from both parties often rely on August to reach vacationing donors who open their wallets, and their palatial homes. In 2012, the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, brought in close to $4 million over a single weekend from events in the Hamptons. And Mr. Trump, while netting $64 million through online and direct-mail fund-raising in July, also made the trek this summer to the eastern end of Long Island to raise cash. (paragraph 26)
Or, as some cunning subeditor put it in the headline,

Where Has Hillary Clinton Been? Ask the Ultrarich

Because according to the Clinton Rules of journalism, in a case in which both sides actually do do it (raise obscene amounts of money from disgustingly wealthy individuals) you should devote 25 paragraphs to Clinton doing it and how spooky it is, especially since the ultrarich get to see her but nobody in the press ever does, or gets the opportunity to ask her the question American voters desperately need to hear her answer, "So how come everybody hates you?"—and then mention a couple of Republicans if there's any space left.

Then there's Barack Obama's record-setting $66 million in August 2008, the most any candidate up till then had ever raised in a single month (dwarfed, no doubt, by the $150 million he collected that September as well as the $143 million Clinton has raised this month).

Nowhere in the Times article is it mentioned that the money Clinton is raising is for the Hillary Victory Fund and that less than half of it, $62 million, was for her campaign, while the other $81 million goes to the Democratic National Committee to pay for congressional races in the hope of creating a Congress that will actually pass bills Clinton's voters would like to see passed. Or that, like other traditional candidates, she will be starting a very intensive schedule of public appearances alongside debate preparations with Labor Day events in Pittsburgh, Hampton (IL, not one of the Long Island Hamptons), Cleveland, and Lebanon (NH) on Monday. Bet she'll even talk to some journalists, though perhaps not to the clattering of jackdaws, or skulk of jackals, in which Amy and Jonathan travel.

(Elaborating a Tweet from Jeff Jarvis.)

Jackdaws at dawn, Falmer, East Sussex. Photo by Paul Cecil, via Everything is Permuted.

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