January 31st, 2009
01:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama's leftover cash

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama ended last year with $15.5 million left over in his 2008 campaign war chest, according to a disclosure report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

Obama could transfer the bulk of this amount to a re-election bid in 2012.

By comparison, former President George W. Bush had only $292,809 in his campaign account at the end of the 2000 campaign year. Former President Bill Clinton ended his successful 1992 bid with $2.7 million in the bank.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Mike Dallas

    Just roll it over to the 2012 campaign President Obama.


    January 31, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. tim

    Or he could just keep it, and pay taxes later if he gets caught, like a lot of his buddies.

    January 31, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Simmy

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! That's more than McCain had in the first six months of his campaign.

    January 31, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. larry

    give it to the needy and start over in 2012

    January 31, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. cnnnewser

    He has a lot of supporters....
    I hope he saves the money for 2012.

    January 31, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Pat

    Why not use the extra 15.5 million dollars which is only 3% of the 700 million he spent to get elected to go towards buying food for the needy. Use the money towards building a nuclear power plant to help improve our energy situation. The point is, use it for the good of the people vs elections that are nothing but negative.

    January 31, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Terry

    Mr. Yoon...you mentioned this money can be transferred to President's Obama for 2012. What does the law allow him to do with the rest of the .money? Just curious

    January 31, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Robert Yoon, CNN

    Hello, everyone. Several of you have asked what Pres. Obama can do with these funds. In short, federal law allows candidates with left over campaign money to do any combination of the following: donate it to other campaigns (subject to contribution limits - which is only a few thousand dollars), donate an unlimited amount to a national or state political party, donate an unlimited amount to charity, return money to the contributors, convert his campaign into a political action committee, or tranfer it to a future federal campaign committee of his own, such as a presidential re-election campaign. Those are the main options. Several readers have suggested that Pres. Obama use the money to pay off Hillary Clinton's campaign debt. However, federal law limits the amount that one federal committee can donate to another committee (unless it's one candidate transferring funds from one of his or her federal accounts to another). The president isn't under any great time pressure to make a decision. Although his campaign committee is supposed to fold up shop once all the loose ends from 2008 are tied up, sometimes that process takes several years. For example, Pres. Bush's 2004 campaign remained active until early 2007, and his opponent that year, John Kerry, didn't fold up his 2004 committee until early 2008.

    February 1, 2009 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  9. obamasupporter

    Use it to pay part of the deficit down.

    January 31, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Dana

    Obama should pay off Hillary Clinton's campaign debt! Her support (and the support of her followers) was vital to Obama winning the presidency.

    January 31, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Ed Morgano

    Mr. President,
    If you don't do what you said...namely help out the little people, no amount of money is going to get you re-elected. We need help NOW!

    January 31, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. I was right!

    Hmm, would be nice to see him practice what he preaches, for once. I would be really impressed to see him put the money into something that actually benefits people, instead of just being greedy and putting into another war chest for 2012. Hope I am surprised, but I won't hold my breath.

    January 31, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. sandee in Portland

    For everyone saying this money should be donated to a charity or a good cause, I don't think politicians are allowed to donate cash received from contributions because it was received with the intent of campaign funds. It should be kept for the 1012 campaign.

    January 31, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. trish odle

    You go Barack!!! Keep that money for 2012. I donated to your campaign because I believe in you and your campaign promises. In fact, this was the first time for ever. You have been doing an awesome job, and it is so nice to finally after 8 years to have an intelligent President and first lady in the White House. And, your daughters are adorable..

    January 31, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. phoenixxknights

    Ms. Dana, if they are democrat and affected by this mortgage crisis then they were going to vote for Obama. Not the first black president but the democrat who represents their party and their views. Or do you believe that the majority of people switch parties all because the candidate the want to win in primaries loose.

    January 31, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Quiana Bost

    Obama is going to need it for 2012, with republicans trying to firm up with their new 'face man' he is going to need it! I dont want another Palin or Joe the Plummer coming out of anywhere.

    January 31, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. BJ

    Good to know one American isn't struggling durring these tough times.

    January 31, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Patty from Pennsylvania

    That money was donated by people who wanted him to be elected to the office of President. He will run again in 2012. And I say, as one of millions who donated, keep it ready for the next campaign.

    January 31, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Realist.

    Shows how prudent he is with money. Good job Mr President. Just roll it over to 2012.

    January 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Terry - California

    I would transfer the money to the 2012 Campaign. It would be nice to help Hillary clear her outstanding campaign debt, but that is strictly up to President Obama.

    January 31, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. David

    I agree that President Obama should pay off Secretary of State Clinton's campaign debt. After all, she was elemental to his victory.

    January 31, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Sandra Dee

    See! Democrats do know how to balance a budget.

    January 31, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. kelly WI

    Give it back to the fools who gave it to you in the first place. Since they are all whining about needing money they might be sorry they gave it to you. Just wait until you up their taxes and take it from them in that form. ha. Fools.

    January 31, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Can he use it to help other people's campaigns?

    January 31, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. ck

    And how much did Hillary have left over from her well managed campaign??? LOL LOL

    You know she is DROOLING over that surplus!

    January 31, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
1 2