Sweet Column: Obama backers talking up 2008. Cranks up political operation. UPDATE1 $1 million political cash on hand. UPDATE2 Obama meets with British PM Blair
Chatter is increasing among supporters of Sen. Barack Obama about him jumping into the 2008 presidential race as he cranks up his political operation.
UPDATE 1 Democrat Obamas Washington D.C.-based political action committee, Hopefund, reported raising $474,433 and spending $320,449 in April, leaving cash-on-hand at the end of April of $1,005,902.
California is Obama’s HOPEFUND top donor state.
Donor State Break-Out (source: PoliticalMoneyLine)
1. $508,938 CA
2. $445,450 IL
3. $258,353 NY
4. $186,451 MA
5. $185,306 TX
Obama, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and three other senators breakfasted Friday morning with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the British Embassy in Washington. Also attending was British Prime Minister David Manning.
UPDATE 3 (Inserted in item)
for details on HOPEFUND, go to www.tray.com
Obama is now being helped by Washington public affairs strategist Minyon Moore, a Chicago native and veteran of the Clinton White House, who will serve as an unpaid adviser to develop an outreach plan for African Americans.
Obama (D-Ill.) is also adding to his team another Democratic strategist, Anita Dunn, to fill in through the end of the year as chief of his HOPEFUND political action committee. (UPDATE 3. Dunn was the media strategist for Democrat Blair Hull, who ran against Obama in his 2004 Ilinois Senate primary.)
Dunn, an adviser to ’08 possible contender Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), is close to Obama’s chief of staff.
The 2008 talk is not being stoked by the freshman Obama camp, but is surging from all sorts of backers who see no reason for him to pass up this cycle. One thing Obama’s popularity and big political war chest bring — he would not have to mount a White House bid in order to be considered for vice president on a ticket.