LACONIA, N.H. – Presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Monday resisted the temptation to talk about his whopping $31 million fundraising quarter — for six minutes.
"It's a wonderful thing because we've got 250,000 people who are giving to our campaign," the Illinois senator said at a campaign rally. "People said we couldn't compete by trusting in the American people. There are a quarter million people who want a health care plan. ... There are at least a quarter million people who want to see this war in Iraq to end."
The campaign announced second-quarter fundraising totals that show him outraising Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by $10 million. Obama raised at least $31 million for the primary and $1.5 million for the general election, if he wins his party's nomination.
The total is a record for a Democrat at this stage of a presidential contest and ensures his place as a top contender for the nomination. It steals the spotlight from Clinton, his main rival. And it establishes the two of them as the fundraising juggernauts of the entire presidential field.
"It's not about me. The reason people are coming out is because they are burning with a desire and want for change," Obama said, repeating his oft-used explanation for his candidacy. "People feel a sense of urgency about what is happening in the country right now. ... We've placed our faith in the core decency of the American people."