Neal Conan, host:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I’m Neal Conan in Washington.
The votes are in, the Democrats have chosen their man. Last night, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts claimed victories in nine more states and is now certain to be the presidential nominee. His closest competitor, Senator John Edwards, returned home to North Carolina, and plans to pull out of the race at a news conference about an hour from now. And while there are plenty of primaries and caucuses yet to be held, for all intents and purposes the general election campaign Bush vs. Kerry begins today.
Senator Kerry made a crucial decision when he chose to opt out of public campaign finances. At a time when contributions were dwindling, Kerry spent his own money to breathe life into his campaign. That helped him win in Iowa and in New Hampshire, and ultimately carried him to success yesterday. To talk about the power of capital in this year’s election, we’re joined by Anthony Corrado here in Studio 3A, a government professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, this semester a visiting fellow at The Brookings Institution here in Washington, DC.
Nice to see you on Massachusetts Avenue.
Well, it’s a pleasure to join you here, Neal.
In addition to votes, did Kerry’s use of his own funds eventually help him win donations?
Yes, it did. In fact, one of the real keys for John Kerry was the fact that he was able to put some of his own money into this campaign when essentially his fund-raising had gone dry. He had very little money coming in, and he was able to use his own money to spend millions of dollars that gave him the television and organizational support in Iowa that really launched this campaign for him. He had really fallen flat by the time you got to the first week of January, and resurrected his campaign with his own wallet. And that was really the key for him.
Now how much money does he have left?