Monday, July 30, 2007

Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson reports that he raised US$3 million in June for his all-but-certain White House bid. According to the Associated Press, this sum falls short of the $5 million goal set for June, which was the first month he set out to fundraise.

The $3 million dollars was more than what several other Republicans raised, but falls well short of the $6.5 million raised by Mitt Romney in a single day in January in his first month of exploring a bid.

The reported figure does not include collections from several large fundraising events held in July.

While Thompson has attracted the backing of top Republican figures, including Mary Matalin, Liz Cheney and George P. Bush, The Politico quotes a key Republican supporter doubting the campaign’s prospects.

But a Thompson advisor told the Politico that the money raised is enough to test the waters and is not meant for running a full-fledged campaign, adding that Thompson himself is “feeling great” and the campaign is going “full speed ahead”.

Thompson’s campaign manager and several aides quit recently in a staff shake-up reportedly initiated by Jeri Kehn, Thompson’s second wife. A lawyer and former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, Kehn encouraged Thompson to explore a bid and plays a key role in the campaign’s day to day operations, the Sunday Telegraph reports. Kehn also draws attention to the 25-year age gap between her and Thompson and to Thompson’s reputation, following his divorce, as a “ladies’ man”, which “may not play well with the social conservatives“.