How Do You Spend $150 Million?
Easy. Blow it all on TV and video games.
Another expense is contributions to state Democratic parties, which totaled about $7.6 million in September. Naturally, the parties in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado came in for some nice donations.
And of course there's the small stuff. The campaign blew $3,000 at the 10 Pin Bowling Lounge in Chicago in September. It also spent a few million on flags. For food, $2,500 went to Panera cafes, $500 to Potbelly Sandwich Works, and hundreds more to random pizza places. Obama apparently managed to limit his arugula intake—the campaign spent only $30 at Whole Foods Market.
At any rate, it would be pretty hard to blow your millions on pizza and bowling. But when you're buying TV time, the money goes pretty fast. A decade from now, we may even look back at the Obama campaign and wonder how it did so much with so little.
Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.
Photograph of Barack Obama by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.