Sarah Palin’s speech to the convention Wednesday night energized conservatives, allayed concerns of some nervous party insiders – and inspired excited Republicans to donate a cool $1 million to the Republican National Committee’s effort to elect John McCain.
The donations, which came in over the Internet in the hours after the speech, will add to the massive war chest that the Republican Party has built up for the fall contest. A Republican aide leaked us the news that the Republican National Committee ended the month of August with $75 million in the bank.
That’s more than the total that the Democratic National Committee and Barack Obama had in the bank at the end of July. Neither Obama nor the DNC have released their cash on hand figures for August. But the DNC had just $5 million in the bank at the end of July. Meanwhile, Sen. Obama would have been foolish to keep much money in the bank at the end of August because all money raised for the primary campaign had to be spent by the time he officially became a general-election candidate at the Democratic convention last week.
Sen. McCain had $32.8 million in the bank at the end of July, but probably has a zero balance now.
The RNC says donations began pouring in over the Internet soon after Palin began speaking. McCain also got a few last-minute donations. Once McCain accepts the Republican nomination for president tonight, he will no longer be allowed to accept private donations because he as opted to accept $85 million in federal financing for his campaign.
One of the those now inspired to donate to the McCain cause is Aimee Berger, a 42-year old uber-housewife, who voted for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Republican primary. Berger had planned to vote for McCain, but until last night said she wasn’t going to open up her pocketbook. “Governor Palin has showed America, and women, and our daughters that you can do anything,” she said.
Bloomberg reported that Palin’s speech was even better for Democrats–Barack Obama has raised $8 million since Wednesday’s speech. “Sarah Palin’s attacks have rallied our supporters in ways we never expected,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said. “And we fully expect John McCain’s attacks tonight to help us make our grassroots organization even stronger.”