Politico: Candidates close in defense donations
Sen. John McCain has all the credentials that should make defense contractors swoon.
And yet donations from defense industry employees and their spouses, tracked by the Center for Responsive Politics, show that the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting is only $4,000 ahead of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee who has never served in the military or on a Senate defense committee.
McCain and Obama have gathered $300,034 and $296,673, respectively, from defense contractors. That’s not much money in the grand scheme of these historically expensive campaigns, noted John Isaacs, director of the Council for a Livable World, who added that defense contractors will use the donations to build ties to the candidates.
But the figures are all the more striking given the two candidates’ divergent views on the Iraq war. McCain would continue the battle, which has been a major funding source for the industry. Obama would seek to begin the war’s closing chapter, which would squeeze off the industry’s money supply.
Interviews with industry experts suggest the parity in giving has a lot more to do with worries about an often adversarial McCain, a war hero and the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, than with warm feelings for Obama.