His political action committee and super PAC (PACs can give limited donations to political candidates, while super PACs can collect unlimited donations for independent expenditures such as campaign ads) — formed to support hawkish candidates and make national security an issue on the midterm campaign trail — raised more than $2.3 million during the Federal Election Commission's second filing quarter, from more than 20,000 donations. More important, the groups still have about $3 million in the bank ready to burn. Unlike many super PACs, which have spent big during a primary season defined by intraparty squabbles, Bolton's super PAC has been saving for the big show. Most of the expenditures have been related to consulting and fundraising -- and have been minimal.
How the heck did Bolton raise millions of dollars for foreign policy during a midterm campaign season? And where might he spend it?
He may not have been spending much money, but Bolton has been assembling an impressive list of e-mail addresses, if his Web footprint is any indicator. And as we've learned in recent presidential campaigns, few things are more important to a nascent presidential bid than a long e-mail list of people who have opened their pockets to you before. Hmm, this Bolton super PAC business is starting to make a lot of sense.