Who’s with whom — and why?

Talking politics
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  April 18, 2007


Now that first-quarter campaign-finance reports have been filed to meet the April 15 deadline, we can see which presidential candidates scooped up money from which Bay Staters.

Leaving aside Mitt Romney, with his home-field advantage, it was Hillary Clinton who scored the most in-state contributions of $1000 or more — but just barely. Clinton had 364 such donors, edging out Barack Obama with 356, according to a Phoenix analysis. The others were far behind: Joe Biden landed 96, Chris Dodd 91, John Edwards 63, Bill Richardson 34, and Dennis Kucinich just one. Among the Republicans reaching into Romney territory, John McCain led with 82, ahead of Rudy Giuliani with 43, and Sam Brownback with 10.

More revealingly, candidates’ success varied on the basis of subculture. Dodd dominated among financial and insurance executives. Clinton had the edge among politicos, lobbyists, and real-estate developers. Obama was the clear winner in big law firms and in academia. Edwards carried the lion’s share of trial attorneys.

Drilling down even further, to the micro-level, the Phoenix unearthed the names of donors and grouped them together in categories of our own creation.

Celebrities of academia
Obama’s contributor list seems to include half the Harvard faculty, plus professors from Amherst, Berklee, Northeastern, and Providence College. But the only ones you’ve heard of are rejected Clinton appointee Lani Guinier and Constitution-law authority Laurence Tribe. Clinton, on the other hand, has the ubiquitous Alan Dershowitz of Harvard.
Winner: Clinton

Sports connections
Clinton isn’t one to go to for free ducats — her best connections are Stacey Lucchino, wife of the Red Sox CEO, and Meg Vaillancourt, Red Sox senior VP. Dodd has Sox CEO Larry Lucchino himself. Obama has Celtics CEO Wycliffe Grousbeck, which might count for something after the next draft, and Atlanta Hawks owner Steve Belkin. It was McCain who landed the state’s sports power couple: Patriots chairman Robert Kraft and his wife, Myra.
Winner: McCain

Best-selling authors
Martha’s Vineyard denizen Richard North Patterson, contributor to both Edwards and McCain, has eight bestsellers to his credit. But Obama has Spenser series creator Robert B. Parker. No contest.
Winner: Obama

Fortune 500 execs
Staples founder — and big Romney contributor — Thomas Stemberg made a surprise appearance on Obama’s list. McCain has Lucia Luce Quinn, executive VP of Boston Scientific. But the real competition is between Biden and Dodd. Dodd has Edmund Kelly, CEO of Liberty Mutual, and Richard Syron, CEO of Freddie Mac. Biden counters with Charles Gifford, chairman emeritus of Bank of America, and Thomas May, president of NSTAR. But wait — NSTAR has fallen out of the Fortune 500, landing at number 569 on this year’s list.
Winner: Dodd

Election losers
No contest. Clinton’s contributors include losing candidates for governor (Steven Grossman, Shannon O’Brien), lieutenant governor (Deborah Goldberg), US congress (Marc Pacheco), and attorney general (Lois Pines).
Winner: Clinton

Gallery curators
Christine Kondoleon of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston contributed to Dodd. Ted Stebbins of Harvard’s Fogg Museum gave to Edwards. Abigail Goodman and Darren Foote of Newbury Street’s Rotenberg Gallery gave to Obama. The choice here may depend on your taste in art, but it’s hard to top the MFA.
Winner: Dodd

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