With a political arms race in full force, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) has raised almost $750,000 in less than 48 hours since his shout of "You lie!" to President Obama during the Wednesday address to Congress, almost matching the Internet-fueled haul of his likely Democratic opponent.
A senior GOP official said Wilson, who apologized to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel after the health-care speech but has since refused a more public apology, has turned his own previous sleepy campaign machine into an Web-friendly effort. Just as liberals have poured cash into the campaign of Rob Miller, who lost to Wilson by almost eight percentage points in 2008, conservatives are pouring contributions into Wilson's campaign at an astonishing rate.
Miller, a former Iraq war veteran, has raised more than $1 million for his 2010 rematch with Wilson, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Republicans expect Wilson to also top more than $1 million by Monday because of the immense publicity he's received in the last 48 hours. In the relatively inexpensive South Carolina district, which takes in the southern portion of the state, the two opponents will likely have their two-year budgets filled in less than a week, strategists say.
To put this fund-raising haul in perspective, Wilson, by early next week, could equal the total amount of money he raised in the entire two-year-election cycle of 2008, when he raised a little more than $1.1 million.
Miller, by contrast, raised just $390,000 in donations for the entire 2008 cycle and lent himself another $235,000 of his own money, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. So he's already doubled, in just two days, his total donations over a two-year period.....