The Lid: The Best Finds in New Campaign Finance Reports

How Much Do These Candidates Have In Their War Chests? 0:41

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…George Pataki currently has less than $14,000 cash on hand for his presidential campaign. Which is not great news for someone who wants to be leader of the free world, but is right on the money if you’re interested in buying a pre-owned Kia Sorento.

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What better way to spend Friday afternoon than digging through third quarter fundraising reports? By now, you’ve probably seen the headlines -- Clinton dominated the money race on the Democratic side, while Ben Carson blew away his rivals on the GOP side. But here are some more fun tidbits to impress strangers at happy hour, because everyone knows that’s how you make friends.

Making it Rain in Madison: The Wisconsin governor was not exactly a fiscal conservative when it came to paying his staff. Campaign manager Rick Wiley made almost $52,000 in three months. Three other staffers made salaries that, if paid out over an entire year, would have been above $200,000. For comparison, Marco Rubio spent $231,000 on his ENTIRE staff during the third quarter.

Best Day(s) Ever!: Remember how people were talking about how strong Carly Fiorina’s performance was during the first GOP debate? Well it translated into a nice chunk of change for the former H-P executive. She raked in $260,000 on Aug. 7, the day after the showdown in Cleveland. And the day after the second GOP debate (Sept. 17) she brought in $228,000. No one on the GOP side has done a better job translating debate performances into cash.

Home Field Advantage: The candidates struggling most to raise cash are most dependent to hit up those in their home states for funding. Bobby Jindal, for example, brought in more than $400,000 from Louisiana. The state he has raised the second most money from is Texas, where he received less than $14,000. Similarly, Martin O’Malley has raised just north of $400,000 in Maryland. The state in second place is California, where O’Malley has raised just over $82,000.

You Can Keep Your Hat On: The “Make America Great Again” hat is a hot accessory among many politico types. The most amazing line-item in his FEC report? The campaign spent $678,000 on hats and t-shirts -- more than some candidates spent on their entire campaigns.


  • Clinton aide Huma Abedin appeared before the Benghazi Select Committee on Friday, six days before Clinton’s highly anticipated hearing with the group.
  • One of the headlines from the latest NBC News online poll conducted by SurveyMonkey: 56 percent of those who responded to the poll said Hillary Clinton won the first Democratic presidential debate.
  • Headline two from the new online poll: White evangelical voters have helped Ben Carson edge closer to Donald Trump.
  • Democratic voters are largely unified on the most contentious issues, while the candidates show fissures.
  • And First Read this AM: The Bush- Rubio battle is getting nasty.


A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of New Hampshire shows Clinton with a slight lead over Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.

The New York Times looks at what this week was like for the low-polling candidates.

WALKER: His campaign spent more than $90,000 a day, the Washington Post found.

TRUMP: He noted in an interview with Bloomberg TV that Sept. 11 took place under President George W. Bush’s watch. On Twitter, Jeb Bush called it “pathetic.”


“Dude, you know, either drop out or do something, but we're paying you to do something, it ain't run for president.”

  • Jeb Bush Jr. on Marco Rubio’s missed votes in the Senate.


On Saturday, Hillary Clinton speaks to the Alabama Democratic conference. Carly Fiorina is in Iowa, while Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are in New Hampshire.

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum attend the North Texas presidential forum in Plano, Texas on Sunday.

Ted Cruz is Chuck Todd’s exclusive guest on “Meet The Press” on Sunday.