Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) is thinking about running for president (wink-wink-wink). And to that end, Bloomberg News reported Friday that he's set a ridiculously ambitious goal: $100 million in the first quarter of this year.
How ambitious is that? Jaw-droppingly. As in, aides-denying-it-to-other-reporters ambitious. It's a figure that has never been achieved -- even by an incumbent president -- in one quarter during the year before the election year. Much less the first quarter, when the field hasn't even shaped up yet.
According to FEC data, the 10 strongest fundraising quarters in the year before an election were as follows:
A goal of $100 million is nearly twice what another Bush -- guy name of George W. -- raised in 2003. And George W. was the sitting president! And that was six months closer to the election!
Now click the "2014 dollars" button, if you haven't already. Even when you look at the fundraising totals adjusted to current dollar amounts, Bush's reported/denied goal is still 50 percent higher than anything George W. ever raised.
And as that second chart shows, there's never been a fundraiser like George W. Bush -- at least in the year before an election. Adjusted for 2014 dollars, Bush holds the first four slots on the chart.
Jeb Bush's spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, talked to the Post's Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger. "Some very passionate GOP finance leaders who are supporting Governor Bush's political efforts offered up that number, and we are very flattered but our actual, more pragmatic fundraising goals are far more modest," Campbell said.
But if anyone can do it, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have the former president who beat his own fundraising record several times in your corner. Not to mention in your family.