Tucked in the upper right corner of one of the leading Ron Paul discussion forums Monday was a message that may have seemed cryptic to an outsider. "Stand with Rand," it read, using a photo of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and the freshly minted logo for his 2016 campaign. "April 7th Money Bomb."
The idea of the "money bomb" in politics is generally associated with the elder Paul. In November 2007, supporters decided to make a splash of support for the former Texas representative by encouraging a swarm of donations to his presidential campaign within a 24-hour period. Keeping with the countercultural spirit of the then-young movement, they chose Guy Fawkes Day — and raised $4.2 million.
On Tuesday, to coincide with the launch of his campaign, Rand Paul had a big fundraising push, too. The amount he raised as the day progressed was displayed in very large numbers on his Web site, so we decided to track it and see how it was going. Every half hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., we went to the site and recorded the money he'd raised.
Paul raised about $228,000 over the course of that six-hour period, with fundraising taking a distinct upturn in the wake of his live-streamed campaign announcement.
You can see that more clearly if we just look at how much was raised in each 30-minute increment. The two largest were from 12:30 to 1 p.m. and from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
To put that into a more tangible metric, Paul's fundraising peaked at about $24 a second — about $86,000 per hour — right as he was finishing up his speech.
So how does that compare with his father's efforts? Ron Paul's most successful money bomb raised about $6 million dollars. If you look at the amount raised during those two efforts as a per-second average, Rand trails by a wide margin. And this is Rand Paul's highest period of fundraising versus Ron Paul's 24-hour average.
The day isn't over. In the half hour since we stopped looking at Paul's fundraising, we added another $30,000, his third-best 30 minutes of the day. He'll have a number of other media appearances over the next few hours, and the amount will continue to increase. In the 24 hours after his launch, Ted Cruz raised a reported $500,000. Paul should top that.
(Update: Later reports indicate that Cruz raised a million dollars. That's a higher bar for Paul.)
But the undisputed king of the political money bomb will remain Ron Paul — who, as of The Post's 2007 article about his Guy Fawkes money explosion, was still an unknown.