When it comes to the 2008 presidential campaign, there's no question that money is important—both to the candidates and the voters. What role does money play in a candidate's bid for the White House? After the elections, how will presidential policies affect citizens financially? Jean talks with Jonathan Alter, a columnist and senior editor for Newsweek magazine, about ways money factors into politics.
To run a successful campaign, Jonathan says "money is extraordinarily important." Candidates need to have enough money to get themselves and their messages around the country. But money isn't all that matters, he says, citing candidates in the current race who have raised substantial funds but still dropped out of the race. "Overall [money] is not the determining factor—it's [the] message," Jonathan says. "If you have the right message and enough momentum, then the money follows the momentum."
While different candidates are running on different economic platforms, Jonathan says voters should keep in mind that it's not so much the policy that matters once a candidate is elected—it's whether that candidate can effectively implement their policy by working across party lines. "It's really more about who can get things done," he says.