$6.5 million sign of the times

Romney's folks claim to have raised $6.5 million in donations and pledges at today's celebrity dialing-for-dollars event, and while there are some caveats yet to be sorted through, it is undoubtedly an impressive day's work.

It's also a good sign to the rest of the GOP field about the betting limits at the big boys' table for the '08 nomination. The last time the Republicans went through this, it took John McCain until around August to reach $6.5 million in contributions; he raised just $13.6 million that entire year (1999), and was right in the game when the caucuses and primaries began in early 2000. Elizabeth Dole, another major candidate that year, raised just $5.1 million in 1999.

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