The Hill's frontpage article today sniffs around the fundraising activities of top Republican presidential contenders and finds them cleaning up among the "glitterati" on the K Street lobbying corridor, who are more than happy to trade a bundle of checks now for a bundle of favors later. I wouldn't call them the glitterati though (this is Washington "Hollywood for Ugly People" DC after all). Maybe "donorati"?
John McCain, Rudy Guiliani, and Mitt Romney are each chasing support from the super-lobbyists who can not only max out their own giving, but sign on as bundlers to leverage gifts from their associates and friends, and direct political action committee money. Under our current system, money equals viability as a candidate so the more big money support a candidate has early on, the louder the drumbeat will get in support of his chances in the primary. Talking to voters is something for later, once the checks have been cashed. I can't imagine the candidates want to spend all their campaign time raising money, but with nearly everyone opting out of the presidential public financing system what choice do they have?