Campaign 2008: How Big Money Picks a Winner

Here's some of the surprisingly fickle fancies of political financiers

Dave Wheeler for TIME

Illustration by Dave Wheeler

Former Senator Howard Baker once called Republican fund raiser Ted Welch "the No. 1 political fund raiser in all history." In late December, Welch signed up as Mitt Romney's national finance co-chair after one meeting. Welch admits he was also approached by the McCain campaign, but "I did not even think of them." Why? He says there was an "incident."

The incident involved Welch's longtime ally Lamar Alexander. To begin with, John McCain failed to support Alexander's November bid for Senate minority whip against Mississippi's Trent Lott. And then, Welch complains, McCain "went and convinced two other people to change their...

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