Jillian Bandes
Obama raised an eye-popping $745 million and John McCain raised $368 million. If you count third-party spending, the total was well over $1 billion. But the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza raises the possibility of a re-election campaign costing Obama a billion dollars, all by himself...
...Obama became the first person to opt out of public financing for the general election since the adoption of the current campaign finance system in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

Obama's decision - announced in June 2008 to much fanfare - proved close to decisive as his massive fundraising over the last five months of the campaign allowed him to overwhelm McCain on television in every swing state.

Given Obama's success after forgoing public financing in the 2008 general-election campaign, it's a virtual certainty that neither the president nor the Republican nominee will participate in that system for the 2012 general election.
Due to the increased visibility of Obama's presidency and heightened Republican activism, the possibility of Obama's campaign getting to $1 billion seems increasingly likely.

Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com