The Difference in Donors

10/03/2008 11:53 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It became clear to me this morning, clearer than ever, what the economy says about the McCain/Palin ticket and what the McCain/Palin ticket says to the economy.

I received word that Governor Palin will soon visit my neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA for a fundraiser to be held at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. I was struck when I saw that the event is open - that anyone can buy a ticket. Allegheny County's own Republican Chairman, Jim Roddey, announced that the tickets have officially gone on sale for this event at $1,000/person, $10,000 for a photo with Palin, and $25,000 for what they are calling a "roundtable" with the Alaska governor.

Marveling at the cost, I started to search a little bit to see what each Party expects from their donors. The easiest to find, and the one that made me laugh the loudest, showed that Obama understands who butters his bread and how Americans are living these days.

A quick visit to the McCain/Palin website shows that their online credit card donations begin at $25. Not a huge sum, granted. But a visit to the Obama/Biden website shows their suggested minimum contribution at just $15. The Obama campaign seems to realize that the "average" American is a tad more comfortable with ten more bucks in his or her pocket.

I was still curious, so I dig around to find what high-ticket events the Obama campaign must be staging in order to keep up with the lofty price of this Palin extravaganza. Lo and behold, I found a Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen concert on October 16 where tix are priced at $500 for balcony seats up to $2,500 for "lounge area seating," and a recent "Rock Legends" concert where tickets went for just $50 at Penn State.

Is it just me, or does a $10,000 photo-op seem a bit steep to the American middle class as opposed to a $50 evening of music and energy dedicated to a campaign and its goals? Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of pricey Biden events that folks can attend. It's just that I had so much trouble finding McCain/Palin events for under a grand that I wonder if either of them really understand what "Joe six pack" has to spend his money on today.