/*Senator John McCain*/ will first off with a roundtable discussion in Union City, followed by a fundraising luncheon in /*Atherton*/. The South Bay is where he'll tap into what valley insiders call the ATM for the /*Republican Party*/.
John McCain arrived in California with a plan to raise money. That will bring the Arizona senator to Atherton Thursday and to the home of former eBay /*CEO Meg Whitman*/.
"This fundraiser serves two purposes. One is to raise money and the other is to see just how much money is out there for him," said Bill Whalen, a former Republican strategist.
McCain needs as much money as possible. Right now, his campaign dollars fall way short of the other two presidential candidates, Hillary and Obama.
Barak Obama has $31 million, Clinton has $22 million, and McCain has raised $18 million.
"McCain institutionally has not been a great fundraiser so he has to all of a sudden become a very muscular good fundraiser," said Whalen.
And that, according to former Republican strategist, Whalen, is where the backing of some Silicon Valley power houses can help.
"I think there's a lot of support here in California for McCain for a lot of reasons," said Paul Nyberg, a SPARC board member.
Nyberg is a member of the South Penninsula Area Republican Coalition and he's attending Thursday's fundraiser. For $2,300 a plate, Nyberg hopes McCain will answer some key questions his group has.
"He needs to turn them on to why he needs the money, why the money should come in, and what he's going to do elsewhere to raise more money. And the second thing will be, at what point will he announce his number two guy?" said Nyberg.
This weekend McCain is expected to meet with Governors Charlie Crist from Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisianna, and former rival Mitt Romney. McCain admitted weeks ago to having a list of potential running mates.
"I suspect he'll have more meetings like this. Why? John McCain wants to stay in the news," said Whalen.
Floating names keeps the rumor mill churning and McCain in the public eye. A place McCain needs to stay in, until November.
McCain's Atherton fundraiser should pull in quite a bit. The tickets range from $2,300 to $100,000. After Atherton, he'll head to Stockton for a rally.