Money. It's something the Heritage Foundation has in abundance these days. It has so much, in fact, that the conservative think tank's president, Edwin Feulner, could not resist carrying the amount - written on the back of a business card - tucked in his pocket Wednesday night at its 25th Anniversary Leadership for America Finale Dinner, so named to mark the end of a two-year fund-raising campaign.
"Did you get that?" he asked a passing reporter at the JW Marriott hotel, pulling out the card and displaying it next to a gigantic grin. One hundred million, nine hundred and fifty seven thousand, three hundred and seventy two dollars, it read.
Yes, that's $100,957,372 - the result of a campaign during which organizers hoped to raise a mere $85 million. It was kicked off two years ago with a massive dinner at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Northwest featuring former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain as the guest speaker.
At that dinner, it fell to soft-spoken Heritage Foundation Chairman David Brown to bring up the sticky topic of soliciting funding for the organization. He recalled the occasion Wednesday night.
"Two years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of talking about money, and tonight Ed Meese gets to talk about money when it's all a big success," Mr. Brown said with a sardonic smile, referring to the evening's master of ceremonies. "What have I done wrong, Ed?"
Apparently nothing, Mr. Brown. After the subject was broached, the funds began to pour in. Nineteen foundations or individuals gave at least $1 million, including the Sarah Scaife Foundation (represented Wednesday by Jay Gartland); the John M. Olin Foundation; B. Kenneth Simon of Pittsburgh, Pa. …