In this series we are looking at some of the language and terminology associated with the US electoral process in the run-up to the Presidential election in November. This week’s word is war chest.
A candidate fighting an election in the US needs a great deal of money: it is estimated that the last presidential election campaign cost around $1 billion for each of the two main candidates. We have looked before at the ways in which this money is raised but this week I want to focus on the colourful term war chest, which is used to refer to the amount of money a candidate has available:
Mrs. Clinton will have a huge war chest for last-minute advertising and organizing at a time when she has regained her lead in public opinion polls.
Of the $64 million he raised with the Republican National Committee, some percentage will go into local and state races, rather than Trump’s war chest alone.
The term conjures up images of a large wooden chest bound with iron and spilling over with gold and possibly jewels, but it seems this image is inaccurate; according to the Oxford English Dictionary, its first use is attested as recently as 1901. However, this citation comes from a book about the Borgias, the colourful papal dynsasty of Renaissance Italy, which at least fits in with the idea of a chest overflowing with gold and jewels.Email this Post