One hopes Texas Governor George W. Bush will be a little more prudent if he ever gets his hands on the national purse-strings. Mr Bush has just US$6 million (HK$46.6 million) of a record-smashing US$70 million war-chest left in the bank with a full 10 months to go before the presidential election in November. It is one of the few things he has in common with Democrat rival Al Gore after the Super Tuesday primaries this week saw the pair confirmed as the final contenders. Mr Gore has just US$4 million left but he never had much to start with. A new bout of fund-raising is expected to swing into focus ahead of a race that could prove as grubby as it is drawn-out. It has already proved the most expensive election the world has seen and the spending has only just begun. Their financial plight points at another similarity between the two candidates, both third-generation sons of Washington insiders. Mr Gore and Mr Bush are both machine politicians, men given to style - and strategy - over substance. Mr Gore's advisers may be struggling to figure out how to play the Clinton card given the conflict between unparalleled economic growth and unparalleled moral weakness. But on the money front, the President is proving an ace-in-the-hole with Democratic faithful. The Washington Post this week reported President Bill Clinton had intensified his behind-the-scenes efforts to generate campaign contributions, with startling results. On one recent day in Florida alone, he pulled in more than US$1 million for the Democratic National Committee, packing in the pay-per-view political speeches and luncheons, sometimes up to four a day. 'The President is the single most effective fund-raiser we have,' one committee official said. Mr Clinton's new role is not, surprisingly, causing mutterings among Republicans. 'We are starting to wonder who is running the country,' one Republican strategist said. 'Al Gore is certainly not. He has given up any pretence of being a public official, apart from using the official plane.' Mr Gore has cunningly increased his official domestic travel plans for the next year as Vice-President, a fact Republicans may soon use against him in the tough months ahead. Mr Clinton's role is being matched by his predecessor, Mr Bush's father George. While Mr Bush Snr has limited public appearances at his son's side in order to help his troubled stature, he is understood to be working the Republican money phones. It fittingly points to one of the most intriguing battles of the months ahead - the fight between the legacy of Mr Clinton's leadership and the 'kinder, gentler America' Mr Bush Snr claimed to have created before recession helped push him from office.