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$30 MILLION FORBES SPENT NOT A TOTAL LOSS.

Byline: Farrell Kramer Associated Press

Steve Forbes spent about $170,000 a day on his presidential gambit, a sizable amount to sink into a losing cause regardless of his wealth.

But the $30 million burned over six months, worth roughly half the Forbes family's dozen Faberge Imperial Eggs, isn't viewed as ill-spent by the eldest son of the late Malcolm Forbes. On the contrary, the magazine publisher sees it as one of the biggest nest eggs of all time.

"Let me tell you I believe I made the best investment any of us can make," he said Thursday in bowing out of the race. "I tried to make my country a better, stronger and finer place."

As an investment, there's a case to be made that the money he spent, most of it his own, will work for him. For a man worth more than $400 million, it's not even an onerous amount, coming to less than 8 percent of his estimated stake in Forbes Inc.

In fact, Forbes spent roughly half of the more than $60 million that Texas businessman Ross Perot pitched in during his 1992 independent bid for the presidency.

"He is a big winner in terms of prestige and influence," said Larry Sabato, a professor of government at the University of Virginia. "He's a big winner in terms of political power and, lastly, he's going to be a big winner financially in the long run."

"This will probably help his magazine," Sabato continued, "and my guess is there's a book or two in the works."

The analyses of what Forbes got for his money have so far been strictly mathematical - 76 Republican delegates, working out to $395,000 each. But the gains also come in the personal, professional and political dividends that aren't so obvious.

Professionally, Forbes, editor in chief of Forbes magazine and chief executive of Forbes Inc., got exposure that any marketing executive would kill for. Frank Perdue, eat your heart out. During his campaign's height, Forbes' face was everywhere.

"This was pretty effective advertising," said John Ward, a professor at Loyola University Chicago, who specializes in family businesses. "It's one thing to have a piece of mail in a bundle of junk mail, it's another thing to be on the front page of a newspaper or the 10 o'clock news."

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Photo (color) Steve Forbes announces his withdrawal from the GOP presidential race this week. Associated Press
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 16, 1996
Words:406
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