Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Should Obama Help That Woman Pay Off Her Debt?

As I've said here before, the Obama campaign is the first I've ever given more than just a vote to. I'm taken days off work to volunteer, blogged about the campaign incessantly, and of course, given money to support it financially. So I feel like I've got some roundabout skin in the game.

So, while I understand that it's generally "good politics" to help your party opponents pay down their campaign debt, something about the whole prospect of money that I donate to the Obama campaign somehow ending up in That Woman's coffers makes me queasy.

Hillary Clinton is out of the race for president, but she’s not out of the red. Far from it. In fact, it’s believed Clinton has the largest presidential campaign debt in history. Recent filings show Senator Clinton loaned her campaign $11.4 million of her own money, and she also owes vendors about $9.5 million. That’s at least $20 million.

Other wealthier candidates, like Mitt Romney, have loaned themselves more money… but they don’t always plan on getting it back. Clinton also has to deal with both the personal loan and the unpaid bills. One campaign finance lawyer tells the New York Times that Clinton’s debt is “unprecedented.” Other candidates who have lost have owed less than half the amount she owes to businesses.

So what exactly are Clinton’s options? The good news for her is her campaign says it’s raised about $1 million since the final primaries last week. That suggests some supporters may be committed enough to help out with her bills.

The other possibility floated around is for Barack Obama to pitch in. Although campaign finance laws prohibit him from transferring money from his campaign to hers… his campaign could ask supporters to chip in or he could hold fund-raisers on her behalf.

But not everyone is sure this is the way to go. Some Obama fund-raisers say it will be tough to help out Clinton because they’re already raising money for Obama and for the DNC. Others say the tensions from the primary race could make it more difficult. But if Obama does help Clinton, it could go a long way toward getting her – and her supporters – on board his run for president.
I personally won't be giving any more money to the Obama campaign until this one's decided for sure. While I'm certainly down for supporting it my candidate of choice, I'm not about to give my hard earned ducats to That Woman, especially given the fact that she loaned a good fraction of that debt to her own campaign, long after it was logically possible for her to win.

I certainly understand those who say this would be a goodwill gesture from Barry to That Woman's supporters, but keep me out of it. Reality is, she dug this hole herself by running a frontloaded campaign that burned through cash in anticipation of a Super Tuesday knockout. And nobody should be responsible for repaying the money she lent herself. Do I want to support Obama? Sure. Do I want to reward someone's bad decisions and egotism with money that would be better used to fund my son's 529 plan? Uhmm, not so much.

Maybe they'll announce some sorta funding options where you can specify exactly where your donations go. Sorta like in church where you can check a certain box for your money to go to tithes or that nebulous "building fund". We shall see, but the Barry 4 Prez movement shouldn't expect a red cent from me until this it resolved.

Question: Do you feel the Obama campaign should feel obligated to help That Woman retire her campaign debt? Have you given money to any campaign this year?

Should Obama help Clinton pay off her debt? [CNN]

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