Virtual Voices

Clinton short on cash

Campaign 2008

In what the Washington Post calls a "remarkable twist," Hillary Clinton announced that she loaned her own campaign $5 million in January. Her communications director, Howard Wolfson, confirmed the news yesterday, spinning the loan as an example of Clinton's "commitment to this effort and to ensuring that our campaign has the resources it needs to compete and win across this nation."

The loan is surprising considering the fact Clinton's campaign raised $115.7 million in one year, exceeding her own goal of $75 million. On January 9, Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe reported that the campaign had an excess of $25 million going into Super Tuesday.

The loan may project weakness at a time when Clinton and Barack Obama are neck-and-neck for the nomination and Obama is winning the race for cash. In January, Obama's campaign raised $32 million to Clinton's $13.5 million. Clinton sent out a plea to supporters this week, asking them to help her raise $3 million in 3 days. Obama's campaign raised $3 million in one day. There is also news that several of Clinton's senior staffers are going without pay for the month of February in a "show of solidarity," Wolfson said.

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Clinton has emphasized that the loan was her own money to avoid association with her husband Bill's shady financial dealings. Clinton's news comes after the New York Times reported that Bill Clinton's charitable foundation received a hefty donation from a mining financier who cut a lucrative mining deal after accompanying the former president on a visit to Kazakhstan.

It isn't the largest loan a candidate has made to his own campaign. In the last quarter, Mitt Romney loaned his campaign $18 million - twice the amount he raised from others - and spent $645,000 on each delegate. According to the New York Times, other candidates could get some tips on campaign spending from Mike Huckabee, who has stretched his scanty resources and spent the least ($45,000) per delegate. Clinton has spent twice that amount per delegate and Obama has spent even more -- $119,000.

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