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Web Special | Clintons’ battle a multi-million dollar campaign debt

Web Special | Clintons’ battle a multi-million dollar campaign debt
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First Published: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 07 PM IST

Updated: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 07 PM IST
Boston: She created waves during husband Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign over a decade ago, with an audacious “two for the price of one” pledge and now, the former President is returning the favour, offering himself as bonus prize to the one lucky donor to Hillary’s campaign, who will get to spend time with the duo at the democratic national convention coming up next Monday at Denver. The former first couple “will have some fun” with the donor at the convention which is expected to be attended by 75,000 people.
While Sen Clinton’s rival Barack Obama walks away with the democratic party’s presidential nomination, Clinton herself is left holding a $20 million plus campaign debt, which she is now struggling to pay off. But that is not all.
Bill to Hillary’s rescue
Clinton, who drew media flak for his many commissions and omissions during Hillary’s historic but abortive Presidential campaign which ended last month with party colleague Barack Obama bagging the nomination, is now pulling out all stops to ensure that the convention goes off smoothly, for Hillary and for the party.
“There is nothing like seeing for the first time so many people in one place working toward one common purpose: electing the next Democratic president”, Clinton writes on Hillary’s website, urging donors to make a contribution to her fund by midnight on Monday.” I know you’ve always been there for Hillary and she needs you now as she works to pay the small vendors who helped us during the campaign”, the former President writes. In return, one lucky donor gets a ringside view of the convention, with Hillary promising great seats to watch her speech and her company. “And I hear Hillary and you will have a chat. I’ll make sure to stop by”, he continues.
While chances of her being offered the vice-presidential ticket by Obama is now almost nil, Hillary will address delegates in a speech which is widely expected to create a different kind of history on 26August, the 88th anniversary of the day women earned the right to vote. Clinton himself is also one of the speakers at the democratic party’s show of strength.
Multi-million dollar campaign debt
Left holding a multi-million dollar campaign debt , the Clinton’s are now in the midst of a massive effort to pay it off. Last month Hillary Clinton invited contributions to her fund, with one lucky winner getting the chance to have a dinner under the stars in the Clinton’s home in Washington.
Earlier this week Tacoma resident Leslie (second name not revelead by Clinton) proved to be the lucky one who will soon join the senator for a summer time dinner with her. The Clinton’s have also found a helping hand in the Obama campaign with the Illinois senator and presidential candidate calling on his supporters to help Clinton pay off her campaign debt.
While both camps have remained silent on the extent to which Obama’s call has resulted in money flowing into the latter’s fund, the media has been buzzing with reports of a large portion of Clinton’s 18 million supporter base angry at how little has been done to help her repay her debts.
At some point in the last few days, there has even been speculation that the resentment would translate into the supporters voting Republican in the November elections. With Hillary now putting her weight behind Obama’s campaign, that spectre seems to have to now have been eliminated.
Fund raising tough for Obama too
Meanwhile, fund raising is proving to be an uphill task for Barack Obama too. While his campaign created history last week by notching up a record two million individual donors as opposed to rival John McCaine’s 600,000 voters, his July fund raising dropped slightly from the $52 million in June to $51 million in July.
Obama supporters are now getting emails from the presidential candidate, inviting them to donate in return for a chance to meet him backstage before the historic democratic convention when he accepts the nomination to be the country’s first black President. Obama’s election campaign has raised a whopping $390 million till date.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 07 PM IST