2008 Clinton’s Money Problem in Washington
posted by July 11 at 17:23 PMon
If anyone out there was actually waiting with bated breath to see how I resolved my “Hillary” vs. “Sen. Clinton” vs. “Hillary Clinton” problem from yesterday, the answer is here, in my presidential election column for this week’s Stranger.
More interesting than the solution to yesterday’s problem, however, is something else that’s in the column, something I discovered about the fundraiser that Bill Clinton headlined for his wife in Seattle last month: The fundraiser failed to meet its target in a big way, yet another sign of Hillary Clinton’s trouble raising money in this state.
The Seattle fundraiser with Bill Clinton, held at the downtown Westin Hotel, was initially supposed to be a $500-a-plate affair. According to Susan Sheary, who chairs the King County Democrats and volunteered at the event, the price was subsequently dropped to $250 a plate—an indication that even the former president, who won this state by wide margins in both of his campaigns, was having a hard time drawing the desired crowd for Hillary Clinton.
Colby Underwood, the hotshot local Democratic fundraiser who was tapped by the Clinton campaign to pull off the event, said he could not comment on how much was raised. But Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, told me via e-mail that Bill Clinton’s appearance at the Westin raised $100,000—only half of what organizers hoped.
In Washington, it’s John Edwards and Barack Obama who are leading in the money contest:
The most recent figure available for Clinton’s total fundraising in Washington came at the end of the first fundraising quarter. She had only $89,000, compared to Obama’s $211,000 and Edwards’s $245,000, according to opensecrets.org.
What’s going on? Some theories, from Congressman Jay Inslee (who has endorsed Clinton) and King County Democrats Chair Susan Sheary (who hasn’t endorsed anyone yet) can be found in my column.