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Thursday, May 8, 2008

“That’s not what people gave their money for.”

posted by on May 8 at 9:42 AM

Josh Marshal at TPM:

…one of the possibilities in the offing if Hillary Clinton quickly ends her presidential campaign is that the Obama campaign will not only retire the $10 to $15 million in unpaid campaign related expenses the Clinton campaign owes but will also help the Clinton campaign pay back to the Clintons personally the $11.4 million they have loaned to the campaign during the last three months.

Helping to retire an opponent’s campaign is not unprecedented and can sometimes be justified in the interests of party unity…. But using more than $10 million raised in large part by small individual donations to pay back the Clintons who appear to be worth many tens of millions of dollars simply seems wrong.

This isn’t meant to sound ungracious. I don’t begrudge the Clintons their very substantial wealth. And even for really, really rich people, $11 million isn’t nothing. But that is simply too much money raised from small givers to give to people who loaned it with full knowledge of the odds and have more than enough money to really know what to do with.

Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s even being suggested. It would be a mistake for the Clintons to ask (and just because people are chattering about it, don’t assume they have or will), a mistake for Obama to offer and one that would risk a severe backlash.

That’s not what people gave their money for.

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People gave their money so she could run McCain campaign attack ads against Obama ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 8, 2008 9:51 AM

So far I have given Obama just under $1000.00 for the Primary and am getting ready to give him more once he can take money for the general.

Frankly once I give the money to the candidate I do not care what they spend it on. I mean Obama could spend it on pussy and blow for all I care. So if paying off her debts is what it takes for her to keep from breaking the party I say do it. It puts Obama on the high road and makes Hillary out to be a beggar.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 8, 2008 9:52 AM

I don't want my donation to pay Clinton's debts. Sorry. I want it to go to crushing McCain's tiny, rock-hard balls into dust.

Posted by Fnarf | May 8, 2008 9:59 AM

The post is talking about Obama's money, Will.

Posted by w7ngman | May 8, 2008 10:00 AM

Hillary wants money from Obama?!?! She really is a Fucking Whore!!!

I told you all so!!! She is a fucking WHORE!!!

Posted by Randi Rhodes | May 8, 2008 10:05 AM

I've given money to Obama. I would be entirely happy if he used my funds to buy Hillary out of the race. It's probably more cost effective than running TV ads in upcoming primary states.

Heck, if Hillary started a "cover my debt and I'll leave" donation system on her website, I'd contribute to that. A few bucks is a small price to pay for getting that awful woman out of the spotlight.

Posted by also | May 8, 2008 10:06 AM

I don't agree with Marshall on this one. If paying Clinton's debts helps to get her out of the race, and gets Obama to the point where he and his team can concentrate on the general election, then I consider it money well spent.

I've given $ to Obama, and I approve of this tactic.

Posted by Gurldoggie | May 8, 2008 10:17 AM

He should just give the money to me instead.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | May 8, 2008 10:26 AM

So much for the new kind of inclusive politics, where even fellow democrats are regarded with complete disdain. These Obamaites are really something, paving new roads of selfishness and petty dismissiveness.
Aren't you outraising Rs like 3 to one? Don't you think you can easily afford this?

I doubt this thing is even for real, and I suspect H will help out O as much as he wants, against McCain, with our without the $$. But a little cash would be a nice gesture, since last I heard all Ds are in this together.

Posted by calvin | May 8, 2008 10:27 AM

This whole sorry situation reminds me of the shitty restaurant gypsy-violinist, who screeches in your fucking ear until you slip him a few bucks to go away.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | May 8, 2008 10:28 AM

@3 --- 6&7 get it.

the concept is that your O money is still going to get HRC out of the race so he can focus on crushing mccain's tempered balls.

he can spend it on continuing the in-fighting, spending on useless commercials and events in west virginia and kentucky while she nit-picks him with more desperate attacks, or he can spend it on ending this thing so he can finally focus on mccrusty.

the only reason HRC is continuing her campaing is to raise enough money to pay herself back (screw paying her donors back).

Posted by chops | May 8, 2008 10:30 AM

I have given a little to Obama. I was also planning to donate again after the primary.

If he gives millions of dollars to retire Hillary's campaign debts, he can kiss off any further donations from me.

It was her choice to risk her own millions on her bankrupt campaign. Not mine. It was her choice to spend more money than her supporters were willing to contribute. Not mine. I see no reason why my contributions should go to reward her for her bad choices.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | May 8, 2008 10:32 AM

#5, read the article. Thanks.

Posted by w7ngman | May 8, 2008 10:33 AM

@12 --

If you had to choose between increasing Obama's odds of winning in November, or of making sure that Clinton personally pays for her bad decisions, which would you pick?

'Cause it sure sounds like you're more interested in the latter. And both pragmatism and the good of the country speak for the former.

Posted by also | May 8, 2008 10:39 AM

#14, you're making a largely unproven assumption, which is that spending $20-$25 million to get Hillary to leave the race now increases his chances more than simply coasting through the rest of the primary season.

Posted by w7ngman | May 8, 2008 10:59 AM

"These Obamaites are really something, paving new roads of selfishness and petty dismissiveness. "

Amazing you can say that in the face of Hillary's consistent race-baiting.

Posted by AMB | May 8, 2008 11:18 AM

@9 by way of 16: There are a variety of opinions on this topic expressed by Obama supporters, most all of them thought out and defensible.

There's an argument to be made that Hillary does not deserve to be paid back with money given by Obama supporters because the loans she made to herself were reckless.

There's another that says that it would help up quit this primary bickering sooner.

There's no good argument that she is entitled to money people wouldn't give her. She may have to cut her losses.

Posted by V | May 8, 2008 11:28 AM

I agree with Fnarf @3.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 8, 2008 11:46 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with Josh M. I did not sent Obama a donation so that he could turn around and hand it over to Hillary Clinton so that she can "pay herself back" for the personal funds she used to keep her campaign afloat. If she's wealthy enough to "loan" herself several million dollars then she sure as heck doesn't need my piddly little donation.

Quite frankly, I'd rather see the money go to a charity than to see it go into the pockets of Hill & Bill once this fiasco of an election cycle is over.

Posted by Jonathon | May 8, 2008 12:37 PM

I agree with 12. This idea that Obama should “retire” the Clintons’ campaign debt is a really stupid idea that Barack should never agree to. This would be such misguided magnamity because…

1 - It betrays core American values like thrift, judgment, and personal responsibility by rewarding a campaign that spent heedlessly and was grossly mis/un-managed. The Clintons are extremely wealthy, and most Americans outside the Beltway already believe that the political class are way too entitled and divorced from reality. Nobody will step up and pay your mortgage if you take out too much on your home equity line of credit and can’t afford to cover your debt payments. Why should the Clintons get a better deal than most regular Americans? Plus, they can afford to pay their own way!

2 - If he ponies up he gets painted –justly so- as part of the Beltway insider culture for funding the Clintons’ golden parachute out of the Democratic primary challenges. This is not change. It is more of the same.

3 - He gets painted as weak for paying off a strong competitor to keep her from saying mean and hurtful things about him. If he can’t earn the Clintons’ respect without paying for their silent acquiescence, most Americans would conclude that he hasn’t earned the nomination so much as paid the opposition to quiet down. I wait for the debate where McCain chimes in that you can’t buy the cooperation of Iran or Al-Qaeda.

4 - The last thing the Obama donors want to see is their contributions go to the Clintons. I've given money to Obama and not to Clinton for a reason.

5 - You can’t trust the Clintons. They will say whatever they want, no matter how much campaign debt Obama covers. You are a fool if you think you can buy their silence/support/{insert any othe noun you fancy}

Whew - Done venting - now back to your regularly scheduled programming.....

Posted by jackseattle | May 8, 2008 12:42 PM

#20, good points, but I frankly don't see John McCain bringing up campaign finance in a debate without getting totally owned by his opponent.

Posted by w7ngman | May 8, 2008 1:29 PM

I've given to Obama. (What I could afford on a disability pension.)

And, unfortunately, I can see both sides of this arguement... (Damn that Obama - making us THINK!)

But mostly I agree with Fnarf.

While I struggle to make ends meet these days, Clinton has millions to loan herself. I didn't realize until then how much I resent rich people.

Oh, well - life has never been fair. And, ultimately, I'll be fine with whatever Obama decides.

As long as McCains balls get crushed to dust ;-))

Posted by Ayden/VA | May 8, 2008 2:23 PM

you're right on that one, especially cuz Cindy McCain repeatedly says she won't release her tax returns.

Posted by jackseattle | May 8, 2008 2:25 PM

Really? She says that? Oh, this is going to be a fun campaign. You CANNOT not release your tax returns, there's no freaking way you can possibly get away with that. When the focus comes off of Obama vs. Clinton, and starts showing McCain in better light, this campaign is going to be miraculous. Obama might win all 50 states.

Posted by Fnarf | May 8, 2008 4:33 PM

It's not just people chatting; it's being talked about all over MSNBC which is going to interfere w/Obama's ability to fundraise. We're not giving to benefit her. Please clarify whether or not funds given directly to Obama can be used to pay her debt! It's my understanding that this would violate laws governing campaigns.

Posted by Barbara | May 8, 2008 8:59 PM

The notion of paying off her debt is particularly distasteful in that she continues to spend $$$ she doesn't have to make him less electible.

Posted by Pro Obama | May 8, 2008 9:05 PM

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