One reason it’s not Hillary: Debt load
posted at 11:50 am on August 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Hillary Clinton only scratched the surface of her massive debt in the two months following the suspension of her campaign. The debt, initally estimated at over $24 million, has decreased by only $1.2 million in the last ten weeks. Hillary backers blame Barack Obama for not making more of an effort:
Well over two months have passed since Hillary Clinton formally abandoned her White House bid, but newly-released Federal Election Commission reports show the New York senator has made little headway in paying off her sizeable campaign debt.
According to an FEC report filed Wednesday, Clinton’s debt as of the end of July stood at just under $24 million — a decrease of only $1.2 million since the end of June. More than $13 million of that total is owed to the New York senator herself, while close to $11 million is owed to individual vendors. Clinton has suggested she is not seeking to pay back the money she owes herself. …
“He has provided her with a pittance compared to what the Clintons have given Obama,” prominent Clinton backer Lynn Forrester told the Times of London. “Her debt could have been cleared within 10 days. It’s ungracious.”
Obama hasn’t the time to provide much assistance to Hillary on her debt. Right now, with the DNC doing such a poor job of raising money, Obama has to focus on his own fundraising just to keep up with the Republicans. With his reversal on public financing and his polling numbers falling all summer long, Obama can be forgiven for focusing on his own woes.
This is why it will be difficult, if not impossible, to add Hillary to the ticket. Obama may or may not be required to cover her debt by law, but practically speaking, he’d be stuck with her bills. Even if he didn’t cover Hillary’s $13 million in personal debt, which she says she’s not looking to recover, Obama couldn’t just tell vendors owed over $11 million to just “get over it”. Politically speaking, stiffing businesses for the bills owed for Democratic Party activities would be a gold mine for Republicans and John McCain. Nor does Obama have any great desire to pay Mark Penn’s bill, especially after the release of his memos.
Hillary will have to keep competing with Obama in paying her debts. Obama won’t be in any position to help her, even if he wanted to do so — which clearly he doesn’t.