Obama to donors: Help Clinton

Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday asked his finance team to help Hillary Rodham Clinton pay off a debt of at least $10 million from her failed presidential campaign, setting the stage for joint appearances by the two former rivals later in the week.

In a teleconference with his top fundraisers Tuesday afternoon, Obama asked them to do what they could to help Clinton, according to two Democrats familiar with the call. A campaign spokesman confirmed that Obama had asked them to help the former first lady.

"Some of our donors have asked and Barack said if they have the ability to raise or give money to help on debt, we encourage them to do so," spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Obama’s green light to his money bundlers came two days before he and Clinton were scheduled to meet in Washington with some of her top fundraisers in a show of unity after their bruising contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. On Friday, the two planned to campaign together in New Hampshire.

Obama clinched the nomination earlier this month; Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him.

The former first lady reported a $22.5 million debt at the end of May, more than half of which was a personal loan to her presidential campaign. Clinton, in a call to her top fundraisers last week, said she would concentrate on paying off money owed to vendors, not her personal loans.

Obama’s finance team has expanded since he secured the nomination earlier this month, providing a broad base of potential assistance to Clinton. At least 200 fundraisers attended the campaign’s national finance meeting in Chicago last week. Scores were unable to attend, one participant said.

In urging his top fundraisers to help Clinton, Obama was counting on them to seek out their pool of donors to raise the money in large increments. Donors who have not contributed to Clinton’s campaign could give up to $2,300 to help her pay off her debts.

It remained to be seen whether Obama would make a similar appeal to his Internet donors, a vast network of small-dollar contributors who helped Obama shatter fundraising records during the primary contests. As of the end of May, Obama had raised more than $287 million.

Clinton donors had been making a clear case to Obama that he needed to use his fundraising resources to help her get out of the red. Her national finance co-chair, Hassan Nemazee, told The Associated Press last week that Clinton would be freer to campaign for Obama and raise money for him if she did not have to concentrate on retiring her debt.

Moreover, Nemazee said, it would be easier for Clinton fundraisers who wanted to help Obama to be able to tell former Clinton donors, "Look what Senator Obama has done for Senator Clinton."

At least one Obama supporter said that message was heard, prompting Obama’s entreaty to his finance team on Tuesday.


  1. woody188

    She has a net worth of $34.9 million. Liquidate her assets. She needs to pay her debts like any of us. If she couldn’t afford it, she shouldn’t have spent it. We must wonder how well she would have handled the economy and the budget since she can’t handle her own finances. People are unable to afford food and gas and this rich b*tch wants people to pay her debts for her. New Yorkers should throw this rich panhandler out next election. DISGUSTING!

  2. Dogma

    I want my money going toward the general election and getting Obama in the White House. Since billary ran a lousy campaign, hurt Obama by attacking him, didn’t know when to quit and continued to accumulate debt, didn’t concede when she should have, and has not released her delegates, I say she is on her own to pay off her debts or absorb all loses herself. She made her bed, now she must lay in it like any of us would have had to do. She continues to email people thanking them for their support in order to tack on her little red “contribute” button. Why spend money on a lost cause??? “Disgusting” is right on!

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Screw Hillary Mr. Obama, you don’t owe her a thing. She is a Cancer Polyp attached to your intestinal lining…get a Clintonectomy and get it removed, put it in a jar of formaldehyde.

  4. Carl Nemo

    Hi Klaus H.,

    Re: Obama

    “She is a Cancer Polyp attached to your intestinal lining…get a Clintonectomy and get it removed, put it in a jar of formaldehyde.”…extract from commentary

    :))))… to the 100th power good buddy!

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. ridingchick

    Klaus Hergeschimmer, Carl Nemo and Dogma,

    I agree with you 100%. Let the witch pay her own bills. She had an opportunity to get out of the race long ago…But…NOO…She consistently stated, she is fighting for the so called working class. I say, let the Witch pay for her own arrogance!

    That will teach her!

    Obama ’08