Thursday, February 07, 2008


The Lady Stumbles

After winning the most states Tuesday -- and effectively tying Hillary Rodham Clinton for the delegate lead -- Barack Obama has raised more than $7 million -- to go with the $32 million haul he made in January (in most years, $32 million would be a fantastic quarter).

Clinton, meanwhile, is stuck loaning herself $5 million. But, as Ed Morrissey wonders,
is it her own money?

The massive loan may not seem unusual given Mitt Romney's self-funding, but Mitt has plenty of his own money. Where did Hillary get $5 million to loan a presidential campaign? Bill and Hillary have done well on the speaking circuit, and Bill recently got $20 million or so for backing out of his partnership from Ron Burkle. At the time, speculation had Bill wanting to eliminate any potential conflicts between Burkle's business and Hillary's election.

Now, however, one has to wonder whether Burkle may have attempted to float money into Hillary's campaign while bypassing campaign-finance regulations. Did the $20 million, which came just two weeks ago, actually represent a fair-market settlement for Clinton's services and ownership stake in Yucaipa? Or did Burkle inflate it in order to allow Hillary to "loan" herself $5 million to keep pace with a surging Obama campaign?
Given that all sorts of candidates -- from John Kerry to Mitt Romney to John McCain -- have loaned themselves money at difficult points in their campaigns, this shouldn't necessarily raise suspicion. Except that this is the Clintons -- and money/fundraising always is "different" for them.

A far darker cloud though hovers -- several
top Clinton staffers are going without pay for a month. When this happened to the Giuliani campaign one month ago, it signalled the beginning of the end.

Hillary Clinton couldn't be in quite that bad shape -- could she?

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