Sunday, March 30, 2008

Counting out the money

By Libby Spencer

Remember when money counted as a barometer of viability in a campaign? I suppose McCain laid that metric to rest with his comeback but nonetheless, this can't be a good sign for Hillary. I would preface these figures with the caveat that they come from the Politico, so I'm not vouching for their reliability but if they're true...

The rest can only be spent in the general election, if she makes it that far, and must be returned if she doesn’t. If she had paid off the $8.7 million in unpaid bills she reported as debt and had not loaned her campaign $5 million, the cash she would have had available at the end of last month to spend on television ads and other up-front expenses would have been less than $2 million.

By contrast, if you subtract Obama’s $625,000 in debts and his general election-only money from his total cash on hand at the end of last month, he’d still be left with $31 million.

What has been reported widely enough to believe is that the Clinton campaign has stiffed small vendors all the way back to Iowa, while Politico reports she allegedly has paid off one big company that has the ability to stage events nationally. In terms of keeping her candidacy alive, this makes sense. In terms of demonstrating fiscal responsibility, not so much. And no matter how you slice it, I'd say the figures argue for Obama's greater support among the voters who are engaged enough in the process to contribute to the campaigns. Surely they will turn out to vote in November.

Meanwhile, the GOP's faithful are more than happy to see this go on forever. The WaPo asks "what's the hurry" in an editorial. The Bush administration's biggest media cheerleader thinks it would be just great for the Democrats to keep this up right through August, assuming the candidates will discuss the issues instead of tearing each other apart. I do too, if they would run against McCain instead of each other, but the commenters to my other post on this aren't buying into the idea that there's a unity pony under all the shit that has been slung so far in this contest. Can't say I blame them.

Even more telling, prime neo-nut and former chief Clinton basher Richard M. Scaife reassessed his opinion of Hillary and now finds it's a very favorable one indeed. I think we can guess who the GOP really want to run against in November. I suppose you can't blame them. They have 15 years worth of oppo already in the can against Hillary. They would have to work a lot harder to trash Obama and I don't think anyone believes that no matter who the nominee is, that we'll continue to see this great equanimity coming from these quarters once we have one.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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