venerdì 10 aprile 2009


Hillary Clinton Tries, Again, to Retire Campaign Debt

By Al Kamen
You might have thought that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would have retired her nearly $6 million presidential campaign debt a long time ago.

Apparently not, judging from an e-mail sent out today by Hillary Clinton for President announcing a lottery -- only $5 a ticket -- and offering as prizes a day with Bill Clinton in New York (as part of "your own special New York City weekend"), a trip to the American Idol Finale in Los Angeles or a flight to Washington for you and a guest for a tour of the District with political operatives and commentators James Carville and Paul Begala.

Almost every dollar raised from the Carville-Begala pitch will go toward someone who those advisers had quite a stormy relationship with -- Mark Penn, the pollster-strategist who was ousted midway through the 2008 primary season.

According to year-end filings with the Federal Election Commission, Clinton's campaign had outstanding debts of $5,943,385. Of that total, Penn's firm was still owed $5,362,278 as of Dec. 31.

In the e-mail from Carville, he says that he "knew it was going to take an extraordinary effort to help pay off Hillary Clinton's campaign debt." Especially after the economy sank and the job situation turned dreary.

So the idea would be "to have some fun" while settling her debt, Carville says. "These amazing prizes are only being offered online and are available only for a limited time," he says, "so please don't delay in acting today."

Then you can "win one of three truly once in a lifetime opportunities." A day with Bill, a night at Americana Idol or, he says, you can "talk politics with me" -- and Begala.

And you can, of course, contribute more than the price of a ticket.