Question and answer time: The Great Obama Clinton Debt Bailout of 2008

Again, I'm not going to call it a Guide to the Perplexed.

By Moe Lane Posted in | | | Comments (38) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Q. So, what's going on?
A. Senator Obama is going to ask his donors to help retire Senator Clinton's debt.

Q. Well, isn't that nice of him?
A. Not especially, no.

Q. Do you mean that it's mean of him?
A. No, I mean that it's pretty much required of him.

Q. Required? Do you mean, legally?
A. Nope. He's under no contractual obligation at all. Although he'd prefer to be.

Q. Why?
A. You can go to court sometimes and break a contract. Obama's merely over a barrel.

Read on.

Q. Can we start from the beginning?
A. Sure. It all started when the super-delegates decided to give Obama the nomination -

Q. Didn't he win the nomination?
A. Not in the same way that McCain did, no. Neither Obama nor Clinton gained enough pledged delegates to win the election outright on the first ballot; the former is the assumed nominee solely because enough super-delegates have publicly supported him that he will win on the first ballot - assuming of course that none of them defect.

Q. Why does that matter?
A. Because nothing is in place to stop them from defecting - and if Obama craters in the next three months, they'll drop him like a hot potato.

Q. Would they really dare do that?
A. Check in with former NJ Senator Torricelli and current NJ Senator Lautenberg, then get back to me.

Q. OK, so why is this factoid important?
A. Because it means that, until the nomination process is over, Obama needs Clinton more than Clinton needs Obama. Hence the debt relief.

Q. Doesn't she need him more, seeing as she's the one in debt?
A. Actually, no: half of Senator Clinton's debt is self-owed - that is, she owes herself the money. The rest she could probably cover on her own.

Q. So why doesn't she?
A. Because she can get Senator Obama to do it for her.

Q. So why should he?
A. Because of her donor list.

Q. Her donor list?
A. Yup. There are a lot of people who gave her money in the primary that didn't give any to Senator Obama. He badly needs those people to give him money, too. But until her debt is gone, she has first crack at those people - and a legitimate reason not to muddy the waters by giving him the list.

Q. Hold on. Obama's a fantastic fundraiser, right? Why does he need these people?
A. Because his fundraising numbers have been dropping since February 2008. That month, he raised $55 million; in May of 2008 he raised $22.889 million. That was only half a million more than John McCain raised in May, and Obama's cash on hand is actually less than McCain's when you take out the $10 million that he has dedicated for the general election. McCain, of course, is taking public financing for that, so Obama really needs some good months, and quickly. Having the Clintons will help, particularly when it comes to the DNC problem...

Q. The DNC problem?
A. Yeah, I guess that was a leading statement. It's like this: if you look at the total numbers, you'll see that the GOP is currently about $6 million down on cash-on-hand. However, when it comes to the RNC versus the DNC, the former has about $50 million more on hand to spend - and I've spoken with the deputy chair of the RNC: they consider their highest priority to be the Presidential election. For that matter, the DNC is currently facing an outright embarrassment with their convention in Denver: they've missed multiple deadlines in arranging for funding, and are likely to have to either cut back significantly, or go significantly in debt, unless Obama can funnel them the cash.

Q. Wasn't there an article about Obama hitting $100 million in June?
A. You mean this piece of political erotica? Let me put it this way: we are 80% of the way through June, which means that if Barack Obama was on track for that prediction to come true he would have raised $80 million dollars by now. If he had done that, the Obama campaign would have paid to have that fact written on the moon. He will almost certainly do better this month than he did in May, and his cash on hand will improve, thanks to the end of the primary season. But this month's expectations are far too high, for far too many people. The sooner that Obama can start mining Clinton's supporters for cash, the less embarrassing it's going to be for him when this comes out.

Q. So he needs her donor list?
A. So he needs her donor list. Which she seems reluctant to give out, until her debt's repaired.

Q. And to repair her debt...
A. He needs to go to his big-money donors. If he pays it out of his cash on hand, he weakens himself, just in time for the June reckoning; if he makes the request of his small donors - most of whom have not maxed out their contributions - he risks them deciding that once they've paid for Clinton they no longer need to give. Hey, they passed up that vacation, right? How much did the Democrats expect them to sacrifice, anyway? Clinton's big-money donors have all already maxed out themselves, and besides, they're now waiting for Obama to offer them favors, not be asked for them in return. All of this leaves his strongest big money supporters, most of whom haven't maxed out for Clinton. Amusingly, most of them don't want to max out for Clinton.

Q. Why?
A. Because they despise her. Until the defections started, anybody who was ready to buck the trend and back the underdog against the frontrunner was probably doing it because they really hated Hillary Clinton. This should be their moment - except that now they're expected to have to pay down her debt. It's quite droll.

Q. So, what happens now?
A. At a guess? Obama pushes his big-money donors for donations to Hillary. In exchange, Hillary and her husband make a carefully-calculated amount of stumping for Obama. Once her debt goes away, she'll have no excuse for not making her donor list available, so she'll release it to the Obama campaign. The entire process will go more slowly than expected, so Obama will probably have to balloon payment the remaining at some point. That'll cut into his cash-on-hand, so he'll have to start seriously shaking his small-money donors for the necessary funds to make up for the shortfall.


Alternatively, she releases the damn thing tomorrow to him and I look like an idiot. This primary has been like that.

Q. Um, don't you mean the election?
A. Nope.

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Question and answer time: The Great Obama Clinton Debt Bailout of 2008 38 Comments (0 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

The free exchange of ideas inevitably yields both heat and light.

Aren't you really saying that Obama needs his maxed out contributors to give to Clinton, so she will give him her list and he can tap into those maxed out to her, but not to him?

Since everyone has that $2300 limit applied, he is really trying to get her bundlers that know people that contributed to Clinton, but not Obama?

Do I sort of get it?

"If they were merely incompetent, then at least SOME of their actions would have been to the benefit of the country."

He needs his bundlers to put the money together to retire her debt, yes (at least a large portion of it). Clinton's bundlers will be useful, but they will have price tags attached (not money; access). What he really wants is her small-donor list.

It's like this: Obama claims 1.5 million donors so far, right? They haven't all maxed out; in fact, most of them haven't. If they had, his total fundraising would have been 3.45 billion dollars. What's happened is that a lot of them are one-time contributors, a whole other bunch are regular contributors who toss in $20/month or something, and a hard core of max donors. Hillary's list is going to have the same breakdown.

Now, the hard core already switched over, or have no intention of doing so. The one-timers are much better prospects, but you'll get most of them in one sweep. It's the 20-buck or 50-buck a month types that are the real prize: they're paying it out already, so all you need to do is convince them to switch the name.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Thanks for the explanation!

"If they were merely incompetent, then at least SOME of their actions would have been to the benefit of the country."

are against site policy.
cluster@#%! is the direction I was headed
Well done Moe

Now also found at The Minority Report

...unless I'm mistaken Obama legally CANNOT pay Hillary off with his "on hand" cash.

Otherwise, yeah. I think Obama, if he dips in the polls, will be able to up his fundraising total, but it's absolutely true that Excel databases are basically the currency of fundraisers everywhere and surely he wants Clinton's.

Right now, to be truthful, to have the "he's raised so much money he should be doing better!" card off the table is a little bit of a relief. I hope the current funds/polls ratio continues.

New: (-1.50, -5.33) campaign finance law, I can't speak to the legality. But there's always a way to get the money from Point A to Point B.

But that's a whole different post. One that will probably wait until after the election. :)

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

...after the election no one in the DOJ will see it in their best interest to look into it, right?

New: (-1.50, -5.33)

My general observations on this entire tangled mess. :)

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

...please tell me you've made this sort of astoundingly unfortunate post impossible.

New: (-1.50, -5.33)

for the optional electric collar package.

...if I have to pay for the collar, no deal.

That said, the electric collar package is going to be optional? I am disappointed in the law and order credentials on display here.

New: (-1.50, -5.33)

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

...and so I believe Liberals will be successful in giving the admins the electric collars instead, and they'll be shocked any time they fail to prevent commenters from screwing up.

You see how it's done.

New: (-1.50, -5.33)

*Really shouldn't needle them they never take it the right way.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Some of us wanted the collars to inject small doses of cyanide rather than provide a puny electric shock.

Others? Well, I never really understood the Huckabee phenomenon.


Huckabee is just the logical consequence of compassionate conservatism dating Jenny Craig.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

"All that need be done for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

It does lack an important option for some of those questions: "I don't know"
There just isn't enough (or any) data assembled to be sure of an answer for a couple of the questions...

"Always be honest with yourself. Even if you are honest with no one else."

Upsetting your prediction n/t

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I just can't find the words to express it better than you have here, Moe. It's a beautiful thing to watch forgivness and redemption work so plainly.

The free exchange of ideas inevitably yields both heat and light.

...and forgiveness here is a commodity not a moral precept, so free market principles apply. Supply and demand!

New: (-1.50, -5.33) you can plainly see here my tactic to destroy RedState and the entire conservative movement -- the parts I disagree with, anyway -- is not to argue y'all to death, or win any of those arguments, but to destroy the textual fabric of your comment threads.

I only regret having my plan outed before the election!

New: (-1.50, -5.33)

The Jewish Suicide Squad might come and commit suicide at your doorstep...

(I think I got the name right. Been a while since I saw Life of Brian...)

"Always be honest with yourself. Even if you are honest with no one else."

you think Hillary will release the pledged delegates with the donor list, or just let Barry think that she will?

The free exchange of ideas inevitably yields both heat and light.

Their donor list will be just like all the information that Bill promised to release when a Special Prosecutor was named for Whitewater: "More rather less; sooner rather than later."

Let's ask Ken Starr how that really went.

Fortuna Favet Fortibus

now than through the first half of the year. That is going to affect the donations from regular folks. In comes the families of the greenies and the left wing elite stuffed shirt union heads. I think Obama has all the donors he's going to get(some of Hillarys ) and the younger ones don't give money just lip.

On the other hand McCain has the base yet to be heard from. Me for one. I'll vote for him but he has to earn my money.

If Obamessiah weren't so frightening, I could truly enjoy this election! Never in my lifetime have I seen anything like this!!! "Primary!!!" LOL! Have some popcorn!!!

I'm amazed that you guys think HRC and BHO are indulging in a false show of unity, for non eleomosenary purposes. If they don't watch out, they'll become capitalist pigs.

'Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a
delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted
by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds
forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick
up a turd by the clean end.'

I'm a die-hard liberal that finds the Republican Party despicable and most of its supporters to be either amoral sociopaths (most of this website) or toothless ignoramuses...

but that said, this is the best analysis of the Clinton debt situation I've read on the Internets yet. Clinton isn't the only person in politics to pull this kind of act, but the amount of debt (mostly hers) she got the campaign in and the level of noise she's making to fundraise for it after she LOST and her own party has a nominee is just record-setting. Why on EARTH would any ordinary person, with their own debts and difficulties, donate money to essentially give to Hillary Clinton's bank account? Well, if you look at her website it would seem that at least half of them think she'll still campaign. I don't see the word "debt" anywhere near those huge "CONTRIBUTE" buttons urging people to "SHOW YOUR SUPPORT."

I supported Clinton for the Senate (but NOT the presidency), where I think she's done a pretty decent job, but if she had any decency, honesty, or class, she would just forgive her own loans and pay off her creditors herself. She can certainly afford it. At the very least, she would forgive her loan and only ask some of her fat-cat friends to help her out with the rest.

I've contacted my legislators urging them to ban the practice of candidates loaning their campaigns money--they should only be allowed to donate, it's common sense and otherwise they are ripping off the public and their bona fide creditors. I'd like to see the Redstate people do the same and try to get a bipartisan bill going to do this.

Unfortunately I don't see it happening. Politicians want to look after politicians first and foremost.

I wear it as a badge of honor when a lefty calls me a sociopath. That means I'm doing this right.

Now also found at The Minority Report

Might I recommend clubbing instead?

"Always be honest with yourself. Even if you are honest with no one else."

That's so 90's, n00b, and more appropriately directed at the husband of the object of your scorn.

I am NOT toothless!

"If they were merely incompetent, then at least SOME of their actions would have been to the benefit of the country."

I asked the television this morning (I watch Fox and Friends) an they were discussing this suggestion that obama had for people to donte to Clinton to pay off her debt.....

1.) Why would anyone be stupid enough to donate to the presidential campaign of someone who has ended their run for Presidency? That's like me going down today and donating to Bob Dole for President in 1996.... or Al Gore's 2000 Campaign.

2.) Given that she loaned herself millions (was it 10? 12?). . .. what is there to pay back? She spent money on her campaign and did some (what I consider) shady accounting so that she can now profit from running for President.

Donald Trump would be proud.

Dependence is Slavery.

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