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In Focus: The Prince and the Pauper-ess

Hillary eked out a Super Tuesday victory. Obama claims to have won more delegates. She is loaning herself money. He is rolling in dough. What does it all mean? asks Sheryl Longin.

by
Sheryl Longin

Bio

February 7, 2008 - 11:23 am

Arguments about the value of endorsements notwithstanding, with Oprah approved Barack Obama raising a staggering $7.2 million
in a day and a half, Hilary Clinton ought to consider placing a call to Jerry Lewis STAT. Now that guy can raise some bucks.

The candidate’s husband is not exactly light in the wallet these days, but in a terse comment pregnant with icky undertones, the senator announced, ” From my money – that’s where I got the money.” Take that Obama-endorsing John Kerry.

Although financial disclosure forms indicate the Clintons’ personal fortune to be somewhere between $10 million and $50 million, with the former president expected to receive another $20 million from his disentanglement with supermarket mogul Ron Burkle the short term spectacle of a wannabe political dynasty self financing its’ efforts to clear a path back to the White House, while crowds chanting, “yes, we can” hurl money at the candidate of change, is not very voter friendly. In an election year where even the Republican party has turned up its nose at the rich man running, the mood of the people is clear. Only a bridge loan from her book deal is acceptable. If the Clintons can’t match Obama’s fundraising, the Democratic base will be speaking with their pocketbooks.

Unsurprisingly, the blogosphere does not necessarily agree. Talk Left argues that all the money being raised by both Democratic candidates is simply great news for the party. TPM Election Central points out that Hilary’s money trouble may be far worse, since Obama’s $7 million plus score is about to be doubled with another $7 million from MoveOn.

At any rate, as the money pours in from an obviously energized Democratic base, we may soon see that Super Tuesday night frown return to Ann Romney’s face. Will she soon be quoting Michael Corleone in Godfather II? How badly does Mitt want to be president? Enough to use more of his own money to buy the VP slot on 71 year old, one term John McCain’s ticket? With sullen conservatives tight fisted with their donations (not to mention their votes), the Republicans may have to resort to self-financing themselves.

Sheryl Longin is the author of Dorian Greyhound: A Novel and co-screenwriter of the movie Dick

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