The New York Times reports today on the, shall we say, tepid response from Democrats to Barack Obama's gallant request for donations to help Senator Clinton retire her $23 million campaign debt.
I think it was a nice gesture on Obama's part -- he even personally contributed the legal maximum of $2,300 -- to acknowledge Senator Clinton's historic accomplishment.
But I am confused about this notion that there should be any obligation on the part of Democrats -- especially Obama supporters -- to provide financial aid to one of the world's richest, most powerful couples.
Gas prices are soaring, the US is hemorrhaging jobs, people are rioting around the world protesting the skyrocketing costs of basic food staples (16,000 children will die today from hunger-related causes) and we're supposed to dig deep into our pockets and pass a buck to a Senator and her ex-President husband who are collectively worth $109 million?
Senator Clinton was not some political neophyte. She knew well what she was doing when she spent $11 million of her own fortune -- check it, folks, eleven million dollars of her own money she spent, and she wants help!?!?!?!?!? -- on her presidential campaign. That was a gamble, not an investment. Even if she'd won the nomination, there's no guarantee she'd recoup that loss from donations.
It was many weeks from the time that her path to the nomination became mathematically improbable until the day she surrendered -- pointedly, not on the day Obama clinched the nomination; no, on that evening, she delivered a bizarrely Bushian alternate-reality speech in which she announced she would ponder her options -- and during this time her campaign wildly spent beyond its means.
It is particularly ironic that she wants help from Obama supporters, after she spent months (and millions of dollars) trying to damage his reputation with cheap guilt-by-association smears and misrepresentations.
I think we can breathe a sigh of collective relief that she will not be put in charge of fixing our economy. No wonder conservatives deride welfare and entitlement programs, when you have millionaire liberals telling the Times that they are "bitter" that no one is rushing to help them recover from their financial folly. Imagine if the Clintons had to pay for their own debts! Why, by my calculations, that would leave them with only around $80 million. Poor dears. How would they get by?
I don't know what she's going to do. Maybe she'll have to write another book?