Howard Dean prided himself for his fiscal conservatism when he was governor of Vermont, never letting the state go into debt, but not so with his leadership of the Democratic National Committee, or so it seems.
Faced with what party insiders say is $15 million in red ink, the DNC needs help and it looks like it's going to get it from no less than Barack Obama. The campaign operation of the of president-elect has lent its vast e-mail contributors' list to the DNC and this week Obama campaign chairman David Plouffe authored a fundraising letter asking the masses to help pay off the debt
"The DNC's 50-state field strategy was crucial to our campaign's success, as well as victories for Democrats up and down the ballot," Plouffe wrote in his appeal. "Their organizing infrastructure allowed us to compete -- and win -- in states that seemed insurmountable just four years ago. They took out substantial loans to make it happen. The DNC didn't hold back, and now, neither can we."
Plouffe goes on to ask folks to send in $30 or more and, in return, they'll get a T-shirt commemorating Obama's victory. Nice.
Coupla thoughts. Dean's presumeably in the hunt for a cabinet post, now that he's confirmed he'll be leaving the DNC in January. Does the DNC predicament help or hurt his chances? And you gotta wonder how the Clinton folks feel about the Obama campaign's swift pitch in to retire the DNC debt. Hillary asked Obama months ago for help in retiring her $20 million campaign debt, but last I heard, help for HRC has not been too forthcoming.
And one more thought for the road. I thought the Obama campaign was so awash in money it didn't know what to do with it all before Election Day. Guess not.
-- Sam Hemingway