As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Take On Clinton Dropping Out

I talked a little last night with Chris Stampolis, a DNC member who is backing Senator Clinton. He was precisely using the phrase "automatic delegates" to describe superdelegates, a frame supplied by the Clinton campaign. He made a compelling case for Clinton staying in the race to see where the momentum lies, let everyone have a voice in the process, and have the eventual nominee face the kind of barrage that they'll face in the fall. And that's all fine. I've said that I want Obama to win the race as opposed to not losing it and backing his way in (although reports that he blocked the Michigan revote is a lot of spin by Democratic officials in that state who are backing Clinton). But to me, the Clinton campaign can stay in the race as long as they pay their goddamn bills. I don't think they're hurting the party necessarily, but they're hurting local vendors for no reason. Instead of holding a fundraiser on their website to pay for yet another ad in Pennsylvania, how about a fundraiser to pay for the small business owner in Iowa who provided a couple thousand dollars in food for the campaign?

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys, but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small business circles.

A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.

Their cautionary tales, combined with published reports about similar difficulties faced by a New Hampshire landlord, an Iowa office cleaner and a New York caterer highlight a less-obvious impact of Clinton’s inability to keep up with the staggering fundraising pace set by her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Honestly, they can hold off paying the $2.5 million owed to Mark Penn forever. But pay the small business people who depend on that money. And don't feed me a line about how you care about the little guy until then.

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