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Hillary Clinton’s Camp is Election-Ready

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment

No Political Race in Sight, but Hillary Clinton’s Camp is Election-Ready

Author: Michael Mcauliff – DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Source: NYDailyNews.com DAILY NEWS, Updated Wednesday, July 29th 2009, 10:32 AM, No Political Race in Sight, but Hillary Clinton’s Camp is Election-Ready, Retrieved July29th 2009 from: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/07/29/2009-07-29_hillary_camp_is_election_ready.html

WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton says running for office isn’t on her “radar,” but she still has an eight-person political team and sports two overflowing campaign war chests.

Her team transformed the former Democratic White House contender’s massive campaign debts into a $3 million mountain of political cash, according to federal fund-raising records through the end of June.

Clinton’s failed presidential bid is now $1 million in the black, and her old Senate campaign committee has $2.1 million in the bank, much of it transferred in from the presidential account.

The former First Lady paid eight staffers nearly $100,000 in the second quarter of the year to tend to the remains of her political empire.

She officially pulled out of the political arena in January when she became secretary of state. But Clinton’s campaign Web site continues to accept contributions.

Democratic operatives were surprised at the size of the operation. “She’s got eight?” said one Democrat. “Can I get a job there?”

By comparison, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is up for reelection next year, had just three people on staff last quarter.

One of Clinton’s remaining campaign workers said they were just there to wind down what was essentially a $250 million business, and would soon cut staff to five people.

The worker noted John Kerry didn’t terminate his 2004 White House campaign for more than three years after he lost.

The aide also said Team Clinton is looking to liquidate her presidential bank account, either by giving the money to other candidates or donating it to charity.

Clinton is adamant she’s not running for anything, telling a Thai TV station recently, “That’s not anything that is at all on my radar screen.” And she told ABC News on Sunday, “I’m out of politics.”

But analysts said as long as Clinton has a campaign committee with millions of dollars in it – dormant or not – she has weight in the political world.

“It raises questions about that nascent presidential campaign for 2016 – and she didn’t close the door on that, if you read her remarks carefully,” said the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato.

“Just having the committee and the money gives her political clout, if she ever needs it,” Sabato said.

A former Clinton senior campaign aide told the Daily News that her current job running the State Department would position her perfectly for a White House campaign redux.

“It answers the last question about her: can she run something?” the aide said. “And it’s a huge platform.”

Obama Press Conference

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Most Will Carry Obama Press Conference; Time Shifted After NBC Balked

Author: thrfeed.com

Source: James Hibberd’s The Live Feed, July 20th, 2009, Most will carry Obama press conference; time shifted after NBC balked, Retrieved July 20th, 2009 from http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/07/cbs-obama-news-conference.html

After some hesitation and a time shift, three major broadcast networks have agreed to carry Barack Obama’s latest primetime news conference.

The event was announced Friday afternoon as Obama battles to bolster congressional support for an ambitious health-care overhaul while facing dropping approval ratings.

But broadcasters are struggling with falling approval ratings of their own; Nielsen’s audience measurements show viewership in a summertime slump.

The conference will mark the president’s fourth primetime press event since he took office six months ago. Such interruptions tend to wreak havoc with network schedules and can cost millions in lost advertising.

CBS, which airs only repeats that evening, agreed early Monday to cover the conference.

But for NBC, Fox and ABC, the decision was tougher. During a summer that’s otherwise strewn with repeats, Wednesday includes all of their top-rated reality programs.

Fox declined outright to air the news conference. NBC and ABC fell into line late Monday after the White House shifted the event’s time from the previously announced 9 p.m. to the lesser-watched hour of 8 p.m.

The stakes were particularly high for NBC, which airs the most-watched show of the summer, “America’s Got Talent,” at 9 p.m. This week, the reality hit includes a heavily promoted interview with “Britain’s Got Talent” singing sensation Susan Boyle.

Sources said that NBC demonstrated reluctance to carry Obama’s news conference live. Faced with the prospect of only one or two major broadcasters — CBS and ABC — covering the event, the White House moved its start time to 8 p.m.

In response to a request for comment, a White House representative said, “In speaking with various media outlets, we found that rescheduling for one hour earlier would help us to arrange for as many Americans as possible to hear directly from the President at the press conference.”

NBC normally airs “Talent” repeats in the 8 p.m. hour; that will be pre-empted this week.

ABC News often has the highest-rated coverage of Obama’s primetime events and ABC was leaning toward carrying the conference all day. In one respect, the shift to 8 p.m. could make their night more tricky. ABC’s highest-rated reality show, “Wipeout,” will be pushed to 9 p.m. to face “America’s Got Talent” along with “So You Think You Can Dance,” with “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” moved to 10 p.m. The ABC News special “Over a Barrel: The Truth About Oil,” originally slated for 10 p.m. Wednesday, will air Friday as a special edition of “20/20.”

Fox airs its top-rated two-hour “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday nights and will direct viewers to Fox News for the news conference.

This is the second time Fox has ruled against covering an Obama press conference, a move the network has made in the past when the event’s purpose seemed less than urgent.