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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.”

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