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Thread: Donors worried by Hillary Clinton campaign spending

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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Default Donors worried by Hillary Clinton campaign spending

    Nearly $100,000 went for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, even though the partying mood evaporated quickly. Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000. And top consultants collected about $5 million in January, a month of crucial expenses and tough fund-raising.
    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s latest campaign finance report, published Wednesday night, appeared even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings. Several of them, echoing political analysts, expressed concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s spending priorities amounted to costly errors in judgment that have hamstrung her competitiveness against Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.
    “We didn’t raise all of this money to keep paying consultants who have pursued basically the wrong strategy for a year now,” said a prominent New York donor. “So much about her campaign needs to change — but it may be too late.”
    The high-priced senior consultants to Mrs. Clinton, of New York, have emerged as particular targets of complaints, given that they conceived and executed a political strategy that has thus far proved unsuccessful.
    The firm that includes Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster, and his team collected $3.8 million for fees and expenses in January; in total, including what the campaign still owes, the firm has billed more than $10 million for consulting, direct mail and other services, an amount other Democratic strategists who are not affiliated with either campaign called stunning.
    Howard Wolfson, the communications director and a senior member of the advertising team, earned nearly $267,000 in January. His total, including the campaign’s debt to him, tops $730,000.
    The advertising firm owned by Mandy Grunwald, the longtime media strategist for both Mrs. Clinton and Bill Clinton, the former president, has collected $2.3 million in fees and expenses, and is still owed another $240,000.
    “Fees and payments are in line with industry standards,” Mr. Wolfson said. “Spending priorities have been consistent with overall strategic goals.”
    But some Democrats are now asking if the money spent on a campaign that appears to be sputtering — $106 million so far — was worth it.
    “It’s easy to be critical, but had she won Iowa, none of this would have mattered. It wouldn’t have mattered what she spent because money would have come pouring in,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant and a veteran of Mr. Clinton’s successful 1996 re-election bid. “But the fact that she did not has made everyone focus on where the dollars went — and where they think the money should’ve gone.”
    Mrs. Clinton came into January with a cash advantage over Mr. Obama, with about $19 million available for the primary, compared with about $13 million for him. She wound up spending at roughly the same rate as Mr. Obama, about a million dollars a day, but because she performed dismally compared to him in raising money, she ended the month essentially in the red and was forced to lend her campaign $5 million, while he had $19 million for the coming contests.
    Over all, Mrs. Clinton has spent more than $35 million on media, polling and consulting. A comparison with Mr. Obama’s spending is difficult because of the ways the campaigns labeled expenses, but it appears he spent about $40 million in those areas.
    In other notable expenditures during the lean month of January, Mrs. Clinton paid $275,000 to Sunrise Communications, a South Carolina firm that was supposed to turn out black voters for her and collected nearly $800,000 in total. She lost that state to Mr. Obama by a wide margin. Even small expenses piled up in January: the campaign spent more than $11,000 on pizza and $1,200 on Dunkin’ Donuts runs.
    Mr. Penn, the chief strategist, said in an interview that, since 2001, he no longer owned any of the political consulting firm of Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates. He said the firm’s fees were capped at $20,000 a month and that the “great bulk” of the payments went for direct mail.
    Joe Trippi, who was a senior adviser to John Edwards’s presidential campaign, said he believed that the Clinton team had made two fundamental errors.
    First, he argued, Mrs. Clinton built a top-down fund-raising operation that relied on a core group of donors to write checks early on for the maximum amount, $4,600 for the primary and the general election, which left few of them to go back to when money became tight. Mr. Obama, by contrast, focused on building a network of small donors whose continued ability to give has been essential to his success this winter.
    And second, Mr. Trippi said, the Clinton campaign spent money as though the race were going to be over after a handful of states had voted and was not prepared for a contest that would stretch for months. “The problem is she ran a campaign like they were staying at the Ritz-Carlton,” Mr. Trippi said. “Everything was the best. The most expensive draping at events. The biggest charter. It was like, ‘We’re going to show you how presidential we are by making our events look presidential.’ ”
    For instance, during the week before the Jan. 19 caucuses in Nevada, the Clinton campaign spent more than $25,000 for rooms at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; nearly $5,000 was spent at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas that week. Some staff members also stayed at Planet Hollywood nearby.
    From the start of the campaign, some donors had concerns about the Clinton team’s ability to manage money.
    Patti Solis Doyle, Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign manager until she was replaced on Feb. 10, also ran her Senate re-election bid in 2006. That campaign spent about $30 million even though Mrs. Clinton faced only token Democratic and Republican opposition.
    “The Senate race spending in 2006 was an omen for a lot of us inside the campaign, but Hillary assured us that her presidential bid would be the best run in history,” said one major Clinton fund-raiser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations within the campaign.
    Yet the Clinton campaign at times found itself spending money on items that were not ultimately helpful. As part of their get-out-the-vote effort in Iowa, the campaign came up with a plan to have a local supermarket deliver sandwich platters to pre-caucus parties. It spent more than $95,384 on Jan. 1 at Hy-Vee Inc., a local grocery chain in West Des Moines, Iowa, in addition to buying loads of snow shovels to clear the walks for caucusgoers. Mrs. Clinton came in third in the Jan. 3 caucus. It did not snow.
    Mr. Obama’s fund-raising surged after his Iowa victory. In January, he brought in more than $2.50 for every $1 she was given, and from Jan. 5 to Feb. 5, Mr. Obama spent nearly $16 million on political advertisements — more than $4 million more than Mrs. Clinton, according to a survey by the Campaign Media Analysis Group at TNS Media Intelligence. Mr. Obama broadcast 3,000 more advertisements than she did, and he was able to air those ads not only in the states that were immediately up for grabs but also in contests on Feb. 5 and beyond.
    For instance, Mr. Obama spent nearly $480,000 on 1,331 spots in Missouri; he won the state’s primary, a closely fought contest and a national political bellwether, by one percentage point.
    Mr. Obama’s campaign is not without highly paid consultants. His top media strategist is David Axelrod, whose firm received $175,000 in January and has collected $1.2 million over all. Mr. Obama’s polling is spread among four firms that have received $2.8 million collectively.
    “Obviously, some campaigns are more careful and wise with their money than others,” Jim Jordan, a Democratic consultant who ran John Kerry’s presidential campaign until November 2003. “But these budgetary post-mortems tend to follow a familiar pattern; winners are by definition smart, and losers are dumb and wasteful. In truth, campaign budgeting is hard and complicated and three-dimensional and just impossible to understand without the full time-and-place context of the whole race.”



    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
    Correction: February 23, 2008
    A chart on Friday comparing fund-raising and spending for presidential candidates misstated the amount of money raised by two of them between Jan. 1, 2007, and Jan. 31, 2008. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton raised $133 million in contributions, loans and transfers, not $118 million. Senator John McCain raised $52 million, not $48 million.




    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/22/us...&ex=1203915600
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  2. #2
    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Even though I am backing Obama, it is even sad for me to see that the elaborate spending might have been one of her campaigns downfalls. I understand that she thought that she would be the Democratic Presidential nominee st this point, but why didn't her manager's prepare for situations like this..they were being paid enough to see ANY OUTCOME!! $11,000 on pizza, and $1,200 on donuts is ass!! Who were they feeding.. a high school football team, my Lord!!

    Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000.
    They were too good to stay at the Holiday Inn or Days Inn...shit Best Western, even.. This is completely a problem for me!!

    Everything was the best. The most expensive draping at events. The biggest charter. It was like, ‘We’re going to show you how presidential we are by making our events look presidential.
    Also, another problem for me...the thought that they were better then the others..
    Last edited by *DIVA!; February 24th, 2008 at 03:39 AM.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    No wonder Hillary had to loan her campaign $5 million dollars. They were burning through money left and right. Gulliani, and most of the other Republicans, went through the same thing. They were spending money on fancy suites, etc and ran out of money. Huckabee, ironically, is the smart one, he's campaigning on a budget and staying at motels.

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    Silver Member zebracakes's Avatar
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    Too bad everyone forgets that Ron Paul is still in the race. He is the king of spending money wisely. He still has $6 million left. People have written him off, but I don't think they should. John McCain is an old man. Anything can happen between now and September and nothing says those delegates have to go with Huckabee.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Ron Paul is still in the race

    ^^ He's my candidate. I voted for him in the primary and even though he's not a front runner I believe in his position on many of the issues. Not all, but quite a few.


    To me, he's one of the few politicians that actually does and votes what he says.......
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebracakes View Post
    Too bad everyone forgets that Ron Paul is still in the race. He is the king of spending money wisely. He still has $6 million left. People have written him off, but I don't think they should. John McCain is an old man. Anything can happen between now and September and nothing says those delegates have to go with Huckabee.
    count me in as one who forgot, until yesterday. i was driving by my daughters school and saw a bunch of these signs. i checked and found out he hasnt dropped out
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebracakes View Post
    Too bad everyone forgets that Ron Paul is still in the race. He is the king of spending money wisely. He still has $6 million left. People have written him off, but I don't think they should. John McCain is an old man. Anything can happen between now and September and nothing says those delegates have to go with Huckabee.
    Although I would rather see Ron Paul running over McCain any day, I think the fact that people have forgotten about him shows what his chances are. When people forget you're in the race, then that limits your chances of success.

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    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    What does Ron Paul have to do with love? How do any of his policies express love?

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Although I would rather see Ron Paul running over McCain any day, I think the fact that people have forgotten about him shows what his chances are. When people forget you're in the race, then that limits your chances of success.
    Part of that is the media's coverage. They decide who should be in the race and then ignore who they aren't interested in. Our choices are already made for us.

    He's not attractive, isn't a great public speaker. He doesn't come across well on TV. But he's been a Congessman from 1976- 1984 and a Senator from 1996-now. He gets Re-elected, which says a lot.

    Now, I'm not saying the guy is perfect. But a lot of what he believes and votes is really a 180 from the way government has become. I'm tired of what I see, and I'm interested in some radical change.

    I also think- not just regarding Ron Paul- that if everyone who really wanted to vote for a candidate that they really believed in, and didn't worry about "who really has a chance, etc" then more of these candidates would get in, and maybe we could have some real change from what is wrong with America
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Part of that is the media's coverage. They decide who should be in the race and then ignore who they aren't interested in. Our choices are already made for us.

    He's not attractive, isn't a great public speaker. He doesn't come across well on TV. But he's been a Congessman from 1976- 1984 and a Senator from 1996-now. He gets Re-elected, which says a lot.
    That's true, to a degree. But, then again, in the beginning the media had annointed Hillary and John McCain, well before the primaries, as the two frontrunners and said that they would be battling for the White House. Obama got coverage, but they weren't taking him that seriously. But Obama continued to build his campaign and once he started winning primaries he made the media take notice of him.

    And I agree with you about Ron Paul. He doesn't have the looks, charisma, or personality. But, at the same time, when you watch him in debates, he doesn't really come across as a stong candidate either. So, that hurts him, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Now, I'm not saying the guy is perfect. But a lot of what he believes and votes is really a 180 from the way government has become. I'm tired of what I see, and I'm interested in some radical change.

    I also think- not just regarding Ron Paul- that if everyone who really wanted to vote for a candidate that they really believed in, and didn't worry about "who really has a chance, etc" then more of these candidates would get in, and maybe we could have some real change from what is wrong with America
    I think the problem goes deeper than the voters and who they vote for, or who gets in. The political system, as a whole, needs to be overhauled, because it's become corrupt.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    The political system, as a whole, needs to be overhauled, because it's become corrupt.
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants- Thomas Jefferson
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants- Thomas Jefferson
    I agree with the quote. But coming from Thomas 'I won't claim these black babies I made with my slave Sally Hemmings' Jefferson, it rings a little hollow. A slave-owner expounding on liberty is laughable.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    ^^ that's a politician for you....says one thing does another
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Touche'

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