Obama Asks Donors to Help Pay Clinton Debt
By Shailagh Murray
LOS ANGELES -- Two days ahead of his meeting in Washington with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's top donors, Sen. Barack Obama has urged his own biggest givers to help retire her $10 million vendor debt.
Obama used the occasion of a conference call this afternoon to ask members of his national finance team to contribute to the Clinton cause, "if they had the means to do so," a campaign aide said tonight. ABC News first reported on the call.
Clinton ended May more than $22.5 million in debt, with the majority of that money owed to herself. According to campaign finance filings, the vendors the campaign used most heavily including a number of firms run by longtime Clinton loyalists: Denver-based Media Strategies & Research, which bought advertising time; the polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland; the voter-database firm Catalist; and Grunwald Communications, a media consultant.
She dropped out of the Democratic race in early June, and Obama donors have been seeking cues from his campaign ever since.
Clinton will have a chance to return Obama's favor Thursday night, when she introduces Obama to her most generous supporters at the Mayflower Hotel.
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