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In N.Y., Obama Belatedly Makes the Ask for Clinton

By Perry Bacon Jr.
NEW YORK -- Stevie Wonder's song "Signed, Sealed, Delivered " was playing, as Barack Obama had just ended his speech at a fundraiser at the Grand Hyatt in New York.

"Hold on a second," Obama said, coming back to the microphone in front of several hundred of his supporters. "One more thing.... Senator Clinton still has some debt. And I could have had some debt if I hadn't won, so you know the drill. There are many supporters of mine here who have not yet given something to help her retire that debt... I would be very grateful if you looked under your chair, I think there should be an envelope or a pledge sheet or something.... That is part of the process of making sure that we're unified. Alright, turn on the music again, let's keep on partying."

The Illinois senator, after speaking for 35 minutes to raise money for his own campaign, had nearly forgotten another financial obligation he has taken on: helping Clinton repay her campaign debt. The New York senator, still needing to recoup millions she loaned from her personal funds to the campaign and owes to vendors and consultants, had joined Obama on his campaign plane for the trip, along with Caroline Kennedy, an Obama supporter who is on his vice-presidential search team.

Clinton did not attend the fundraiser at the Grand Hyatt, instead joining Obama for a later event. She will also appear with him at a women's event in New York on Thursday.

The campaign debt has caused tensions between the two camps, as some Obama donors feel Clinton waged a harsh campaign against their candidate after she had no chance of winning, while the New York senator's backers aren't sure Obama is serious about helping with her debt.

But he sounded serious on Wednesday night, swaying some of his supporters in the direction of helping Clinton.

Leah Kozak, an information technology consultant who came to the event, said she was convinced by the Illinois senator's message, saying "I will do it because it's helping to build unity" for the party.

Her friend Enika Bodnar, who works for the state government, said she would also donate to Clinton, but said "we're doing it for the cause, even though we may not agree."

"You have to do it, but you're going to do it while doing this," she said, holding her hand on her nose, as she said she felt Clinton was too negative in her campaign against Obama at times.

At the joint event with the pair, with a group of mainly Clinton donors at the Loews Regency, Clinton emphasized the importance of the party coming together, saying "since I've been an adult there have been ten presidential elections, and Democrats have won only three of them."

Speaking after Clinton, Obama described her as "extraordinary as a campaigner" and praised her "graciousness."

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 10, 2008; 9:34 AM ET
Categories:  The Green Zone  
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I am sick and tired of the Clintonites fuming about Obama not paying down Billary's debts. Skrew Hillary...she has the money...and spent most of what she owes AFTER she lost - just to break Obama's chops. Obama owes her nothing...and neith do the rest of us responsible and ethical voters. Let the Billary people fuss and fume.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | July 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll give to the Clintons when I can get $1 million a speech like Bill. Until then, the both of those greedy bas***ds can kiss my a**.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | July 11, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Americans seem to be a little slow in mentality when it comes to donating for the right cause. The Clintons have money, You the people don't. The Clintons have Black Water to protect them. The Clintons, have a home and fuel too boast of, but, You the people don't. Another War in the Horizon, the Clintons nor any one of importance will grieve the loss off a child for oil. Money and greed. Sacrifice for America, at home, not where no one cares, and in a war you will never win. You all make the world feel like puking. Thank God you have the right to protect yourselves . The friends never mentioned in many years, your true united friends, We the people of Canada, Come on home, but only if you are a true American, or a true Canadian. Little Havana, not welcomed. May your God Bless, You The people. True Canadians and Americans are welcome.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 4:33 AM | Report abuse

@Ebonyflash. Um...I doubt that was planned. That looked amateurish on his part. If he wanted to slight her or keep her in debt he could have not shown up, instead of looking self-centered and disorganized.

Posted by: david | July 11, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

I gave Hillary 50 dollars today. I gave Nader around 50 in the last fews days. I feel satisfied.

Posted by: Lynn E | July 11, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Donate to Clinton in support of her FISA vote.

And let Obama know that you did it because she did the right thing.

(I am and will continue to be, by the way, an Obama supporter.)

Posted by: kamala | July 10, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Ebonyflash | July 10, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad day when we cannot come together to help each other. I am an Obama supporter and have been for a long time... I have read his books and know his stances are not empty rhetoric. However, I still think that HRC is a great woman who has shown dedication to this party and more importantly, to this country. Fellow Obama supporters, please show some class. Former HRC supporters, please remember that not everyone is perfect and unfortunately, you have seen an ugly side (with this blog) to the many compassionate Obama supporters out there and I do not think that the people who posted here are in the majority.

I strongly urge every one of us to remember what is at stake here... an economy in the tank, another possible war on the horizon, homeless and hungry rampant in our country.... And much more! Remember that we need someone who will put the best interest of the country first. I feel Obama is that person, but he will not be able to do everything alone. He will need the support of other prominent figures in Washington (dem and rep alike).... that includes HRC.

For the good of our country, let's stop the bickering... please.

Posted by: Joel | July 10, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Ditto for me the remarks by Christina. The Obama people that post here are really the nastiest people I've ever had the good fortune not to meet. But it's not just the ones on here. People I know who support him are just as mindless in their baseless hate of the Clintons. I can understand the possible dislike of Bill Clinton but she really has never done anything proven to harm anyone.

To the person who made the remark about the curators and the computers you're another example of the kind of person who believe and only remember the first thing they hear. For your information those accusations were made by Bush lackys and subsequently repudiated by them as being not true but I guess you didn't hear or read that part.

Posted by: jwalker | July 10, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

what ever happend to the 18 million people that voted for Hillary, just think one dollar each would pay off her debt, the truth is that those 18 million people do not exist, most of those votes were republican that wanted Hillary to win, Obama does not need those wackos of Hillary followers, but i will say that if Obama picks her as a VP he will loose the election and Hillary will get her wish to run for president in 2012

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

After reading all the nasty comments that the Obama supporters have posted about Hillary, I will change my mind about supporting Obama.

I was a strong Hillary supporter and I have maxed out my $2300 contribution. It's now been over 30 days since Hillary has suspended her campaign --- and I have slowly been warming up to Obama.

But after reading these horrendous comments from the Obama supporters, I have grown cold again towards Obama.

With supporters like the ones posting here, Obama needs no enemies. Let's hope the African-American vote and the youth vote can sustain him in November.

It appears that his campaign does not care whether Hillary supporters vote for him or not.

Well, okay then - if that's how you want it. We'll see how this turning of the back affects him in November.

Posted by: Christina | July 10, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Raised $100,000? Is this some kind of sick joke? This is an intentional insult by Obama.

Shouldn't surprise anyone. After all why would he help raise money so that small business owners can be repaid. He just cares about himself.

If he manages to cheat his way into the White House he will blame the national debt on Bush and claim it is not his problem.

Any problem he faces he will simply blame it on someone else and will not do a damn thing about it. He wouldn't care about people losing their houses or jobs...Obama and his Kool-Aid drinkers will just blame it on the people and say it is their fault...and won't lift a finger to help them.

Posted by: cspolj | July 10, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a fraud and his followers are not good people either...every single one of them...

the only regret obama & co. have about 9/11 is that Al-Qaeda beat them to it....they wish they had done it

Posted by: cspolj | July 10, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

After the raunchy campaign she waged, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know only a small dent has been made in her debt.

I think it's hilarious, and it's probably the biggest reason her husband is acting like a putz.

Posted by: Susan | July 10, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Screw Hillary, Am I the only one who remembers the the white house curators having to physically go and get back the furniture the Clintons stole when they left the white house. How about them sabotaging the computers before Bush came in. The Clintons are a couple of petty POS and I don't feel sorry for one bit

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Don't you get it. The party has been over for sometime. Best start thinking of bad times. There here, they are real, and , I would think the people better back someone with a common sense that will deal with the issues at home, if you still own one that is.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

What you say is no joke. Tom Delay said yesterday we could be at war with Iran in three months and he is all for it.

By the time a war has started in Iran, you will forget about her.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 10, 2008 10:10 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I think I read they have collect something like $100,000 towards her $22,000,000 debt. I have a feeling she isn't getting it paid. Hay, Hillary, remember the "Shame on you" remarks, we do. We know now that you are not going to be president, Bill can't go out making his $10,000,000 speeches or should I say influence peddling on the prospect of you getting elected. I guess you will have to write another book because the well has dried up. Now that Bill and Hillary have blown the election, I wonder if some of those people who were buying influence disguised as payment for Bill's speeches, will want their money back?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

By the time a war has started in Iran, you will forget about her.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Re: GOPs

Let them enjoy partying & keep on partying.

If I were Hillary, I would not appear with Obama in any public events.

Posted by: Premier | July 10, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

She wasted money on a whimsical egotistical Dream, ripping the Democrats apart. The only debt, is her own to the people of America. But she wants cash from party divided, no thanks to her. Food bank time, get a second or third mortgage, You can do it, anythings possible in America. Move on.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 10, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"the New York senator's backers aren't sure Obama is serious about helping with her debt"

He doesn´t have to be! Though he is. But hey, Hillary is a grown up woman. She was competing, the price was big, she took her chances, no one forced her, she lost and that sucks for her. Surely every American understands the basic story here, as it is ingrained in red, white and blue in their own genes.

So - helping her out is politically smart. But it is not a thing anyone can be required to be "serious" about, as it is fundamentally her private problem. Every help from Obama´s side is fundamentally a gift, from a gentleman with other things to be "serious" about that are a lot more important for all of us.

Posted by: JL | July 10, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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