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Clinton's Virginia HQ a Costly Burden

By Matthew Mosk
The early overconfidence of those working on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has been much documented. Now comes another bit of evidence of just how inevitable Clinton's victory once seemed.

Office property records for the Arlington building where Clinton's campaign was headquartered all last year show that, when Clinton's campaign aides first signed the lease in April 2007, they saw fit to rent out five whole floors of the nondescript Ballston building through March 30, 2009.

In light of the sizable debt that the Clinton campaign has been forced to contend with during the aftermath of the campaign, this decision has proved a financial drag. The latest rent payment recorded in finance reports shows the campaign spent $109,461 for use of the spacious building in June, even as Clinton's campaign for the presidency came to an end.

There was a moment where the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama -- in search of a Virginia headquarters for its general election battle -- may have considered rescuing the Clinton camp from this costly burden. "The Obama campaign approached us to look at the space," said a source familiar with the short-lived discussions. "We talked to them, we showed them through the building. Certainly we were open to having them rent it. But they were not interested in renting it. Ironically, their northern Virginia headquarters is about a block down the street."

These days, it's pretty quiet in the dark gray, 50,000-square-foot office building, which was slated for demolition before the Clinton campaign moved in. About two dozen Clinton campaign officials still occupy the building. They are mostly concentrated on the third floor.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 21, 2008; 7:42 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Democratic Party , Hillary Rodham Clinton  
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About 2 doz. campaign workers still occupy the spacious headquarters...why? Her campaign reports show that she collected $5million in June and July but only used $1.2 million to pay down her debt. Why? We are being solicited to help her pay down her debt but it seems that the majority of the funds are going elsewhere...where? Lord help us if she ever gets her hands on the National Treasury...think we're bankrupt now?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

One of the reasons I've refused to donate further to the Clinton campaign is precisely because of the excess and irresponsible spending. If I thought for a second that the campaign had spent the amounts of my other previous contributions in a sound and financially responsible way, I would gladly send another $100 to help retire the debt. But that's not the case here. They weren't responsible with my previous contributions, so I feel no sympathy for them and no obligation to help retire the debt.

Posted by: JH | August 21, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Wonder who's buddy [building owner] is getting a sweet deal here. This is a building scheduled to be demolished but was able to rent the place out for $110,000 per month. Thats $2,640,000 dollars over 2 years.
I guess I just a cynic. I don't trust politicians on either side.

Posted by: westcan46 | August 21, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

It really is sad that Hillary's 18 million supports couldn't just each send her a dollar so that her debt would go away. We need a happy Hillary in the democratic party. She loves money and power- and she lost out in the power play, so we should all hope that her supporters send her some green love.

Where does she go from here? We've all seen that Gore is not willing to make a lateral move and be VP again. Though it would be in the best interest of his party and his country to have his experience on this year's ticket, apparently Al isn't willing to answer the call to service... And going from being Queen to being 1 of 100 Senators is probably not going to suit Hillary's ego. Albany?

I do hope that Obama is able to usher in a new era of democratic politics. The Clinton/Gore boomer "me me me" thing is old.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 21, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

There's still 2 dozen people working in the office? What exactly are they working on? I wonder if they're hiring...

Posted by: Gribbler | August 21, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

This is the height of greed and salivating corporate monsters...The building was supposed to be demolished and still they were trying to get Sen. Obama to rent it?


Olga Olivia
Austin, Texas

Posted by: olga olivia | August 21, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

For those less familiar with the Comments sections, I assume and could almost guarantee that this posting is a complete fake:

"i am an elderly woman on a fixed income, and i took out a reverse mortgage to contribute the maximum to hillary cilnton's historic campaign. now i am in danger of being forclosed on. i have made numerous attempts to contact senator clinton to get my money back, since i live on staten island, but no one will help me. please help me hillary. please help me.

Posted by: granny fanny | August 21, 2008 10:19 AM "

Come on. This is like one of those 19-year-old college kids who used to write in to Ann Landers to see if their fake letter would get used. There is no way this is an accurate statement. And I'm an Obama supporter. I think the "granny fanny" signature is a tip-off, as is the claim that anybody would take out a reverse mortgage--a very cumbersome, time-consuming process--to make a $2300 donation. Foolish, overly large donations may be made on impulse with a credit card, but not over a period of weeks or months with a mortgage broker.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | August 21, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Its called over confidence. She EXPECTED she would win,that's clear. Maybe she needs to stop blaming everyone for her loss and look at how she didn't run a good campaign because of her expectations.

Posted by: Emma | August 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

word is patti chalupa left her tv set, tuned to univision tolanovelas. ah hahahaha lightweight beaner

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 21, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

i am an elderly woman on a fixed income, and i took out a reverse mortgage to contribute the maximum to hillary cilnton's historic campaign. now i am in danger of being forclosed on. i have made numerous attempts to contact senator clinton to get my money back, since i live on staten island, but no one will help me. please help me hillary. please help me.

Posted by: granny fanny | August 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hubris. Overblown, wanton, reckless hubris.

She might not be in the Oval Office in January, 2009, but she'll have five floors of offices all to herself!

Posted by: Chris | August 21, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Is this really still news? Let's move on.

Posted by: birdman1 | August 21, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Why is this important now..? Matthew Mosk fancies himself as cutting edge investigative reporter who takes the easy route,cheap shot in this unimportant political tidbit. Go do some actual reporting..there's surely something worthwhile and meaningful for you to spend time and space on, like the two campaigns currently going on.

Posted by: Roseann | August 21, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

No really. Who cares? If the party really wants Hillary supporters to move on, then we need to move on. Why so many stories about her. She's not doing anything to anybody. In fact, she is WORKING to help get Obama elected.

Posted by: james | August 21, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind Democrats pumping their own money into the economy ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting. Yet another example of poor planning and mismanagement.

Who cares, though, right? The catharsis will make all this go away.

Posted by: Susan | August 21, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

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