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Former Obama Foe Aids Clinton

Most Illinois Democrats have fallen in line behind their home-state presidential contender, Sen. Barack Obama. But there's at least one prominent Democrat from the Land of Lincoln who appears to prefer Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- Blair Hull.

Connoisseurs of scandal will recall that Hull, a wealthy Chicago financier, ran against Obama in the 2004 Senate Democratic primary. Hull was leading in the polls until it emerged that Hull's second wife had filed for an order of protection against him during their divorce proceedings and had alleged that Hull physically abused her and threatened to kill her. The revelations destroyed his campaign, and Obama went on to win the primary easily and cruise through the general election (where his original GOP opponent was also damaged by a past divorce).

New reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Hull's still-extant Senate campaign committee made two $2,300 donations to Clinton's presidential campaign in the first quarter of this year. It's the only donation to any candidate Hull's committee has made this cycle, though it did still have $164,000 in the bank as of March 31. Clinton's campaign report says "Refund in Part Next Period" below Hull's donations, though it's not clear why she'd be giving any of the money back since Hull did not exceed the legal contribution limits ($2,300 for the primary and another $2,300 for the general election).* It could be because, separate from his Senate committee contributions, Hull also gave $4,600 to Clinton out of his own pocket in February.

Neither Clinton's campaign nor Hull had returned calls seeking comment before this item was posted.

The manager of Hull's 2004 campaign was none other than Mike Henry, who went on to serve as deputy manager of Clinton's operation this year until he resigned during a campaign shakeup in February. Beyond that connection, and the fact that Clinton was also born in Illinois, Hull's contribution could just be a small dose of payback. Not only did Obama beat Hull in 2004, but his campaign was also said to have pushed the story of Hull's divorce proceedings in the media. Politics can be a rough business, but you never know when you might get the chance to exact a little revenge.

*UPDATE 2:47 PM EST: The Clinton campaign has responded and correctly points out that the contribution limit for a campaign committee (as opposed to an individual donor) is $2,000 per election, not $2,300. So Clinton will be refunding $600 to Hull for Senate.

By Ben Pershing  |  April 21, 2008; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Sounds like a club of the defeated.

Posted by: LetthemdrinkCrownRoyal | April 21, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Another great character reference for the Clintons. Spouse abuse? Please!

Posted by: Barefoot & Pregnana | April 21, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama recently told CNN, "We've been very measured in terms of how we talk about Senator Clinton." MEASURED?? He and his campaign have called Hillary calculating, polarizing, divisive, dishonest, secretive, disingenuous and untrustworthy. So who's using the Republican playbook?


Posted by: James from PA | April 21, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

What a stupid article! This is what you guys have turned the campaign into. Remove the idiotic thing, instead of writing later about Clinton's "correction".

Posted by: Kamran | April 21, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: MR | April 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Why is the media not putting the material out on Youtube about Rendell?????? Shouldn't Hillary be answering to his relationship with Farrakan???? Check it out and everybody put it on every blog you can.

Posted by: Kristine | April 21, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Wife beaters for Clinton?

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 21, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Surely a much better character than Tony Rezco,who earned his money relying on corrupt politicians.

Posted by: tim591 | April 21, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Surely, a much better character than Tony Rezco who hobnob with corrupt politicians.

Posted by: tim591 | April 21, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing how Hiliary attracts sleaze? Hull would just be the type of man to drift into her orbit.

Posted by: tydicea | April 21, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

This just in. Julie Nixon Eisenhower has endorsed Barack Obama.

Posted by: majorteddy | April 22, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The media need to expose Gov. Rendell and his praise for Farrakhan.

Obama '08

Posted by: Ally J of NJ | April 22, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

This just in. Julie Nixon Eisenhower has endorsed barack Obama.

Posted by: major teddy | April 22, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm intrigued by the concerns of Obama backers that he is being done in by 'trivia', when it was in fact trivia that got him into the Senate in the first place. Presumably the divorce records of Blair Hull and, most egregiously, Jack Ryan (who would probably have defeated Obama in the general election) were not opened at the request of Obama's enemies. I believe newspapers which subsequently endorsed Obama were behind the amazingly sleazy tactic that forced Ryan out of the race; I don't know about Hull. Obama's path has been greased all the way by powerful allies who are supposedly non-partisan.

Posted by: Mark Richard | April 22, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Ooooohh - the obamamaniacs are on a roll. Utube (idiotube) has a video of Gov Rendell praising Farrakhan. Whooptie Do - So what? Don't fall down making such a big too do over this. I believe that Golden Boy Messiah Hussein Obama has been in a relationship with Farrakhan for over 20 years! And has him on his campaign staff giving advise. Too much obmama Hussein kool aid this morning cult followers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thank you MR .(comments above) for the Truth and the proof! Who did I see in the Audience in a standing ovation to Farrakhan the Muslim that hates the U.S.A.? Watch this and see it with your own eyes ! Otto

Posted by: Otto Thames | April 22, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Because I am a patriotic American if HRC wins the Democratic nomination, I will campaign and vote for McCain.
Here's why.
The Clintons have taken $15 million (w/ ano 20 on account) from the Emir of Dubai. This occured while HRC sat in the US Senate. Dubai is a repressive antiSemitic anti Israel oligarchy and no friend of the US. Nor does the Emir give away money out of the goodness of his heart. He owns the Clintons. This is not influence peddling. It's treason.

Posted by: Miri | April 22, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Prominent Democrat? I'm from Chicago and I'd never even heard of Blair Hull until he ran for Senate. The only thing prominent about him was his wallet.

Posted by: jz | April 22, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I did not see any one in particular in the audience, I wanted you to watch the entire video ! The statement above and the motive was wrong on my part! Sorry for misleading anyone! Otto

Posted by: Otto Thames | April 22, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I hope Obama wins. We need to keep the executive branch republican. Obama has given us so many good ads. An endorsement of McCain, he is better that Bush(can't call them the same if your canidate tells us he is better) and Socialism is OK as long as it is voted in. We will now get the conservative wing behind McCain. We will get back the Reagen democrats and the purple states will turn red. Thank-you democrats for helping us.

Posted by: GOP | April 22, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

To be perfectly honest, I am not overly concerned about what soundbites might be floating around out there to prove who may have said what in praising Farrakhan. What does bother me is more evidence of Hillary being disingenuous and hypocritical for going overboard during one of the (too) many debates we have ben subjected to when she insisted that Senator Obama also reject Farrakhan's unsolicited endorsement because in her mind, simply renouncing it was not enough. Her performance on that subject was a bit ridiculous in its own right, but based on the support and praise for Farrakhan from such ardent Hillary supporters as Governor Rendell and Bill Clinton, it simply reeks of more Hillary Hypocracy!

Posted by: Willie | April 22, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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