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Sen. Clinton: Spending Big Now for '08

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) today released her campaign fundraising totals for the past three months.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Sen. Clinton speaks July 10 at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now convention in Columbus, Ohio (Bloomberg News).

The obvious story line -- as it has been for the entirety of the 2006 election cycle -- is that Clinton continues to cement herself as the Democrats' premier fundraiser. She raised $5.7 million from April 1 to June 30, bringing her total raised since 2001 to a stunning $45 million.

The obvious story line, however, is not the most intriguing one. Regular readers of The Fix know that Sen. Clinton is coasting toward reelection this fall. So it's fascinating that she has already spent $23 million on her campaign. The logical conclusion is that Clinton's spending isn't about 2006 at all but is part of her preparation for a 2008 presidential bid.

We've long suspected Clinton was using the cash she raised for her reelection bid to build a national small-donor list in expectation of a White House run. Her fundraising numbers over the past three months bear out that suspicion. Out of the 38,377 individual contributions to "Friends of Hillary" during the period, 91 percent of them (34,923) were for less than $100. Between April 1 and June 30, 6,209 individuals gave to Clinton for the first time.

And don't forget that the $22 million Clinton currently has on hand in her Senate race campaign account can be transferred in full to a presidential account following the November election.

What does that mean for Clinton's potential rivals for the 2008 Democratic nomination? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

By the way, Clinton heads to Arkansas this weekend for a two-day trip. She'll deliver the keynote address at the state convention of the Arkansas Federation of Democratic Women, visit the home she and former President Bill Clinton lived in during a brief period in the mid 1970s and tour the world headquarters of Heifer International, a nonprofit group that supports food security and agriculture in the developing world.

Check out Clinton's Senate voting record.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 14, 2006; 3:38 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: John McCain: From Maverick to GOP Insider

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