February 6, 2008

After a rally in Manhattan on Tuesday night, Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, was asked about the state of the candidate’s finances. “Look, if there’s one thing Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to worry about, it’s money,” McAuliffe said.

At the time, that certainly made sense. Clinton raised over $100 million in 2007, outpacing every candidate in both parties. She’s generally considered one of the more prodigious fundraisers in the party, and while her $13.5 million haul in January wasn’t as impressive as Barack Obama’s monthly total, it wasn’t too shabby, either.

Which is why it came as such a big surprise to the political world late yesterday when Clinton aides conceded that the senator found it necessary to loan her campaign $5 million of her own money.

At her campaign headquarters in Arlington, Clinton defended her maneuver, executed last month but kept under wraps until yesterday, to add money to her campaign coffers. News of the $5 million transfer came as a surprise to Clinton donors who had assumed her campaign, which raised $100 million last year, would keep pace with Obama’s. [...]

Clinton said she moved her own money last month “because I believe very strongly in this campaign.”

Objectively, it’s hard to spin this as anything but a disconcerting development for the Clinton campaign, which should have flush coffers right now. What’s more, officials also acknowledged yesterday that some senior Clinton campaign staff members have agreed to go without pay for a month.

Stay tuned.

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