Allies of Hillary Clinton plan an expensive, stealth campaign to buttress her standing in the must-win states of Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.
They're canvassing Clinton donors for pledges of up to $100,000 in the hope of raising at least $10M by the end of next week. The money will be placed in the account of a political committee organized under section 527 of the tax code.
A hundred large? For the Hillary Clinton campaign? As always I submit to the wisdom of the comment sections: "Organizing this 527 is about as smart as investing your entire nest egg in pets.com."
Two Democrats said that the 527 plans to run television ads and send pro-Clinton literature in all three states. One of the Democrats said that the ads will also include contrast messages against Obama.
Plans for the 527 were conceived in late January, when Clinton's campaign was nearly broke. Since Feb. 5, she has raised nearly $20M, but still faces a resource disadvantage. Obama's aides said they're approaching their goal of raising money from 500,000 new donors since Jan. 1 and project a total haul of more than $35M for February.
As much as I agreed with Obama's decision to laugh off his campaign finance "pledge," I thought there was the nugget of an issue there. It was an example of the candidate/messiah alighting to earth and behaving like those other politicians. But next to Clintonistas creating a slush fund for attack ads? In a party whose members still shiver and vomit when they hear the words "swift" and "boat"? Obama's back to being Mother Theresa.
Also: Just as it's fair to ask Obama and his surrogates what he's ever achieved, it would be fair to start asking McCain why his signature, hard-fought achievement in the Senate has become such a dog's breakfast.
More reason on campaign finance reform.
UPDATE: I was on a Clinton campaign conference call today where Howard Wolfson, her communications director, claimed ignorance of the 527. But! He pointed out that a 527 "spent several million dollars to assist Obama in California," even though Obama criticized John Edward when a 527 aided him in Iowa. "I think it was called Vote Hope," Wolfson winked.
UPDATE: Here's the first ad. Yawn.