Funny Money

Posted: Apr 03, 2007 9:11 AM
Funny Money

A funny thing happened on the way to Hillary Clinton's announcement that she's raised a record-setting $26 million dollars this quarter.

It's one of those funny things that most Americans probably won't notice. But once in awhile, those pesky reporters serve a purpose. Sen. Clinton's refusal to come clean about what part of that $26 million is for the primary and what part is for the general election can give us a strong glimpse into the secretive, ambitious, scheming ways of the woman who wants to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Allow me to explain.

The Clinton campaign announced that 50,000 donors contributed the $26 mil. Trouble is, since they won't reveal how much is for the primary and how much is for the general election (something the John Edwards campaign did disclose), there's no way of knowing how much of that money she can actually get her hands on. Because under campaign fundraising laws, she cannot touch any money donated for the general election unless she wins the primary. If she loses the primary, all the general election contributions must be returned.

For all we know, Team Clinton has collected $1 million dollars for the primary and $25 million for the general, making her "record-setting" fundraising quarter a laugher.

Few, if any, political observers believe that the Clintonistas don't actually know what the breakdown is.

So what we're probably left with is one, big, fat headline that is utterly meaningless: "Hillary Raises Record $26 Million." Which is precisely what she wants.

Politically speaking, Hillary Clinton is all about style over substance. Forget the truth, she and her husband worship at the altar of focus groups, polling, surveys and looking good in front of the masses.

It seems pretty obvious that the only reason that the Clinton campaign is refusing to reveal the financial breakdown is because the truth about how much she can actually spend is a lot less splashy a story than the oft-repeated $26 million dollars.

This deception is significant because it should help voters understand how she operates. She's counting on most Americans not paying attention to the news media's questions about the difference between the primary and general election fundraising.

Hillary Clinton will do – or say – anything to get elected. As a U.S. Senator, she won over many rural upstate New Yorkers with loved ones serving in the military by pretending to be in favor of the war in Iraq. Once her presidential aspirations became public, she suddenly turned away from the war and joined the chorus of fellow liberal Democrats by demanding a withdrawal from Iraq.

Dick Morris once told me that the Clintons are almost like political robots. They breathe, eat, sleep, and live their lives with a singular purpose: get elected to the next office they’re running for. As a team, they've done it for decades.

While it's disturbing that Hillary Clinton won't come clean about the financial breakdown of the $26 million dollars she's raised, it's not surprising. She would never let truth get in the way of a good headline.

This is who she is.