Classy Clinton

She’s asking for money to pay the vendors, but she’s walking away from the $12 million of her own money the campaign borrowed from her.

In an email to her campaign mailing list, Hillary Clinton asks for contributions to clear away the campaign debt. But she specifies that this is for the vendors only.

As you know, I had to loan money to my campaign at critical moments. I’m not asking for anyone’s help to pay that back. That was my investment and my commitment because I believe so deeply in our cause.

But I do need your help paying the debts we accrued to others over the course of this campaign.

Yes, it’s still going to gall me to write a check knowing that part of the money will go to pay Mark Penn. (Though as an Obama supporter I suppose I should be grateful to him for performing so badly.) But the fact that HRC herself is willing to suck up a $12 million financial hit is something that her critics &#8212 including the undersigned &#8212 ought to take notice of.

No, Sen. Clinton isn’t going to miss any meals as a result; the one I feel sorry for is the kid who sold his bike to contribute to her campaign, and I’m still hoping that Barack Obama will personally buy that boy a new bike. But 12 million after-tax dollars is still a hefty sum to walk away from, and her willingness to do makes Obama’s road that much easier to walk.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: