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Hillary Clinton, from the goodness of her heart, seeks money for 3 Democratic Senate candidates

October 21, 2008 |  6:34 pm

Surely Hillary Clinton isn't planning a run to become Senate Democratic leader in a newly enlarged party majority there.

New York Democratic senator and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton peeks from behind a stage curtain just before a primary campaign rally

That's because the now-very-small Senate Democratic majority, which must rely on the sometimes shaky loyalty of that Lieberman guy from Connecticut whom the party tried to knock off, already has a leader in good old Harry Reid of Nevada, the nation's highest-ranking Mormon.

Yes, Reid's crabby. Yes, he's vituperative and whatever you call the opposite of bipartisan -- maybe pro-anti-bipartisan -- which would hardly seem to fit with the outlined "change you can believe in" goal of his party's titular leader, Barack Obama.

And Reid's not given any indication he's going anywhere. Not before his re-election in 2010, anyway.

But these politician folks plan a long ways ahead without actually announcing it; witness that same Obama fellow's career path. And remember, recently Clinton said she doubted she'd ever run for president again and cited some "old phrase" about blossom where you're planted.

Which would seem to be the U.S. Senate.

So today Clinton, who's still chipping away to retire her unsuccessful presidential primary campaign debts, used her political action committee, Hillpac, to seek funds for some struggling would-be colleagues.

Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada

She made a special urgent appeal for donations to be sent directly to the Democratic Senate campaigns of Mark Udall, who's seeking an open seat in Colorado, Jeff Merkley, who's opposing Republican Gordon Smith in Oregon, and Mark Begich, who's challenging the formerly formidable GOP Alaska incumbent, Ted Stevens, currently experiencing corruption trial trouble.

Clinton described all three as close or tied races and said that with just two campaign weeks left, she feels they're all within striking distance with just a little bit more money.

The goal, she said, is "a filibuster-proof majority [of 60] in the Senate [to] end the Republican obstructionism."

And she held out the tantalizing prospect or Armageddian spending specter, depending on your viewpoint, of a Democratic supermajority in the Senate, a large Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and a Democratic president (and former senator) in the White House.

The former first lady probably didn't have room in the e-mail to mention that if this new trio gets elected, whom do you think they will feel allegiance to if, God forbid, someday Reid should lose back home or if, as impossible as it seems right now, there ever is an internal challenge to the crusty Reid?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credits: Associated Press

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