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Hillary Clinton pays down her debts, but millions remain

Nearly six months after losing, she's still plugging away at it.

Hillary Clinton continued paying down her presidential campaign debts to most vendors last month, with one big exception.

She now actually owes more to the firm founded by her former chief strategist Mark Penn than she did a month ago.

This Heroic Hillary poster has nothing to do with her fundraising, but we like it so much we're publishing it again for fun

Clinton raised more than $249 million for her unsuccessful presidential campaign, including $13.175 million she loaned herself. She is not repaying herself that money.

But she is raising money to pay off vendors.

In October, she gathered in $688,000 and paid down her debt by $448,000, leaving $7.47 million in unpaid bills to a variety of consultants, lawyers and others.

Penn is by far her biggest creditor -- 72% of what she owes.

And the debt to his firm increased by $82,000 to $5.36 million between October and November, according to Clinton’s latest campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission this evening.

Whether Penn is ever repaid in full remains to be seen. Some in Clinton’s organization blame Penn for mishandling aspects of the one-time front-runner’s campaign.

If Barack Obama were to select Clinton as his secretary of State, her ability to raise money could be seriously curtailed.

The Hatch Act generally limits federal employees from getting involved in fundraising activities, although it’s not clear how that law would apply to a former presidential candidate who becomes a Cabinet official.

Maybe the Obama campaign could help raise some more money, as previously promised.

-- Dan Morain

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Comments () | Archives (10)

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I do not think that Obama is responsible for Clinton's debt. It is up to her settle that - either by paying or asking people who provided them to forgive the debt.

I also do not think she will be a good secretary of state as she is too competitive with Obama and having her follow his policies will not be easy. She can cause more harmd than good.

This shouldn't be much of a problem for a person with the investment acumen of Senator Clinton to handle If not, I'm sure the usual funneled money from rich overseas tax evaders who are seeking pardons can be used for this.

I'm not sure that Obama PROMISED anything. He did offer to help. But promise, I don't think so. Look..Bill Clinton is on his way to becoming a billionaire. Please don't expect that a large part of the US population feels ANYONE should help her with the debt except maybe those that supported her candidacy. I also don't feel Obama owes her any cabinet position. Saying that doesn't mean I feel she would make a good one. But under the circumstances (Bill's dealing's with foreign governments that aren't exactly our best buddies) I don't feel she should except such positions. Hillary is a very smart woman. She won't starve....

The last thing we need is Clinton in there. I am a devout Obama supporter but I do not like his cabinet picks.
I guess "change" means "1992-2000" . Not that it was all bad because the only thing I had to worry about back then was catching Rush Limabaughs "America Held Hostage" TV show that made fun of how many BJs the president was getting.

I think that she should become Secretary of State because she shares most of Obama's views and she would be best as third in line should something happen to the president and vice president. She has definitely earned that right and it places her in the running for 2016 if she want to run as Joe Biden's running mate for VP. This would give her a chance to strengthen her foreign policy skills. I don't know if she will ever be president because it will create a similiar position that russion is in with their former President Putin. The world looked negatively upon that and they will of the US if we did it also. It will still be the highest a woman has ever achieved if she becomes Vice President in 2016. There is no other women in the pipeline that can achieve that level to date. Sarah Palin is a joke on the international stage and I can't believe she is currently running Alaska. Her know of the world is from the eyes of a beauty queen. (Very Shallow). She has a long way to go before she gets the confidence and experience. It is possible though because she is young.

It's not about Obama being responsible for her debts, it is a longstanding tradition of the winner in a campaign like this using excess funds to help a fellow colleague.

Once announced as President Elect Obama’s choice for Secretary of State and before her Senate confirmation, it will be time for Hillary Clinton to reinvent herself and clearly indicate her readiness and willingness to serve her country as Secretary of State under President Obama; to present her vision and indicate what her approach and her goals will be as head of the State Department. Does anyone seriously believe she lacks that capability? I wouldn’t bet against her.

Of course Barack Obama is responsbile for Hillary Clinton's debt.

When Hillary Clinton was faced with political ruin over MSNBC's continued assault on her for not quitting the race, and Hillary Clinton resigned, Barack Obama kidnapped Hillary Clinton's website, and the result was a lot of disgusted donors who refused to give money to Hillary Clinton knowing that it was going to Barack Obama and the corrupt D.N.C.

Any Hillary admirer could start a group that raises the funds to repay the debts incurred by Hillary. Even if Hillary did not break the 'glass ceiling' she cracked it. Such an achiever should not remain indebted.

To Bigpoppa..It's against the law for Obama to pay off Clinton's debts. He can only encourage his supporters to do so. BUT I'm not sure how she's getting away with this..only $250,000 was allowed to be raised for her debts after the end of the convention. So how Hillary is paying off her vendors, I have no idea.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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