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Hillary Clinton pays down her debts, but millions remain

November 20, 2008 |  9:58 pm

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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