Thursday, May 15, 2008

HMMM, Clinton, Obama, DNC Joint Fundraising Committee

This story, as reported by CNN, is likely to be interpreted in an odd way. There are two possible interpretations, one likely the other less likely.

1. Clinton, Obama and the DNC agreed to team up in order to raise money for the DNC using Obama's massive individual donor database and also to help Hillary Clinton retire her massive debt.

2. Clinton and Obama will team up for the Democratic ticket.

I think #2 far less likely. CNN reports:
“In signing this agreement, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are demonstrating their commitment to unifying our party and ensuring that we have the resources needed to win the White House, no matter who the nominee is,” said DNC Chairman Howard Dean in a statement. The message is clear. Democrats are unified to put a Democrat back in the White House so we can get our economy back on track, bring our troops home and finally do something about our ailing health care system."
The DNC is not doing badly in the fundraising department, but the longer the nomination fight drags out, the less time the DNC has to raise money behind a unified banner. What this move does is begin that process.

Obama does not need the fundraising help. As I have noted dozens of times here, his fundraising operation is the best I have seen in a long time, it is smart and it is effective. The DNC and Clinton, however, have long relied on big dollar donors, the numbers of whom are finite and probably approaching the tap out point. Clinton in particular, being some $20 million in debt, will need help to retire that debt. A joint fundraising committee permits her to tap into the DNC and Obama's fundraising operations to pay off her debts, without the entire struggle of debt retirement fundraising.

I wonder what the cash split will be? It does not have to be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, but it can be any split the parties agree to. The DNC could take 50%, in part because it can accept larger donations from individuals than a canddiate can, but that is just speculation.

Hat Tip: Political Activity Law Blog.