After Hillary Clinton announced late yesterday that in January she lent $5 million dollars to her own campaign, it got us thinking: If we donated money to her in the last couple of weeks, were we actually just paying her back? Clinton called the loan a wise "investment." Now, we know that she's not going to make, like, a profit on this investment (that would be especially awkward, now that highly placed officials in her campaign are going without pay) unless it's in "political capital." But the loan is estimated to be upwards of 10 percent of her personal wealth, which sets up this weird expectation that she is maybe going to get it back.
Not if Barack Obama has anything to do with it. Yesterday, Clinton raised about $1 million online, something she called, in an e-mail to supporters, "one of our best fund-raising efforts ever." Barack raised three times that in the same time period. And in a campaign e-mail last night, strategist David Plouffe warned Obama supporters that "there are reports [that Clinton's donations from personal accounts] could end up being as much as $20 million." That's sort of a stretch, considering Hillary is only worth an estimated $35 million, and Bill has said that he doesn't want to spend from his own fortune because it would "clearly violate the spirit of campaign-finance reform." As many pundits are predicting that we might make it all the way to the Democratic National Convention without a nominee, this is going to be a long, hard financial battle. It will be lots of little donations going up against a few big ones. What we want to know is, when are you going to get tired of the desperate e-mails? At what point does all this money make you, as a voter, throw up your hands and say, "I give up"?