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Does Obama Get Stuck With the Bill?

11:36 AM, May 7, 2008 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
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Following the Kentucky, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico primaries, which Hillary seems poised to win, and the Oregon, South Dakota and Montana primaries, which will likely go heavily for Obama, it is expected that Hillary will suspend campaigning at a minimum, or perhaps even withdraw from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Even those who are deep inside the Hillary camp are starting to acknowledge the inevitable, although they continue to advance the argument that the party is committing suicide by turning its back on Her Majesty in favor of Obama. A Clinton adviser told the Washington Post today that the situation was increasingly becoming one in which "she cannot be nominated and he can't get elected."

The deal-breaker in this scenario is that Hillary's withdrawal from the race will be contingent upon the Obama campaign being willing to pick up all of her campaign's debt. Figures vary as to how many millions of her own she has vested in her own campaign, but it goes beyond the original $5 million she originally invested in her nomination bid this past February (reports indicate she loaned herself another $6.4 million over the past month). The Clintons have a track record of always wanting to do everything with other peoples' money, and it seems highly unlikely that Hillary would agree to withdraw from the race without being made whole first.

One question that appears not to have been asked is how Hillary was able to run through such a massive campaign war chest in such a short period of time and then reach the point where she had to "lend" her campaign funds in order to keep operations running. This plus numerous stories about infighting and general dysfunctionality (plus the exodus of some key personnel who decided they'd had enough) of her campaign do not speak well for her abilities to function as the nation's chief executive - the ability to answer the White House phone at 3:00 AM aside.