To read the news on Wednesday, you'd have thought that Hillary Clinton and her staffers were going about dressed in barrels, so gloomy were the reports about her campaign's financial status.
What a difference a day makes. According to the campaign, Clinton staffers are being paid, contrary to earlier reports. Also, in a conference call Thursday, former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, who now chairs Clinton's campaign, told the campaign's finance committee -- as well as reporters invited to listen in -- that Clinton has raised $7.5 million since Super Tuesday, with $6.4 million of that coming within the past 24-30 hours. And these numbers, McAuliffe stressed, represent online donations only. That would seem to put Clinton on a roughly equal fundraising pace, since Super Tuesday, with rival Barack Obama. Obama has reportedly raised $7.9 million.
McAuliffe also announced something apparently intended to signal the campaign's financial strength: a wave of new television advertising. New ads will be going up immediately in Washington, Maine and Nebraska, where contests are fast approaching. (The campaign has already released a video of the first ad, which will run in Nebraska and features a former senator from that state, Bob Kerrey.) Next week, the campaign will launch ads in Ohio and Texas, both of which vote on March 4 and may well represent the first opportunity Clinton has to beat Obama post-Super Tuesday, as the votes coming between now and then all play to the Obama campaign's strengths.
Update: The Clinton campaign's finance director actually clarified the numbers McAuliffe gave after I got off the call; the $7.5 million figure is what the campaign raised for all of February, while the $6.4 million is the post-Super Tuesday total. That means what I said above about Clinton being on a roughly equal pace with Obama since Tuesday is also incorrect. My apologies.