Obama camp open to helping Clinton with debt

A senior advisor to the presumptive Democratic nominee says they haven't yet discussed the issue with Hillary Clinton's staff, though.

Published June 5, 2008 3:26PM (EDT)

There's been some talk going on for a while now about what might be one way to temper some of the bitterness remaining between the Obama and Clinton campaigns: The Obama campaign could do something that's not totally unusual for victorious candidates, and help pay off the debts of its primary opponent.

Hillary Clinton could certainly use the help, as her campaign is over $20 million in debt at last count, and much of that money -- $11.4 million, specifically -- was owed to her personally. Plus, there's a deadline; while she has plenty of time to pay other creditors, she has only until the Democratic convention at the end of August to recoup the funds she's owed. Otherwise, by law, she can only get back $250,000.

One important advisor to Barack Obama has now signaled that the Obama campaign would be open to helping Clinton with the debt. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who's been something of a mentor to Obama and is a co-chairman of the campaign, told Bloomberg, "Certainly that is something that would be on the table. Obviously we want to help each other." Daschle added, though, that the Obama campaign has not yet discussed the possibility with Clinton's staff.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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