Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, February 22, 2008
You know you're in trouble when...
The campaign (mis)spending story makes the front page of the New York Times.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s latest campaign finance report, published Wednesday night, appeared even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings. Several of them, echoing political analysts, expressed concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s spending priorities amounted to costly errors in judgment that have hamstrung her competitiveness against Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

“We didn’t raise all of this money to keep paying consultants who have pursued basically the wrong strategy for a year now,” said a prominent New York donor. “So much about her campaign needs to change — but it may be too late.”

And it's not a good look when you're looking to move up from managing a campaign to managing the country. ...

So where did all the dough go?

Mark Penn (pollster/strategist) - More than $10 million to his firm

Howard Wolfson (communications director) - More than $730,000, including money still owed

Mandy Grunwals (media consultant) - More than $2.3 million to her firm, and the campaign owes her $240,000 more

Overall spending: More than $1 million per day

Joe Trippi, who knows a little something about raising lots of money and then blowing it in a losing effort, explains the core problem:
And second, Mr. Trippi said, the Clinton campaign spent money as though the race were going to be over after a handful of states had voted and was not prepared for a contest that would stretch for months.

“The problem is she ran a campaign like they were staying at the Ritz-Carlton,” Mr. Trippi said. “Everything was the best. The most expensive draping at events. The biggest charter. It was like, ‘We’re going to show you how presidential we are by making our events look presidential.’ ”

For instance, during the week before the Jan. 19 caucuses in Nevada, the Clinton campaign spent more than $25,000 for rooms at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; nearly $5,000 was spent at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas that week. Some staff members also stayed at Planet Hollywood nearby.

From the start of the campaign, some donors had concerns about the Clinton team’s ability to manage money.

Patti Solis Doyle, Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign manager until she was replaced on Feb. 10, also ran her Senate re-election bid in 2006. That campaign spent about $30 million even though Mrs. Clinton faced only token Democratic and Republican opposition.

“The Senate race spending in 2006 was an omen for a lot of us inside the campaign, but Hillary assured us that her presidential bid would be the best run in history,” said one major Clinton fund-raiser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations within the campaign.

Yes, the best EVER.

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posted by JReid @ 6:36 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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