Obama Whales not Rushing to Help Hillary

Despite urging from the candidate himself, Barack Obama's big campaign donors are not rushing to help Hillary Clinton retire her $20 million debt:

As Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton prepare for their first joint fund-raisers to benefit the Obama campaign, in New York City on Wednesday and Thursday, their two camps are straining under the weight of continued resentments, recriminations and feelings that remain raw since the long primary battle.

Mr. Obama has asked his top donors to help raise money for her debt, and so far they have come up with less than $100,000 (though more in pledges), Clinton campaign officials said - a "paltry sum," in the words of one.

Several Obama donors said in interviews that they were balking at Mr. Obama's call for help because they believed Mrs. Clinton accumulated most of her debts after she had lost any mathematical chance of winning the nomination and was hanging on only in hopes of an Obama collapse. The idea of helping her now - and lining the pockets of Mr. Penn, a reviled figure in the Obama camp - is galling to them, they said, especially at a time when they say any available money should go to defeating Senator John McCain and the Republicans in November.

The whales have a point. Most of the party was imploring Clinton to withdraw weeks before she actually suspended her campaign. Any debt she accrued was the result of a certain obstinancy that didn't sit well with the Obama people. And the loathing of Mark Penn is especially telling. They evidently blame him for much of the coarse tone the primary campaign took on in the final couple of months.

But given the astounding success of the Clinton fundraising machine, one wonders why she needs any help at all. A couple of Hollywood bashes would cut into that debt quite nicely.

In the end, she has only herself to blame and it should be Hillary and Bill Clinton who should be responsible for their own financial obligations arising out of their effort to make Hillary president.