Clinton Brings Cash into the Conversation

Feb 8, 2008 4:48pm

ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Eloise Harper Report: In Tacoma, Washington, Friday afternoon, Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, for the first time publicly brought her cash into the conversation.

"As some of you may have heard, I recently loaned my campaign some money because I intended to be competitive going into Super Tuesday," she told the crowd in a packed gymnasium Speaking at the University of Puget Sound, "and I think it turned out to be a good investment with all of those victories across the country."

Perhaps adding fuel to the fire of those who saw her loan — and news reports that her campaign was so cash-strapped that her senior staff were forgoing salaries — as a fund-raising stunt, Clinton said, "When a friend of mine heard that I had loaned my campaign some money, she said to me, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you needed help? Of course we’ll be there for you.’ Well, I have been overwhelmed by the response that I have received over the last three days."

Clinton asked the audience to go to website and offer her their support as well.

Clinton’s recent loan to her campaign has also been viewed as a way for Clinton — a former First Lady with nearly 100% name recognition and massive institutional support — as the underdog in her race against Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. On a conference call with reporters Friday morning, Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson repeatedly indicated that Senator Obama holds significant advantages going forward.

Clinton clearly wanted the focus of the day to be on health care, though, not on her campaign coffers, and today she wheeled out a new line against her opponent, who has frequently made "Yes, we can" a trademark line of his soaring rhetoric.

“When it comes to universal healthcare, my opponent is saying, ‘No we can’t,’" Clinton said. "Well I say, ‘Yes, we can,’ and yes, we will, if we make the right decision in this election."

Clinton urged voters in the state of Washington to come out tomorrow to the state caucus. She has admitted to having difficulties in caucuses, which are more time-demanding and require great passion of supporters; she has lost eight out of the last nine such contests. Clinton said in a recent press availability that caucuses draw the "activists" from campaigns and are not the most democratic process.

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