WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton says running for office isn't on her "radar," but she still has an eight-person political team and sports two overflowing campaign war chests.
Her team transformed the former Democratic White House contender's massive campaign debts into a $3 million mountain of political cash, according to federal fund-raising records through the end of June.
By comparison, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is up for reelection next year, had just three people on staff last quarter.
Via Andrew Malcolm, who likewise finds this fascinating. Also, before you ask: Clinton was and is not allowed to pay herself back for the money she lent her own campaign. That's gone forever.
As I see it, there are three things that SecState Clinton could do with this money:
- Use it as seed money for other candidates (which is one of the official explanations of what she's planning to use it for);
- Use it as seed money for a 2012 or 2016 Presidential run;
- Use it as seed money for a 2010 Senate/gubernatorial run.
My personal preference would be 3. - as long as the run was for Senate, and she was challenging Charles "Porky" Schumer. That would be a primary fight to watch, and never mind piddling little details such as timing and/or basic inclination to get back in the Senate. But a Governor's slot? ...Well, Paterson is weak there right now, and 3 million would be an excellent start for a primary challenge. Assuming that the money can be transferred (over half of it is in her Senate re-election fund anyway). 2. is unlikely, unless of course the President's numbers keep slipping; and 2016 is going to be a grim year for whatever Democrat (whose name will not be Joe Biden) gets saddled with the nomination. So it'll probably be 1.
...And in some ways, that might be the most interesting scenario of all. Three million can fuel a goodly number of campaigns. Not to mention a whole lot of payback. Or both at the same time.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.