Opinion: Clinton and Obama do joint fundraiser but he forgets the fund part


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The unity thing is proving something of a stubborn problem for the no longer officially dueling camps of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. There’ve been reports in recent days of some die-hard Clinton supporters being less than supportive of the fellow who crunched her.

But confirmed Clintonite Terry McAuliffe says it’s only one or two people. So that can’t mean much. And there’s probably hardly any Obama folks saying, ‘Remind me again why I should help pay the bills for the travel and events when she was always attacking Obama?’


But what happened Wednesday night was a little embarrassing.

After the two Democrats voted differently on the Senate’s FISA retroactive surveillance O.K. bill, Obama flew Clinton from Washington to New York City on his plane for two fundraisers where they’d both appear together and she’d graciously introduce him and there’d be that cheek peck.

And Obama would repeat his eloquent thing about change and how George W. Bush is really the first two terms of John McCain or something and ask the folks for money and kinda push them toward retiring Clinton’s campaign debt. Depending on the numbers you hear, her debts could be as large as $23 million or maybe ‘only’ $10 million, which is like -- what? -- 20 speeches or something for her husband.

So The Times’ Louise Roug was at the Hyatt in the crowd of 1,000 who’d each paid $1,000 (what a coincidence!) so they could also pay cash at the bar. She dutifully listened to his familiar, 30-minute talk about promise. The crowd applauded. ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ blasted out of the sound system and Obama bounced off the stage to work the rope line and shake hands, not looking nearly as weary as The Times story says he is.

But about two minutes later Obama bounces back onto the stage. (See the video below.) Waves his hands. Had he forgotten to mention about the jobs program?

The music stopped. Or maybe he neglected to praise his distant cousin Dick Cheney?

‘Hold on a second,’ he shouted. ‘I got one more thing.’ Oops! It seems Obama had forgotten to mention the part about giving money to Hillary Clinton in the spirit of unity, the whole reason they were gathered there in the first place.

‘Sen. Clinton still has some debt. And I could have had some debt -- if I hadn’t won -- so I know the drill. There are many supporters of mine here who have not yet given something to help her retire that debt. I would be very grateful if you looked under your chair. I think there should be an envelope or a pledge sheet or something.


‘If people would take the time not only to pick it up but put something in it and mail it back...that is part of the process of making sure that we’re unified...Allright, turn on the music again. Let’s keep on partying.’

And so they did. In perfect unity, no doubt.

--Andrew Malcolm