By Samantha Hayes in Washington, D.C.
It's hard enough to find the funds to pay off your own debt. So imagine having to ask your friends to pitch in and help pay the bills of someone who used to be your adversary. That's the position Senator Barack Obama is in right now. There is a trade off, though, political of course. Obama hopes that by helping his once-rival Senator Hillary Clinton pay down millions of dollars in campaign debt, her supporters will vote for him in November.
Only problem is he almost forgot to ask donors to open their checkbooks at last night's fundraiser in New York, Clinton's home state by the way. As he wrapped up his speech, Obama exclaimed, "We will change the world," and left the stage as the music started to play.
This is where the music stopped. Literally. And I wonder if Obama himself realized the gaffe, or if somebody quickly pointed it out to him, because just a few minutes later he was back on stage. "Hold on a second, guys, I was getting all carried away. I've got one more thing that is important to do," Obama said as the audience laughed. "Senator Clinton still has some debt. And I could have had some debt if I hadn't won so I know the drill."
Obama made sure donors were aware of pledge cards under their seats and said the effort to bring his primary opponent out of debt is, "part of the process of making sure that we are unified moving forward."
More than half of Clinton's debt is money she loaned her campaign, which she says she is not looking to recoup. However, the unity theme is not making many Obama supporters feel generous enough to pay off remaining debt incurred while Clinton was attacking their candidate. So how do the two camps move forward?
Perhaps Clinton said it best this morning while at an event with Obama targeting the support of working women. "It is critical that we join forces because the Democratic party is a family," Clinton said, and then she joked, "you know, sometimes a dysfunctional family, but it's a family."