MARCH 28, 2007
Just weeks after paying $210,000 for the coveted endorsement of an influential southern black pastor, Hillary Clinton has agreed to double the money for the crucial endorsement of the leading politician in the state with the first presidential caucus.
At the important Iowa caucus Clinton will have the backing of Governor Tom Vilsack, who dropped out of the 2008 presidential race last month because he said it would be impossible to raise enough money to compete with the likes of Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Vilsack may have dropped out the race but he has a campaign debt of more than $400,000 and, in return for his highly sought endorsement, Clinton has agreed to pay off the hefty tab. After raising a whopping $2.6 million in a weekend Hollywood fundraiser recently, $400,000 is probably a drop in the bucket for the New York senator.
Of course, Clinton aides say there is absolutely no connection between Vilsack’s endorsement and the senator’s promise to pay off his large campaign debt. Americans heard a similar Clintonesque explanation in mid February when the former First Lady denied paying a few hundred thousand dollars for the highly pursued endorsement of an influential South Carolina senator (Darrell Jackson) who also happens to be the pastor of the state’s largest black church.
Clinton’s main rival for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Obama, also fought for Jackson’s endorsement but evidently was outbid by Clinton. When Obama was on the verge of sealing a contract with Jackson’s public relations firm for $5,000 a month, Clinton doubled it to $10,000. The deal came with the lawmaker/pastor’s valuable endorsement.
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