Clinton Weighs A Self-Loan To Finance Campaign

As first floated by The Page, I can confirm that, according to advisers to the campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton is weighing a self-loan in order to finance a competitive race against Barack Obama over the next few weeks.

Clinton raised less than $20M in January and has spent most of its store of money on ads leading up to Tuesday's multi-state primary.

Campaign advisers would not say how much money she has left. Officials did not respond to e-mails seek comment.

Upon leaving the White House, both Clintons secured large advances for their memoirs, and Bill Clinton's post-presidential speaking and consulting has left the couple comfortably wealthy, although not Mitt Romney-wealthy.

If Clinton decides to loan herself money, I envision that it would produce at least two countervailing forces. There would be a spate of stories on the End of the Clinton Machine -- that her donor base is tapped out and hasn't been able to expand like Obama's. This force is likely to be very strong, and it is not unfair or inaccurate.

In December, according to the Politico, Bill Clinton strongly implied that the couple had no plans to part with its money.

"They say you couldn’t stop me from spending all the money I’ve saved over the last five years on Hillary’s campaign if I wanted to, even though it would clearly violate the spirit of campaign finance reform," the former president said.

But perceptually, it could turn her into an underdog, and it could prove Obama's statement today that Clinton is "the frontrunner" to be vacuous. How can the frontrunner be tied for delegates and be nearly broke? The move could help with her grassroots fundraising. She'd be able to show potential donors than she will sacrifice as she's asking them to sacrifice. One can imagine a fundraising appeal along the lines of: "Help Us Match HIllary!"

Truth be told, Clinton cannot afford to allow Obama to rack up delegates by blowing her away in the next set of caucuses and primaries. Clinton needs to find a way to take 42% of the vote of or so in these states in order to limit Obama's delegate acquisition.