2008 Shadows Hillary Clinton, Even as 2016 Beckons

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton, a Democratic senator from New York, during day two of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

She put in eight years as first lady, another eight as a U.S. senator from New York, and now she’s wrapping up a challenging stint as secretary of state. But a blemish on that impressive resume — her failed bid for the the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination — remains unfinished business for Hillary Clinton amid talk of a possible 2016 White House bid.

As she prepares for some R&R — and, the political world presumes, contemplation of another presidential run — Clinton is still trying to close the financial books on the 2008 campaign she lost to her current boss, President Barack Obama.

She had $73,000 remaining in unpaid bills from that race, as of Sept. 30. All the money is owed to the polling firm of Mark Penn, the chief strategist for a campaign that began as the odds-on favorite and ended up getting outflanked and out-hustled by the Obama team. Last July, Microsoft Corp. hired Penn to serve as corporate vice president for strategic and special projects.

A new solicitation aimed at retiring the Clinton debt offers a free trip for a donor and a guest to New York that includes rubbing elbows with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The deadline for entering that contest, similar to ones offered in the past, is Dec. 6.

Recent donors to the Clinton effort include Joel Benenson, Obama’s pollster, who gave $2,300 in July.


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