"URGENT -- One More Philadelphia Event" read the subject line on Tuesday's blast email from Comcast executive and Democratic bigwig David L. Cohen to the party's fundraising faithful.
"Just when you thought it was safe to open emails from me...I have one more request," Cohen wrote. He needs more money, as host of a fundraiser next Wednesday evening to help Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York -- President-elect Obama's choice to be Secretary of State -- retire the mountain of debt left from her failed presidential campaign.
Speed is essential. Mrs. Clinton cannot raise political money once she is confirmed as Secretary of State, and it probably would be unseemly as well during the official confirmation process. In papers filed last week with the federal election commission, she formally surrendered any hope of recovering the $13 million she loaned the campaign from her and former President Bill's personal accounts. But that leaves at least $6.4 million owed to campaign vendors including pollster and strategist Mark Penn, who's work proved so ....uh, brilliant....on her behalf.
Wednesday's event will be held at the home of David Cohen and wife Rhonda, and it will feature Vice President-elect Joseph Biden of Delaware, Gov. Rendell and Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D., Pa.) -- and of course Herself . Tickets are $1,000 minimum up to $2,300 (the federal contribution limit) per person. Anybody who raises $10,000 gets a private reception with the stars.
The same Rendell-heavy crowd is hosting a similar event Jan. 8 at a private home in McLean, Va. Organizers hope the two fundraisers net $500,000 for HRC debt relief.