By Reid Wilson - 10/20/09 10:00 AM EDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is less than a million dollars away from paying off campaign debt from her 2008 presidential bid, according to new reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Clinton has paid off millions of dollars of debt left over after her failed bid to win the Democratic nomination and now owes $995,500, the reports show. All remaining money is owed to Penn Schoen & Berland, the polling firm operated by Mark Penn, Clinton’s senior strategist for much of the campaign.
At its peak, Clinton’s debt stood at around $20 million. Much of the debt was owed to the candidate herself, who converted more than $13 million from loans to a contribution, meaning she will not see that money again. So far this year, Clinton has paid off more than $5 million in outstanding bills.
The debt was a source of friction when she quit her bid to back then-rival Barack Obama; some in Clinton’s camp felt Obama did not do enough to help pay off the expenses, though he did ask his donors to help pay Clinton’s bills. Obama himself wrote Clinton a check for $4,600.
Clinton has held several events this year to retire her outstanding obligations, including a January bash with singer Jon Bon Jovi and a raffle, held in April, that gave one supporter the chance to spend a day in New York City with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Her campaign, once headquartered in Arlington with a staff of hundreds, is now located in an office building on K Street, staffed by six employees and a fundraiser.