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Friday, Jul 4, 2014

Luxury

Clintons: From dead broke and in debt to wealth rebound

AFP | Friday, Jul 4, 2014

Although their personal wealth was not in good shape when they left the White House, former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, managed to raise US$1 billion for politics in two decades.

WASHINGTON - Bill and Hillary Clinton helped raise more than one billion dollars for politics in the past two decades, a major potential advantage for the former secretary of state as she weighs a 2016 White House bid, The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday.

The formidable political pair brought in these funds through "campaigns, paid speeches and a network of organisations advancing their political and policy goals," The Journal found.

And "those deep ties potentially give Mrs. Clinton a financial advantage in the 2016 presidential election, if she runs, and could bring industry donors back to the Democratic Party for the first time since Mr. Clinton left the White House."

While Republicans can raise funds at similar levels, they fret that Clinton, her Democratic Party's likeliest standard bearer as of now, will get a lucrative early lead "in the next presidential race, which is expected to total well above the $2 billion spent in 2012," the report added.

"Clinton Inc. is going to be the most formidable fundraising operation for the Democrats in the history of the country. Period. Exclamation point," Rick Hohlt, a lobbyist and fundraiser for Republican Party presidential candidates, told the Journal. "It sure causes concern."

As a whole, the Clintons raised $2-3 billion from all sources, including individuals, corporate contributors and foreign governments, the Journal reported. Between $1.3 billion-$2 billion was from industry sources, it said.

As for Clintons' personal wealth, the widely-anticipated 2016 Democratic presidential candidate just last month kicked off a tour for her book "Hard Choices" telling ABC television the Clintons left the White House "not only dead broke, but in debt."

"We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for (daughter) Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy," said Clinton, a Yale-educated lawyer herself before entering public service.

She later called some of the words she chose "inartful," and insisted her record speaks for itself.

The Clintons' personal wealth has rebounded, the Journal reported.

"At the end of 2012, the Clintons were worth between $5 million and $25.5 million, according to the most recent financial disclosure statements they were required to file when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state. Precise figures aren't required by the government, only broad ranges," the report Tuesday said.

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