Clinton Brings What Obama Needs: Money


(CBS) Two weeks after pledging her full-hearted support to democratic nominee Barack Obama in her concession speech, and following some time off, Senator Hillary Clinton is ready to actively rally her troops to his side.

"Her involvement in the campaign is welcome news and we're very excited about it," said Tom Daschle, national co-chair of the Obama campaign.

On Thursday, she will introduce Senator Obama to her key fundraisers. On Friday, they campaign side-by-side for the first time. Democrats are practically salivating over the potential positives Clinton brings with her.

"I think Senator Clinton has a tremendous role if she wants to take it, in the campaign," Daschle said. "She has an extraordinary following all across the country -- among women, among minority groups, among working people."

Clinton's help in soothing the bad blood between the campaigns is critical -- history has shown how important that can be:

When Senator Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter for the nomination in 1980, the battle became bitter -- and the fallout was fatal.

"They never made up in a convincing way and it was one of the reasons why President Carter lost," said Mike Allen, Politico's chief political correspondent.

But the biggest plus Clinton offers is cash. Obama, who just a few days ago broke his pledge to rely on public financing, needs those checks.

"The campaign could not afford for all these supporters to take the summer off and lick their wounds," Allen said. "They want them to be in there raising money, giving money right away."

Obama's May fundraising report reveals a slowdown: $23 million in contributions, more than $7 million less than a month earlier. Rival Senator John McCain was close behind. But analysts predict Clinton's supporters could produce a surge of up to $75 million.

"Money is important in a presidential campaign," said public opinion analyst Mark Mellman. "Most of Barack Obama's money is coming from small contributions. But every dollar matters and being able to get those Clinton fundraisers is very important for his campaign moving forward."

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