Barack Obama asked his finance committee this afternoon to help Senator Hillary Clinton retire her debt. On a conference call that lasted about 45 minutes Obama made a personal plea to his top donors, telling them he considered it a personal imperative now that Democrats are all “one big family,” a donor who was on the call recounted to TIME. The Illinois senator praised the historic campaign run by Clinton. “You could tell these two folks have come together because, quite frankly, they are the only two people who knew what it was like,” the donor said. No amount was mentioned on the call, though Clinton has an estimated $11.4 million in personal debts to the campaign and more than $10 million in outstanding vendor debts.*
Obama Finance Committee Chairwoman Penny Pritzker ended the call by noting that this kind of coming together as a party is the beauty of democracy. For many donors a few weeks ago it would have been hard to imagine helping Clinton essentially finance her final months of campaigning against Obama. But, in a testament to how far Democrats have come in uniting their party since Clinton suspended her campaign June 7, none of the four questions asked at the end of the call were acrimonious. Tomorrow evening Obama is expected to hold a meeting with Clinton’s top fundraisers in Washington.
One of the questions asked on the call was about Hillary’s debt. It was made clear that Obama is only asking his donors to help with her vendor debts, not her personal debt to her campaign.