Today's New York Times features a graphic that illustrates just how disproportionate Hillary Clinton's spending was in her Senate race:
If the Democrats hadn't taken back the House and Senate, people would be asking why Hillary didn't give more of that money to other candidates. She certainly didn't need it.
Update 11/15 5:31 AM: Kevin Drum links to this post and asks:
Was this because she really, really wanted to win by a landslide and figured anything under 65% of the vote would be humiliating? Did she have a bet with Dianne Feinstein? (If so, she won. Feinstein won her race with an anemic 59% of the vote.) Was she trying to scare off her 2008 competition by showing that she has so much money she can literally afford to throw it away?
Here are the two main theories I have on Hillary's spending:
-She wanted to win by a big margin to answer concerns about her electability before 2008. In particular, she may have been trying to (a) improve on her relatively unimpressive performance in 2000 and (b) drag House Democrats in New York to victory to show she has coattails.
-It would have looked bad to roll most of the money donated for her Senate race into her presidential account, so she spent a big chunk of the money to set up a quasi-presidential campaign, campaign for Democrats in key states, and create what her aides described as "a priceless reservoir of speeches, issue research, and financial networks nationally for any future use." And she still has $10 million left over.
My guess: Both are probably true. What do you think?